Trading Ho-Hum Ahead of ‘Ho Ho Ho’ (BBBY, MU, JAS, SNIC, SPF)
The market was having another generally ho-hum day in late-morning trading, with stocks generally mixed.
The Design and Engineering Software Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index at midday, led by Sonic Solutions (SNIC) with a 26% gain. The Homebuilder Stocks Index was the worst performing tickerspy Index at midday, with Standard Pacific (SPF) down -6%.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department said that consumer spending grew for the fifth month in a row in November, moving up 0.4%. This followed a revised 0.7% increase in October, and was slightly below the 0.5% gain expected by economists. Meanwhile, the savings rate dropped -5.3%, while incomes rose 0.3%. Economists had predicted personal income to rise 0.2%. Separately, the Commerce Department announced that orders for durable goods slipped -1.3% in November, more than the -0.5% decline anticipated by economists. Core durable-goods orders, which exclude defense and aircraft orders, increased 2.6%. Elsewhere, the Labor Department reported that jobless claims dropped by -3,000 last week to 420,000, in line with expectations.
In earnings news, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) were on the rise after the retailer’s quarterly profit topped estimates. For Q3, net income was $188.6 million, or 74 cents a share, up 28% from $151.3 million, or 58 cents a share, last year. Analysts were expecting EPS of only 66 cents. Revenue jumped 11% to $2.2 billion, while same-store sales gained 7%. The company said that it plans to buy back $2 billion of its shares in 2011. During Q3 it bought back about $211 million worth of its common stock. Twenty Pros held the stock in their top-15 U.S.-listed equity positions at the end of Q3, and 170 tickerspy members hold the stock in their portfolios.
Micron Technology (MU) shares were lower after the company said its Q1 net income dropped -24%. For the period ended December 2nd, the memory chip maker earned $155 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with $204 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier. Wall Street was looking for EPS of 28 cents. Revenue rose 29% to reach $2.25 billion. Eleven Pros held the stock in their top-15 U.S.-listed equity positions at the end of Q3, and 452 tickerspy members hold the stock in their portfolios.
In M&A news, it was announced that fabric and craft store chain Jo-Ann Stores (JAS) was being bought by investment firm Leonard Green & Partners LP for about $1.6 billion. Shares of the stock surged on the news. Jo-Ann shareholders will receive $61 per share, which represents a premium of 34% over the stock’s closing price yesterday. The deal is expected to close during the first half of 2011.
More on this topic (What's this?)
Here’s Why Shares of Digital Media Company Sonic Solutions are Up 26% (Wall St. Cheat Sheet, 12/23/10)
(BBBY) Bed Bath & Beyond Held at Neutral (Stock Blog Hub, 5/9/13)
Trading results 12/23/10 (Robert Weinstein Trading Blog, 12/24/10)
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