Topsy-Turvy Action Overshadowed by Europe (PNRA, FFIV, FSLR, BA, ULTI, BIDZ)
It was a topsy-turvy session in the market as a mixed but relatively positive spate of earnings was overshadowed by news revolving around Europe. Reports suggesting that China may be interested in investing in eurozone debt combined with news that EU leaders have agreed on a plan to recapitalize Europe’s biggest banks, requiring them to have “9% of the highest quality capital” by June 2012, boosted stocks. Europe will continue to be a market focus, but barring an unforeseen disaster, we think stocks should perform well heading into year-end. We remain cautiously optimistic.
The Human Resources and Talent Management Software Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by Ultimate Software Group (ULTI) with a 16% gain. The Dotcom Retailer Stocks Index was the day’s worst performing tickerspy Index, with Bidz.com (BIDZ) down -24%.
Stocks rose on the day, with the Dow climbing 162 points, or 1.4%, to 11,869. The S&P jumped 13 points, while the Nasdaq advanced 12 points to 2,651. Oil fell -$2.32 to $90.85 a barrel, while gold rose $23.10 to $1,723.50 an ounce.
In economic news, the Commerce Department said durable goods orders fell -0.8% in September, but excluding transportation orders, the number rose 1.7% and the core reading increased 2.4%. The Commerce Department also said sales of new homes increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 homes, well below the 700,000 sales needed for the housing market to be considered strong.
In earnings news, shares of Panera Bread (PNRA) surged 15.5% after the company issued fourth-quarter and 2012 guidance that topped Wall Street estimates. For the fourth quarter, Panera expects to earn $1.39-$1.41 a share, which is above the $1.37 analysts were expecting. For 2012, Panera forecast a profit of $5.38-$5.48 a share, easily topping the $5.29 analysts were expecting. In its fiscal third-quarter, Panera earned $28.8 million, or 97 cents per share, as revenue rose 22% to $453.1 million. Analysts had expected a profit of 94 cents. Sales at company-owned restaurants open at least 18 months jumped 6% while sales at franchise restaurants rose 3.1%.
Shares of Network equipment maker F5 Networks (FFIV) jumped 14.1% after the company said it expects 2012 revenue to grow at least 20%, implying revenue of $1.38 billion. That tops the $1.35 billion analysts were expecting. The company forecast a fourth-quarter profit of 99 cents to $1.01 a share on revenue of $315-$320 million. Analyst were expecting adjusted earnings of $1.00 a share and revenue of $320 million. For the third quarter, F5 earned $67.6 million, or 84 cents a share, compared with $48.2 million, or 59 cents a share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, F5 earned $1.06 as revenue climbed 24% to $314.6 million. Analysts had expected a profit of 98 cents a share on revenue of $308.5 million. Twelve pros counted F5 Networks among their top holdings at the end of Q2 and nearly 560 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
After plunging -25% on Tuesday on news its CEO is leaving, shares of First Solar (FSLR) rose 6.6% despite the company cutting its full-year profit and operating income guidance. The company said it now expects to earn $6.50-$6.70 a share this year on operating income of $650-$760 million. First Solar previously expected a profit of $9.00-$9.50 a share on operating income of $900-$960 million. The company posted a third-quarter profit of $2.25 a share compared with $2.04 a share a year earlier as revenue rose 26% to $1.01 billion.
Shares of Dow component Boeing (BA) climbed 4.5% after the airplane said its third-quarter profit surged 31% to $1.1 billion, or $1.46 a share, from $837 million, or $1.12 a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased nearly 5% to $17.7 billion. Analysts had expected a profit of $1.10 a share. Boeing raised its full-year profit outlook to $4.30-$4.40 a share from $3.90-$4.40. The company lowered the top end of its revenue forecast to $70 billion from $71 billion. Nearly 60 pros held Boeing in their portfolios at the end of Q2 and more than 1,260 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
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