Next Week Will Answer Questions (DRI, APOL, SWHC, RENN, UXG)
Despite some mixed economic data, stocks were once again rallying at mid-day. It’s been a great week for stocks, and we’ll see if the momentum can continue next week after the long holiday weekend.
The Social Networking Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index at mid-day, led by Renren (RENN) with a 5% gain. The Gold and Silver Stocks Index was the day’s worst performing tickerspy Index at mid-day, with US Gold (UXG) down -5%.
In early trading, the market was solidly in the black, extending recent gains. Oil and gold, meanwhile, were both trading lower.
On the economic front, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 71.5 in June, down from 74.3 in May. Economists were expecting a reading of 71.9. Elsewhere, the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 55.3% in June from 53.5% in May. Economists were looking for the index to fall to 52.3%.
In earnings news, Darden Restaurants (DRI), the owner of the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse chains, reported fiscal Q4 earnings of $137.4 million, or 99 cents a share, versus $115.6 million, or 80 cents a share, last year. Revenue inched up to $2.0 billion from $1.9 billion, while same-store sales for its three main chains rose 2.2%. Analysts were looking for EPS of $1.00 on sales of $2.0 billion. Looking forward, the company projected FY12 EPS growth of 12-15%, which would equal EPS of between $3.81 to $3.92. Analysts were expecting EPS of $3.82.
For-profit education provider Apollo Group (APOL) saw its fiscal Q3 net income rise 19% to $212.4 million, or $1.51 per share, from $179.3 million, or $1.18 per share, a year earlier. Adjusted EPS fell to $1.45 from $1.74, but topped the $1.33 consensus. Revenue fell -8% to $1.24 billion.
Smith & Wesson (SWHC) posted a fiscal Q4 profit of $1.1 million, or 2 cents per share, down from $2.7 million, or 4 cents per share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS rose to 15 cents from 8 cents. Sales rose to $111.8 million from $103.8 million. The consensus was for the gun maker to report EPS of 4 cents on revenue of $110.0 million. Looking forward, the company expects FY12 sales of between $420-$440 million, solidly above the $413.4 million analyst estimate.
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