Investors Content to Ride Out 2010 With Solid Gains (NKE, WAG, NAV, TDC, NOA)
Stocks continued to scrape out gains, moving higher in the face of mixed earnings and relatively neutral economic data. At this point, it looks like investors are pretty happy to end the year with some solid gains in the major market averages. The S&P is still down since the start of 2008, but it has recovered a lot of lost ground the past two years.
The Oil Sands Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by North American Energy (NOA) with a 8% gain. The Footwear Stocks Index was the day’s worst performing tickerspy Index, with Nike (NKE) down -6%.
Stocks rose on the day, with the Dow up 26 points to 11,559. The S&P and Nasdaq, meanwhile, both advanced 4 points to 1,259 and 2,671, respectively. Oil rose 66 cents to $90.48 a barrel, while gold fell -$1.40 to $1,387.40 an ounce.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department declared that the gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a revised annual rate of 2.6% during Q3, slightly below the 2.7% increase expected by economists, but above the previously reported 2.5% gain. Elsewhere, the National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales climbed 5.6% last month to an annual rate of 4.68 million, above the sales rate of 4.65 million anticipated by economists.
In earnings news, shares of Nike fell -5.8% after the company said it expects to face margin pressure during the rest of its fiscal year because of rising commodity and freight costs. For fiscal Q2, Nike earned $457 million, or 94 cents a share, up from $375 million, or 76 cents a share, a year ago. Wall Street was expecting EPS of only 88 cents. Revenue climbed 10% to $4.8 billion. Orders, meanwhile, rose 11% to $7.7 billion, which came in below the 11.6% gain expected by analysts. Sixty-eight Pros held the stock in their top-15 U.S.-listed equity positions at the end of Q3, and 443 tickerspy members hold the stock in their portfolios.
Drugstore operator Walgreen (WAG) reported that its fiscal Q1 net income moved up 19% in part due to strong generic drug sales. The stock increased 5.5%. For the period ended November 30th, the company posted a profit of $580 million, or 62 cents per share, beating the 54-cent consensus. Last year, the company earned $489 million, or 49 cents per share. Revenue grew 6% to $17.34 billion, while comparable-store sales edged up 0.8%. Gross profit margins rose 80 basis points to 28.5%.
Shares of Navistar International (NAV) slipped -3.4% after news broke that its Q4 profit fell from a year ago, but the commercial truck maker also issued a promising outlook for FY11. For the quarter, net income was $39 million, or 54 cents per share, down -55% from $86 million, or $1.19 per share, a year earlier. Adjusted EPS came in at 68 cents, which topped estimates by 8 cents. Sales rose 2% to $3.37 billion. Looking ahead, Navistar guided for demand in FY11 to grow about 25% to between 230,000 and 250,000 vehicles.
In M&A news, enterprise data warehousing and analytics company Teradata (TDC) announced it will acquire privately held cloud software firm Aprimo for $525 million, including the assumption of $25 million in cash. The deal is expected to close during Q1 2011. Shares of Teradata fell -2.2%. Nine Pros held Teradata in their top-15 U.S.-listed equity positions at the end of Q3, and 96 tickerspy members hold the stock in their portfolios.
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