Stocks Edge Higher as Investors Eye Retail Numbers (CRM, INTU, ADSK, DELL, ANN, FL, HIBB)
Stocks posted modest gains on the day following yesterday’s rally, despite China raising rates for the second time in two weeks. Retail names once again showed strength on the back of solid reports from Ann Taylor (ANN) and Footlocker (FL), which continues to show that the consumer is making a comeback right before the all-important holiday shopping season. We continue to believe the sentiment in retail will lead to good tidings for the rest of the market in December as holiday shopping kicks into full gear.
Stocks rose on the day, with the Dow up 22 points to 11,204. The S&P added 3 points to 1,200, while the Nasdaq gain 4 points to close at 2,518. Oil prices fell -25 cents to $81.60 a barrel, while gold prices rose 30 cents to 1,353.30 an ounce.
In earnings news, Salesforce.com (CRM) shares gained 18.1% after the cloud computing firm posted its third-quarter results. The company’s net income totaled $21.0 million, or 15 cents per share, in the three months ended October 31st, compared to $20.7 million, or 17 cents per share in the third quarter of 2009. Excluding certain items, adjusted EPS came to 32 cents per share, which was a penny better than Wall Street’s expectations. Revenue rose by 30% to $429 million. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Salesforce.com said it expects adjusted EPS in the range of 27-28 cents on between $447-$449 million in revenue. Analysts were looking for 28 cents in Q4 EPS on $424.8 million in revenue.
Shares of Intuit (INTU) fell -6.8% after the software firm reported a wider loss in its fiscal first quarter. The company, which is known for its accounting programs TurboTax and Quicken, lost -$70 million, or -12 cents per share, compared to last year’s Q1 loss of -$68 million, or -10 cents per share. Revenue rose by 12% to $532 million. Intuit’s Q1 loss was in line with analyst expectations, and revenue was above the $520.4 million consensus. Thity nine Pros held Intuit in their top-15 U.S.-listed equity bets at the end of the third quarter, and 110 tickerspy members hold the stock in their portfolios.
Autodesk (ADSK) shares slipped by -6.9% after its full-year earnings outlook came in below expectations. In the third quarter ended October 31, the CAD software firm earned $53.6 million, or 23 cents per share, compared to $29.5 million, or 13 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding certain items, adjusted EPS came to 32 cents per share, which was in line with analyst expectations. Revenue rose by 14% to $476.7 million, which was slightly better than the $471.0 million consensus. As for the full-year 2010, Autodesk expects adjusted EPS of between $1.27-$1.30 on revenue in the range of $1.92-$1.94 billion. Analysts had been expecting $1.31 in full-year EPS on $1.92 billion in revenue.
Dell (DELL) saw its third-quarter profit more than double. The PC maker earned $822 million, or 42 cents per share, in the three months ended October 29th, compared to $337 million, or 17 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose by 19% to $15.4 billion. Analysts were looking for 32 cents in EPS on $15.8 billion in revenue. For the full fiscal year ended January, Dell expects revenue growth near the middle of its previously forecasted 14% to 19% range. The stock rose 1.7%. Thirty seven Pros held Dell among their top-15 U.S.-listed equity positions at the end of the third quarter, and 826 tickerspy members hold the stock in their portfolios.
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