Posted by: Catherine | July 17, 2013

Will Google Miss Analysts Earnings Estimates For Q2 2013?

Google’s (GOOG) stock has had a significant run-up over the past year and continues to hit new 52-week highs. The company is constantly expanding into new areas in order to offset the continuing decline in the cost-per-click ad market. While the company doesn’t beat earnings every quarter, one thing is constant, the company always surprises. And not by a penny or two, but in two of the last four quarters the company surprised analysts by more than 13%. One of those quarters was on the upside and one a downside surprise. So with the market hovering around its recent highs and the economy on the road to recovery, will Google report much better than expected earnings on Thursday?……..Click here for the full article – Will Google Miss Earnings Estimates When It Reports Q2 2013 On Thursday?

Posted by: Catherine | July 13, 2013

Why You Have To Buy Shares Of GameStop Stock Right Now

Last summer I outlined why GameStop (GME) would double in 12 months. Finally, when Microsoft (MSFT) and Sony (SNE) announced they would release the new eighth generation gaming consoles this holiday season it propelled GameStop well past my price target. Now with the company beating estimates and hitting new 52-week highs its time to figure out when the stock becomes overpriced and it becomes a sell.

Until last year, investors have been avoiding GameStop stock in part because of rumors that the new consoles would not allow used games to be sold or traded. GameStop’s worst fears almost came true a few months ago when Microsoft announced serious restrictions on used games. Just some of the restrictions the company put on its published games were…..Click here for the full article – Why You Have To Buy Shares Of GameStop Stock Right Now

Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) is video game maker best know for it’s Grand Theft Auto franchise. To date the franchise has sold more than 100 million copies and has produced four sequels, numerous series spin-offs and created a devoted fan base. Its style of play and even its game engine were the basis  for Take-Two’s other open world games like Red Dead Redemption. Grand Theft Auto V is possibly the most anticipated game in the series so far. Originally, it was set to be released almost a year ago, but now it looks like it won’t be in stores until September 17th.

In the past few years this wouldn’t have been material to game sales, as fans of the series don’t mind waiting, as long as the company gets it right. However this year is unique in the fact that both Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) have announced……….Click here for the full article – Take Two Interactive Earnings

Posted by: Catherine | July 5, 2013

Microsoft Looks to Upgrade PC Market With Windows Update

Microsoft’s (MSFT) Developer Conference was held last week and instead of holding it at the company’s Redmond campus like previous years, it joins Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) in holding developers events in San Francisco. One of the first announcements was an update to Windows 8 that addresses a few of the many customer complaints about the operating system. In fact, the new Windows was so poorly designed for use on desktop computers, it is being blamed for the accelerated decline in PC sales this year. Microsoft hopes to change all that with the new Windows 8.1.

At the conference Microsoft revealed it was trying to address some of these issues with a new update to its operating system. The new Windows 8.1 will lessen the reliance on separate boxes and screen slide ins, by making the……..Click here for the full article – Microsoft Stock Shares

Posted by: Catherine | July 5, 2013

The Split-Up Of The Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation stock has been performing very well since the beginning of the year, going from $12 per share in early January, to just under $21 per share yesterday. The company has made several important announcements, including the release of its much anticipated Playstation 4 and raising guidance in late April on its outlook for the full year 2013. However, news that buoyed the stock nearly 10% on May 21st, was a proposal made by an activist investor to break up the company into smaller parts.

The push to split up Sony was spearheaded by activist investor Daniel Loeb, whose hedge fund Third Point LLC owns around $1.1 billion of Sony stock. The plan, put forth in a letter to Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai, includes spinning off up to 20% of Sony’s Entertainment unit in an initial public offering. Sony Entertainment primarily consists of its……..Click here for the full article – Sony Stock

Posted by: Catherine | July 3, 2009

Stock Traders Beat Up Markets

It was one of the worst pre-July 4th holiday trading sessions in the history of the stock markets.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 223 points or 2.63% in what was a very broad based decline.  For a significant portion of the trading day all 30 of the Dow components were in the negative.  The technology heavy Nasdaq  lost nearly 50 points or 2.67% as well and the broadest measure of the three, the S & p 500 Index was off 26.91 points or 2.91%.  A large amount of the selling was attributed to the worse than expected non farm payroll report released this morning.

The employment situation report contains the unemployment rate, nonfarm payrolls and wage information.  The report as a whole was mostly in line with the low end of expectations, however payrolls came in at -467,000 well off the largest estimates of -435,000 and a substantial miss from the median consensus estimates of -350,000.  The unemployment rate came in slightly better than consensus at 9.5%.  Also initial jobless claims were better than expected neither of which helped the markets as they continued to focus on the payrolls throughout the day.

This week Citigroup was again in the headlines when it decided to piss people off in several new ways.  With the government adding new restrictions on employee bonuses the bank decided to raise salaries, some up to 50%, in order to retain people they consider “key employees”.  In a totally unrelated press release Citi said it would be raising rates on the credit cards of up to 15 million customers.  Citigroup was among the biggest recipients of federal aid receiving more than $45 billion in TARP funds.  Since 2006 their stock has tumbled 95% and over the last six quarters they have lost close to $36 billion.

Another very unpopular company was in the news this week, American International Group or AIG effected a 1 for 20 reverse stock split on Wednesday.  The measure was overwhelmingly approved by shareholders, but the stock fell over 22% on the day.  Before the split the stock was trading at $1.16 per share on Tuesday, but was down more than 20% in the  pre-market on Wednesday and closed the day at $18.08 per share.  Executives said the move was necessary to prevent the stock from being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.  In a strange coincidence the NYSE erroneously posted a suspension and delisting notice of AIG on the NYSE’s website, the notice was removed once the error was discovered.

Overall the stock markets have turned decidedly negative for the week and it was one of the worst first weeks of July in the history of the markets.  For next week earnings should be the driving factor for stocks.  Alcoa reports its earnings on Tuesday which traditionally kicks off earnings season.  Chevron, 3com, Progressive Corp among others all report their earnings as well.  Next week is pretty light on economic data releases the most important ones to watch are jobless claims on Thursday and Consumer Sentiment on Friday.

Posted by: Catherine | July 2, 2009

Stock Markets Determined To Trade Sideways

Stock markets on Wednesday traded marginally higher before giving up about half the gains heading into the close.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 57 points or 0.68% to close at 8504.06, the Standard and Poors 500 Index closed up just over 4 points or 0.44% to end the day at 923.33 and the Nasdaq day gained 10.68 points or 0.58% finishing the session at 1845.72. 

General Mills, the maker of Cheerios brand and other cereals and snack products reported earnings for their fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal 2009 before the bell this morning.  For the fiscal year of 2009 net sales were us 8 percent to $14.7 billion and earnings per share excluding special items rose 13 percent to $3.98, well above analysts consensus estimates. For the fourth quarter ’09 net income was $358.8 million or $1.07 per share, above the estimated .81 cents per share. The stock finished the day up 2.16 or 3.86% to close at 58.18 per share.  The stock has been on a consistent climb since hitting March lows of around $46, but is still well off of its 52 week high of $72 per share set last September.

Constellation Brands, the largest wine company in the world, announced its fiscal first quarter 2010 results this morning.  The company reporting net income of $6.5 million or 3 cents per share well off of its $44.6 million profit in the same quarter a year ago.  The companies stock was higher on the day by 7.33% up to 13.61 per share after the company reiterated its profit outlook for the full fiscal year.  “We are generally pleased with our quarterly results, which were in-line with our expectations,” said Robert Sands President and CEO in the earnings press release, “we took steps over the past 18 months to shift the focus of our strategy to building must-have brands that return the greatest profits and that represent good value for consumers.”  The full press release is available on their website.

Today the ADP employment report was released and missed expectations.  The report came in with 473,000 jobs lost during the month of June, this was much higher than analyst estimates of 394,000.  The report showed the rate of job cuts slowed slightly from Mays 485,000 number, but was still a sign that the recession may drag out longer than people had hoped.  The ISM Manufacturing number, a survey of over three hundred manufacturing firms on different aspects of their business, was released on Wednesday and came in at 44.8.  This was the highest reading for the Index since last August and slightly higher than the average estimates of analysts of 44.5.

Motor vehicle sales for June were also reported by major automakers on Wednesday afternoon.  Ford (F) had its smallest drop this year with sales falling 11% last month.  On the other hand Chrysler had a 42% drop in auto sales, Toyota (TM) reported a 32% fall and Nissan (NSANY) had a 23% dip in the month of June.  Despite those numbers Ford (F) shares were down 2.6% on the day, while Toyota and Nissan posted only modest declines of 0.3% and 0.6%.

Software company LogMeIn went public today in an uncertain ipo market and was trading higher throughout the day.  The company makes on demand remote connectivity solutions for small and medium size businesses.  The offering was for 6,666,667 shares of common stock and was priced at $16 per share, which was the high end of the range.  LogMeIn (LOGM) expects to make $107 million on the offering which was trading above the $20 per share level in early afternoon action.  The book managers for the offering were JP Morgan Securities and Barclays Capital Inc.

Tomorrow is the now much anticipated release of the initial jobless claims report.  After the ADP report negative surprise no doubt analysts are revising their estimates.  The initial jobless claims is a weekly report put out by the US Department of Labor on the number of individuals filing for unemployment for the first time.  The consensus estimates on Wall Street were for 620,000 new applicants.  I expect this number to be higher around 625,000-626,000.  Several small companies will be reporting earnings tomorrow Methode Electronics, Inc. symbol MEI estimate  -0.16, Acuity Brands, Inc. symbol AYI estimate  0.57, MSC Industrial Direct Co. symbol MSM estimate  0.38 symbol MSCI Inc. symbol MXB estimate 0.24 per share.  The earnings releases should not have any effect on the overall markets or the individual company sectors.

Posted by: Catherine | June 30, 2009

Stock Markets Give Up All Of Mondays Gains

The stock markets had a rough day on Tuesday, giving up virtually all of the  gains made on Monday.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 82.38 points or almost one percent, the Nasdaq gave up 9 points or half a percent and the Standard and Poors 500 Index, the broadest of the three, was down 7.91 points or 0.85 percent.  The Dow was actually in positive territory this morning until the release of the consumer confidence number of 49.3 for June.  A big drop from the 54.8 number in May and huge miss of the consensus estimates that were as high as 56.  With the consumer being two thirds of the economy this was a painful miss for the markets.

Despite Tuesdays losses the Dow still finished the second quarter with a gain of 838.08 or 11.01%.  It was one of the best quarters for the Dow in more than five years.  Because of the rough first quarter the Dow Jones is still negative year to date by 3.8%.  The Standard and Poors 500 index had its best percentage gain in a quarter in over a decade, tacking on more than 15%, but year to date the index is only up by 1.8%.  The technology heavy Nasdaq has been the best performer over both periods gaining 20.1% in the second quarter and 16.4% on the year.  Some of the best performing stocks on the quarter were Genworth Financial (GNW), Office Depot (ODP) and Ak Steel (AKS).  Some of the worst performing stocks were KeyCorp (KEY), CIT Group (CIT) and Eastman Kodak (EK).

Sealy Corporation the largest global manufacturer of bedding, reported their second quarter earnings after the bell today.  Net sales were $298.5 million down from the $375.4 million in the same period a year ago.  The net loss turned out to be 0.06 cents per diluted share and was below analysts estimates.  The company cited a very difficult retail environment and said they expected a challenging retail environment moving forward.  The stock (ZZ) was unchanged on the day at $1.96 per share.

Trading volumes have been increasingly falling since May but after the big consumer confidence surprise trading may step up over the next couple days on the release of more economic data.  For Wednesday we have the ADP report, motor vehicle sales, the ISM Manufacturing Index and Construction Spending among others. 

The motor vehicle sales report is another measure of consumer spending and is the unit sales of domestically produced cars and light duty trucks.  A strong number here is viewed by investors to signify economic growth.

The ADP report is an employment report representing 24 million U.S. employees in the private sector (non government).  It is typically released the day before the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s non farm payroll report.  The employment statistics also shows data on wage trends and wage inflation helping the federal reserve in determining monetary policy.

The Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index surveys over 300 manufacturing firms on different aspects of business including employment, inventories, production, and new orders.  Readings above 50 indicate an expanding factory sector.  May’s number was 42.8 and the estimates for June are for an increase to around 45.

For tomorrow Wednesday July 1 if any of these economic release drastically surprise in either direction we could see an increase in volume going into the July 4 holiday.   Also six companies will report their earnings tomorrow including Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) estimates are for 0.32 cents per share and General Mls Inc. (GIS) estimates are for 0.80 cents per share.

Posted by: Catherine | June 30, 2009

Markets Drift Up

The summer doldrums are definitely here as the stock markets crept upwards on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial average had the largest percentage gain of the three major averages rising 90.99 or 1.08% points to close around 8529.38. The Nasdaq added 5.84 or 0.32% and ended the day at 1844.06 and the S and P 500 Index finished up 8.33 or 0.91% settling at 927.23. The news of the day was unrelated to trading and involved Bernie Madoff getting a sentence of 150 years in prison meaning the 71 year old crook will likely die behind bars.

The earnings season is also creeping up on us and the largest tax preparer H and R Block reported today. The companies earnings were better than most stock traders were expecting saying in their press release that income from continuing operations grew to $513 million or 15%. Their earnings per share grew to $1.53 up from $1.36 in the same period last year. Their consolidated net income increased to $1.45 per share or $486 million after reporting a loss for the same period last year. They said earnings for the full year 2010 from continuing operations were expected to be $1.60 to $1.80 per share. The closed at 15.67 per share up around .25 or 1.62% around its highs for the day, it is still down nearly 33% year to date.

The other report stock traders were focused on was Apollo Group, Inc. which reported its third quarter fiscal 2009 results. Apollo Group is a company primary focused on higher education for working adults and runs colleges such as the University Of Phoenix and Western International University. Some of the highlights of their press release were posting their first quarterly revenue of over $1 billion a 26% increase over the same period last year. Apollo reported $201 million in net income on revenue of $1.05 billion for the three months ending May 31, 2009. The company had a third quarter profit of $1.26 per share significantly higher than the .85 cents per share they reported in the year ago period. Also well above analyst consensus estimates of 1.12 per share. The stock opened the day slightly higher but then dropped more 3.6% ahead of the news to close at 65.99 per share. After the bell Apollo Group jumped 5.3% and was trading around 69.53. Look for that good size pop to follow through on Tuesday.

Stock markets on Monday saw a drop in trading volume since the couple large moves last week and should continue the lazy summer trading tomorrow. Tuesdays most popular earnings release will be Sealy Corporation which analysts expected to make 0.04 cents per share. For Tuesday June 30 stock market investors will also be watching the release of the Chicago PMI (Purchasing Managers Index). The Chicago PMI is a survey released by the Institute of Supply Management surveying manufacturing and non-manufacturing business conditions in the Chicago area. Numbers above 50 percent indicate an expanding business sector. Stock market traders are looking for healthy economic growth because the view is that means corporate profits will be higher. While bond traders look for moderate growth that won’t create inflation. May’s number was weaker than expected at 34.9 and the consensus for June is estimated to be 40.

The other economic release traders will be watching is the consumer confidence number. The Conference Board surveys five thousand consumers across the country and asks them about their attitudes and expectations of the economy. Consumer spending is two thirds of the economy so their confidence directly and significantly affects economic growth. Stock market investors look for a high number which would mean higher corporate profits, while bond traders are always worried about excessive inflation should the consumer be overconfident. The number for May was 54.9 a major jump off the April level of 40.8 and the consensus estimate for June is 57.

Posted by: Catherine | June 27, 2009

Markets Flat To Negative On Week

The markets finished the week down slightly, with the Dow having its second negative week in a row. The Dow opened the week at around 8530 and thanks to a 34.01 point drop on Friday it finished the week at 8438.39. Government data released this week showed personal spending increased 0.3 percent in May along with personal income rising 1.4 percent. However, the additional income was not spent in the marketplace as the savings rate rose to a 15 year high of 6.9 percent.

Oil prices have been moving with stock markets over the last few months and were down 1.07 on Friday, ending the week at 69.16 a barrel. That contributed to losses in energy stocks on Friday with Chevon (CVX.N) down 1.4 percent to 146.74 ending the week down 1.13 points or 1.68 percent and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) dropping 1.2 percent to 69.05 a share putting the stock in the red for the week by 1.05 points or 1.49 percent. The Dow ended down 1.2 percent on the week after several relatively volatile sessions and is now down 4.1 percent over the past two weeks.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index on Friday closed flat losing just 1.36 points or 0.1 percent to finish at 918.90. The S & P was down 0.25 percent on the week. The Standard and Poors Index continued with its sideways trading and is still relatively flat on the year hovering around the 900 level for the past 6 months.

The Nasdaq managed to hang on to slight gains on Friday up 8.68 points or 0.5 percent finishing the week at 1838.22. The Nasdaq while basically flat, did manage to squeak out a 0.59 percent gain for the week overall. The tech heavy index was partially boosted by Palm (PALM) posting a narrower than expected loss and reporting strong demand for its new Palm Pre smartphone and Palm webOS. Palm shares were up 2.2 dollars a share or 15.69 percent with more than five times greater than average volume. The stocks news prompted analysts and traders to move up Palms expected return to profitablity by serveral quarters.

For next week traders will be looking at the monthly unemployment rate which is expected to rise above its May level of 9.4 percent. With the heart of earnings season still a couple weeks away and a shortened week because of the July 4th holiday, stocks should continue a relatively sideways momentum. In addition the volatility index or .VIX has been hitting its lowest levels since last September just before Lehman Brothers announced its bankruptcy, which barring any major surprises should add to the probability of a quiet trading week.

Some of the larger companies reporting earnings next week that could move the market are: H & R Block (HRB), Apollo Group (APOL), Sealy Corp (ZZ), General Mills Inc (GIS) and Constellation Brands (STZ). The economic data releases that market investors will be following next week are: Tuesday – Consumer Confidence, Chicago PMI, Wednesday – Motor Vehicle Sales, ADP Employment Report, ISM Mfg Index, Construction Spending and Pending Home Sales, Thursday – Jobless Claims.

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