Jobless Claims and Retail Numbers Held Stocks In The Red (DSX, DTV, CHD, FSYS, ATML)
Stocks ended the day lower as the jobless claims number and mixed July retail sales numbers weighed on equities just a tad. More than anything, though, the market seemed to be in a holding pattern waiting for tomorrow’s big unemployment number. The payroll number will play a major role in investor sentiment in the near term.
Stocks dipped on the day, with the Dow down -5 points to 10,675. The S&P fell -1 point to 1,126, while the Nasdaq dropped -11 points to 2,293. Oil fell -46 cents to $82.01 a barrel, while gold rose $3.50 to $1,197.20 an ounce.
On the economic front, the Labor Department said that jobless claims rose to 479,000 last week, its highest level since April. Economists were expecting claims to drop to 455,000.
In earnings news, shares of Diana Shipping (DSX) edged up 0.4% after the company reported that its Q2 profit topped estimates by 1 cent. For the April-June quarter, the drybulk carrier earned $33.9 million, or 42 cents per share, up from $30.4 million, or 39 cents per share, last year. Analysts were looking for EPS of 41 cents. Voyage and time charter revenues jumped 15% to $68.7 million, coming in ahead of the $65.2 million consensus. A total of four Pro investors counted the stock in their top-15 U.S.-listed equity holdings at the start of Q2, while 964 tickerspy members held the stock in their portfolios.
Satellite TV provider DirecTV (DTV) announced that its quarterly profit grew by 33% due to its addition of 100,000 net U.S. subscribers and 415,000 new Latin American customers during the quarter. For Q2, net income was $543 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with $407 million, or 40 cents a share, a year ago. Without a charge of -18 cents per share due to former chairman John Malone swapping Class B shares for Class A shares, EPS would have been 60 cents, matching Wall Street’s expectations. Revenue climbed 12% to $5.85 billion,topping estimates, while free cash flow sank -30% to $383 million. The stock moved up 2.4%. A total of 58 Pro investors counted DirecTV in their top-15 U.S.-listed equity holdings at the start of Q2, while nearly 150 tickerspy members held the stock in their portfolios.
Shares of Church & Dwight (CHD) fell -4.9% despite the consumer goods manufacturer’s quarterly profit coming in above estimates. For Q2, the company posted a profit of $74.3 million, or $1.03 per share, up 28% from $58.2 million, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier. Adjusted EPS was 98 cents, topping the consensus by 3 cents. Revenue rose 3% to $640.9 million. Looking forward, the company reaffirmed its FY10 EPS guidance of $3.93-$4.00, bracketing analyst expectations of $3.98, and said organic sales for the year are expected to grow 3-4%. Yesterday Church & Dwight’s board increased the company’s regular quarterly dividend by 21.4% to 17 cents per share from 14 cents.
Fuel Systems Solutions (FSYS) saw its shares surge 17.9% after the company posted better-than-expected Q2 earnings. The alternative fuel systems maker also boosted the lower end of its 2010 forecast. For the quarter, Fuel Systems earned $6.9 million, or 39 cents per share, handily beating the 22-cent consensus. A year ago the company earned $7.4 million, or 46 cents per share. Revenue grew 8% to $99.8 million. For FY10, the company guided for revenue of $425-$450 million, up from its prior outlook of $400-$450 million. Analysts were looking for revenue of $439.2 million. Fuel Systems also announced separately that it will purchase the alternative-fuel vehicle business of Productive Concepts International for $10.1 million plus $975,000 in assumed debt.
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