Stocks Seesaw Ahead of Jobs Report (JOYG, STP, XIDE, LTD, PIR)
Stocks ended the session higher after a seesaw day of trading. The jobs data out today was okay, showing some signs of improvement but just a tad below estimates. Meanwhile, tomorrow’s job report is likely to take center stage. Given the influx of temporary census workers, the headline number won’t be as important as the underlying components. Right now it appears companies are starting to hire, but at a very slow pace.
After an up-and-down session, stocks finished in the green, led higher by a 22-point, or 1.0%, climb by the Nasdaq to 2,303. The Dow rose 6 points to 10,255, while the S&P climbed 4 points to 1,103. Oil jumped $1.75 to $74.61 a barrel, while gold fell -$12.30 to $1,208.30 an ounce.
On the economic front, ADP Employer Services reported that private employers added 55,000 jobs last month, slightly less than expected. Elsewhere, the Labor Department said that jobless claims fell -10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 453,000 in May, above economist estimates of 450,000.
In earnings news, shares of mining equipment maker Joy Global (JOYG) rose 2.6% after the company boosted its 2010 outlook and also posted Q2 results that topped estimates. For the period ended April 30th, Joy Global earned $120.4 million, or $1.15 per share, soundly beating the 77-cent consensus. Last year net income was $120.5 million, or $1.17 per share. Sales slipped -3% to $896.2 million. For 2010, the company said it expects EPS of $3.85-$4.00 on revenue of $3.3-$3.4 billion, up from its prior forecast of $2.85-$3.05 on revenue of $2.8-$3.0 billion.
Suntech Power Holdings (STP) posted an increase in its Q1 profit, but said the weaker euro cost it $24.5 million during the quarter. Shares of the stock sank -3.9%. For the first quarter, the solar panel maker earned $20.7 million, or 11 cents a share, coming in below the Street’s 15-cent consensus. Net income was $1.8 million, or 1 cent a share, a year earlier. Revenue surged 86% to $588 million, while gross margins narrowed to 19.5% from 23.8%. Looking forward, Suntech guided for an annual shipment target of 1.3 gigawatts from 1.25 gigawatts.
Shares of Exide Technologies (XIDE) soared 26.7% after the battery manufacturer’s Q4 earnings came in much higher than expected. For the quarter ended March 31st, the company posted a profit of $40.4 million, or 53 cents a share, compared with a loss of -$64.4 million, or -85 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS was 49 cents, easily topping the 4 cents expected by analysts. Revenue rose 9.2% to $714.7 million from $654.3 million. A total of 4 pro investors counted the stock among their top 15 holdings at the start of Q2, while 175 tickerspy members included the stock in their portfolios.
Operator of Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works Limited Brands (LTD) announced a better-than-expected 5% rise in its same-store sales during the four weeks ended May 29th. Analysts were looking for a 2.1% increase. Revenue grew 6% to $657.3 million. The stock rose 1.2% on the news. A total of 5 pro investors counted the stock among their top 15 holdings at the start of Q2, while 116 tickerspy members included the stock in their portfolios.
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