Stocks Rally as Oil Stabilizing Under $100 (CRM, ADSK, TRLG, NTRI, PG, ATAI, NTRI)
Stocks posted a solid rally as oil prices stabilized under $100 and consumer sentiment continued to become increasingly upbeat. However, a revised downward Q4 GDP report did show one of the potential market risks we’ve discussed, as state budget shortfalls led to decreased state and municipal spending. Meanwhile, companies continue to discuss the impact of inflation on them, with Proctor & Gamble (PG) stating yesterday that it plans to increase prices to help offset the big jump in commodity costs it is seeing.
The Chinese Education Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by ATA (ATAI) with a 30% gain. The Fitness and Dieting Stocks Index was the day’s worst performing tickerspy Index, with Nutri/System (NTRI) down -31%.
Stocks climbed on the day, led by a 43-point, or 1.6%, gain in the Nasdaq to 2,781. The Dow rose 62 points to 12,130, while the S&P added 14 points to 1,320. Oil advanced 60 cents to $97.88 a barrel, while gold fell -$6.50 to $1,409.30 an ounce.
In economic news, the Commerce Department revised the fourth-quarter GDP number lower to 2.8% from an initial reading of 3.2%, citing decreased spending by state and local governments as one reason for the lower revision. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index jumped to 77.5 February from 74.2 in January. That topped a previous February reading of 75.1 and the Wall Street estimate of 75.4. February’s reading is also the highest level since January 2008.
In earnings news, shares of Salesforce.com (CRM) rose 3.4% after the company’s Q4 earnings topped estimates. For the quarter, the company earned $10.9 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with $20.4 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, Salesforce.com earned 31 cents as revenue surged 29% to $456.9 million. Analysts were expecting a profit of 27 cents on sales of $452.1 million. For the first quarter, Salesforce.com expects to earn 26-27 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $480-$482 million. Analysts had been expecting a profit of 32 cents on revenue $471.3 million. For the full year, Salesforce.com forecast an adjusted profit of $1.35-$1.38on revenue of $2.03-$2.05 billion. Analysts had been expecting a profit of $1.41 a share on sale of $2.03 billion. Thirty-four pros held Salesforce.com in their portfolios at the end of 2010, and more than 500 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
Autodesk (ADSK) shares jumped 5.7% after the software company topped analyst estimates and issued solid revenue guidance. In the fourth quarter, Autodesk earned $61.6 million, or 26 cents per share, compared with $50.1 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 16% to $527.7 million. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 35 cents compared with 30 cents a year earlier. Analysts were expecting a profit of 33 cents on sales of $514.7 million. Looking forward, the firm forecast a first-quarter profit of 34-37 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $510-$525 million. Analysts were expecting a profit of 36 cents on sales of $513.6 million. The company expects fiscal 2012 revenue to rise 10% to $2.15 billion, slightly above the consensus estimate of $2.14 billion.Ten pros held Autodesk in their portfolios at the end of 2010 and almost 150 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
Shares of True Religion (TRLG) surged 19.0% despite the maker of high-end jeans saying its 2011 full-year profit and revenue will miss analyst estimates. The California-based company is forecasting a full-year profit of $1.80 a share on sales of $405 million, while analysts had been expecting a profit of $2.02 a share on sales of $406.8 million. In the fourth quarter, True Religion earned $15.8 million, or 63 cents per share, compared with $14.6 million, or 59 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 20% to $110.9 million. Analysts were expecting a profit of 61 cents on sales of $103.4 million. Same-store sales climbed 7.2%.
Nutrisystem (NTRI) shares plunged -31.2% after the weight-management company forecast a first-quarter loss and a full-year profit that is well below analysts’ estimates. The company said it expects a first-quarter loss of between -30 to -35 cents a share, while analysts had been expecting a profit of 31 cents. For the full year, Nutrisystem is expecting a profit of 40-50 cents, while analysts were forecasting $1.30. In the fourth quarter, Nutrisystem earned $7.1 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with $2.7 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue tumbled -17% to $87.9 million. The profit number was in line with Street estimates, but the revenue number missed the consensus estimate of $100.6 million.
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