Are Insiders Signalling Another Pullback? (JCG, PSS, BF.B, ABT, FACT, BIIB, ITMN)
While the market continues its rally, corporate insiders have responded by pressing the sell button. According to InsiderScore.com, which tracks and provides analytics for insider trading activity to institutional clients, insider selling accelerated across all market-cap groups and sectors last week, with sentiment hitting multi-year lows. When executives and directors are by and large cautious, it is probably a good idea for individual investors not to get overly bullish.
Stocks rose on the day, led higher by an 18-point, or 0.8%, increase in the Nasdaq. The S&P rose 5 points to 1,146, while the Dow added 3 points to close at 10,567. Oil rose 46 cents to $81.95 a barrel, while gold fell -$14.10 to $1,108.20 an ounce.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department reported that wholesale inventories fell -0.2% in January compared to the 0.2% increase economists were looking for.
In earnings news, J Crew (JCG) posted a fourth-quarter profit of $40.4 million, or 61 cents per share, versus a year-ago loss of -$13.5 million, or -22 cents per share. Revenue zoomed 19% to $460.6 million, as same-store sales soared 17%. Wall Street was looking for EPS of 46 cents on sales of $443.0 million. Looking forward, the company forecast first-quarter EPS of between 48-53 cents and fiscal 2010 EPS of between $2.20-$2.30 per share. The stock fell -4.3%. Eleven pro investors counted the stock among their top-15 holdings at the start of Q1, while 67 tickerspy members included the stock in their portfolios.
Elsewhere in retail, shares of Collective Brands (PSS), the owner of Payless ShoeSource and Stride Rite, announced a Q4 loss of -$10.9 million, or -17 cents a share, compared to a loss of -$144 million, or -$2.28 a share, a year earlier. Adjusted EPS was a loss of -19 cents. Revenue inched up to $741.7 million. Analysts were expecting a loss of -26 cents per share on revenue of $724.7 million. The stock fell -7.2%
Spirits maker Brown-Foreman (NYSE: BF.B) saw its fiscal Q3 net income slip -13% to $107.9 million, or 73 cents per share, from $123.4 million, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier. Adjusted EPS came in at 80 cents, 10 cents ahead of analyst estimates. Net sales climbed 10% to $861.7 million. Seven pro investors counted the stock among their top-15 holdings at the start of Q1, while 39 tickerspy members included the stock in their portfolios. The stock dipped -2.0%.
In M&A news, drugmaker Abbot Laboratories (ABT) has agreed to purchase Facet Biotech (FACT) for $27.00 a share in a deal valued at $722 million less Facet’s cash and securities of around $272 million. Facet specializes in developing immunology and oncology drugs and is developing multiple sclerosis drug daclizumab with Biogen (BIIB), which tried to buy the biotech company for $17.50 a share last year. Abbott shares rose 0.4%, while Facet shares soared 66.6%.
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