Wall Street Loves Cheap Money (NILE, SBUX, AMT, CF, HEV)
Stocks looked like they were going to take a breather despite an improved jobs report, but in the end, the markets managed to finish slightly higher. After a solid run, we wouldn’t be surprised for stocks to take a little rest, but we still believe the market will finish the year strong. Wall Street loves cheap money and the Fed is providing it, while the economic data continues to show gradual signs of improvement, but not so good as to have the Fed scale back its quantitative easing plans.
Stocks squeaked out gains, led by a 5-point, or 0.4%, increase in the S&P. The Dow rose 9 points to 11,444, while the Nasdaq tacked on 2 points to close at 2,579. Oil edged up 36 cents to $86.85 a barrel, while gold jumped $14.60 to $1,397.70 an ounce.
On the economic front, the Labor Department said that employers added 151,000 net new jobs in October, much better than the 60,000 gain expected by economists. The unemployment rate held steady at 9.6%, in line with expectations.
In earnings news, shares of Blue Nile (NILE) climbed 6.2% after the online jewelry seller’s Q3 profit beat estimates. For the period ended October 3rd, net income was $2.8 million, or 19 cents a share, up from $2.6 million, or 17 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts were looking for EPS of 18 cents. Revenue rose to $67.5 million from $66.9 million. For Q4, Blue Nile forecast EPS of 41-46 cents on revenue of $106-$115 million, bracketing estimates of 43 cents on revenue of $110 million.
Starbucks (SBUX) raised its fiscal-year 2011 full-year outlook, sending its shares up 3.8%. For fiscal Q4, the coffee chain earned $278.9 million, or 37 cents per share, up 86% from $150 million, or 20 cents per share, last year. Wall Street was expecting EPS of only 32 cents. Revenue jumped 17% to $2.8 billion, while global same-store sales rose 8%. Looking forward, the company boosted its FY11 EPS guidance to $1.41-$1.47 from a prior range of $1.36-$1.41. Analysts are looking for FY11 EPS of $1.43. A total of 25 Pro investors counted the stock in their top-15 U.S.-listed equity holdings at the start of Q3, while 681 tickerspy members held the stock in their portfolios.
Shares of American Tower (AMT) inched down -0.9% after the wireless-tower operator announced that it will buy 3,200 cell towers from Cell C Ltd. in South Africa for about $430 million. The company also reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. For Q3, American Tower posted a profit of $93.4 million, or 23 cents per share, beating estimates by 3 cents. A year earlier, the company earned $67.4 million, or 17 cents per share. Revenue climbed 15.6% to $513.3 million. American Tower said it now expects full-year revenue to be in the range of $1.92-$1.93 billion, up from an earlier target of $1.85-$1.88 billion. Analysts are expecting full-year revenue of $1.92 billion.
Fertilizer giant CF Industries Holdings (CF) saw its shares move up 1.1% on news its Q3 revenue more than doubled. For the quarter, the company earned $48.2 million, or 67 cents per share, compared with $38.5 million, or 78 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS came to $1.12, below the $1.43 analysts were expecting. Sales more than doubled to $917.1 million, in part due to its earlier purchase this year of Terra Industries. A total of 22 Pro investors counted the stock in their top-15 U.S.-listed equity holdings at the start of Q3, while 504 tickerspy members held the stock in their portfolios.
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