Japan and Commodity Prices Showing Up in Earnings (JCI, KMB, RSH, ABX, AAPL, MCP, RZTI)
Stocks ended mixed on the day, with the tech sector showing some strength while much of the rest of the market was sluggish. The impact of Japan and commodity cost inflation showed up in the earnings of Johnson Controls (JCI) and Kimberly Clark (KMB) today, and they both remain issues to watch moving forward. Given the solid earnings from Apple (AAPL) and the chip sector so far, the tech supply chain appears to be in decent shape, but auto parts appears to be a different story. Meanwhile, expect to see increased prices on more items besides food and gas in the coming weeks, as consumer products makers try to pass through their increased costs onto the consumer.
The Rare Earth Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by Molycorp (MCP) with a 7% gain. The Geothermal Stocks Index was the day’s worst performing tickerspy Index, with Raser Technologies (RZTI) down -11%.
Stocks were mixed on the day, with the Nasdaq the only index to finish in positive territory, up 6 points to 2,826. The Dow fell -26 points to 12,480, while the S&P dropped -2 points to 1,335. Oil inched down -1 cent to $112.28 a barrel, while gold advanced $5.30 to $1,509.10 an ounce.
In economic news, the Commerce Department said new home sales rose 11.1% in March to a seasonally adjusted rate of 300,000, topping the 280,000 units economists were expecting to be sold and the 270,000 new units sold in February.
In earnings news, Johnson Controls, the industrial products maker, said its fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 29% to $354 million, or 51 cents a share, from $274 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier as revenue surged 22% to $10.1 billion. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 56 cents. Analysts were expecting a profit of 55 cents on revenue of $9.4 billion. The company raised its full-year revenue forecast to $39.5 billion from $38.5 billion, but pared its fiscal third-quarter profit guidance because of the Japanese earthquake to 51-53 cents a share, which is -16 to -18 cents below previous guidance. Analysts were expecting a third-quarter profit of 67 cents on revenue of $9.7 billion for the quarter. Shares of Johnson controls fell -2.8%.
Consumer products giant Kimberly Clark said its first-quarter profit slid -9% to $372 million, or 86 cents per share, from $411 million, or 92 cents per share, a year earlier as revenue rose 4% to $5.0 billion. Excluding one-time items, Kimberly Clark earned $1.09 a share. Analysts were expecting $1.17. Shares of Texas-based Kimberly Clark fell -2.7%. Nearly 40 pros held Kimberly Clark in their portfolios at the end of 2010, and more than 460 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
Electronics retailer RadioShack (RSH) said its first-quarter profit slumped -30% to $35.1 million, or 33 cents per share, from $50.1 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose just 2% to $1.06 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of 35 cents a share on sales of $1.07 billion. The Texas-based company cut its full-year profit guidance to $1.60-$1.80 a share from $1.60-$1.90 while saying it expects revenue will increase in the low to mid-single digits. Shares of RadioShack were flat on the day.
Shares of Barrick Gold (ABX) tumbled -6.8% after the gold miner offered to buy Equinox Minerals for $7.7 billion in cash, topping an offer for the Canadian company made by China’s Minmetals Resources earlier this month by 16%. Equinox’s board has unanimously approved the Barrick offer. Nearly 120 pros held Barrick Gold in their portfolios at the end of 2010, and more than 840 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
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