Today the markets were supposed to be braced for a "Day of Rage" in Saudi Arabia, but that was not to be. An 8.9-magnitude quake in Japan battered Asian markets and Japan in particular. Retail sales came in up 1% rather than 1.2% but that was close enough considering the higher gas prices
in the equation. All in all, today could have been far worse than what we really saw throughout the day in the U.S.
Here were today's unofficial closing bell levels:
Dow Jones 12,044.40 +59.79 (0.50%)
S&P 500 1,304.28 +9.17 (0.71%)
Nasdaq 2,715.61 +14.59 (0.54%)
Top Analyst Upgrades/Downgrades
Top Impact Movers in Japan
Continue reading Closing Bell: A Different Sort of Friday (ARO, HCA, NDN, EWJ, PRMW, ZUMZ)
- Goodyear Tire (GT) to Overweight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.
- Salix (SLXP) to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.
- Euroseas (ESEA) to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital.
- Norfolk Southern (NSC) and Hexcel (HXL) to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.
- BB&T (BBT) and Triangle Capital (TCAP) to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital.
- Mobile TeleSystems (MBT) to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
- Affymax (AFFY) to Buy from Hold at Auriga.
- Vanguard Natural (VNR) and Tortoise Energy (TYY) to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird.
- Protective Life (PL) to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: ARO, BBT, CSX, GT, KR, NSC, ORCL, SWHC ...
), Body Central (BODY
), and Aeropostale (ARO
) are stocks to watch today, as all three are scheduled to report earnings after the bell.
Street consensus for Quiksilver is a reported loss of 5 cents per share, on revenues of $414 million. Wall Street anticipates Body Central earnings of 26 cents per share, on revenues of $62.1 million. Aeropostale, by Street consensus, is expected to report quarterly earnings of 97 cents per share, on revenues of $834.6 million.
Investors who desire more exposure to the broader sectors of retail and apparel should take a look at the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT
Jason is a cofounder of Benzinga.com. Follow Benzinga on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Benzinga
Aeropostale (ARO) primarily competes with other specialty retailers like American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Gap (GPS) and Urban Outfitters (URBN). The company has seen steady growth in its profit margins over the past few years. EBITDA margins have increased from 10.4% in 2005 to around 19% in 2009 as Aeropostale has generated growth in comparable store sales, a metric used to measure retail sales strength.
We expect this trend to continue as the company explores ways to further optimize its supply chain, thereby improving operational efficiency. However, increasing raw material prices and a prolonged weakness in consumer spending could pose a headwind to our optimistic EBITDA margin outlook.
Continue reading Commodity Costs, Weak Consumer Spending Could Dampen Aeropostale Margins
- Boeing (BA) to overweight from neutral at JPMorgan.
- Alcoa (AA) to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank.
- BP (BP) to outperform from market perform at Raymond James.
- Office Depot (ODP) and Staples (SPLS) to buy from neutral at Janney Capital.
- ON Semiconductor (ONNN) to buy from hold at Citigroup.
- Kennametal (KMT) and Polyone (POL) to buy from hold at KeyBanc.
- Airgas (ARG) to outperform from market perform at William Blair.
- EchoStar (SATS) to neutral from underperform at Macquarie.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AA, BA, BP, BSX, COH, GM, INTC, NSM, STJ, TIF, TSN, UA ...
Aéropostale (ARO - option chain) shares are soaring today on rumors that the company could go private in a deal with a private equity company worth $40 per share. ARO has not commented on the rumor. Even if ARO executives do not want to sell, this kind of interest could establish a floor for the stock price. If you think that the stock won't fall by too much in the coming months, then now could be a good time to look at a bullish hedged trade on ARO.
ARO opened this morning at $24.62. So far today the stock has hit a low of $23.98 and a high of $25.00. As of 12:25, ARO is trading at $24.61 up 0.95 (4.0%). The chart for ARO looks bearish and S&P gives ARO a negative 2 STARS (out of 5) sell ranking.
Continue reading Aeropostale Takeover Rumors Swirl
- Cisco (CSCO) to outperform from perform at Oppenheimer.
- Cognizant (CTSH) to buy from neutral at Goldman.
- Polypore (PPO) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
- Elan (ELN) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Millicom (MICC) and NuStar GP Holdings (NSH) to overweight from equal weight at Morgan Stanley.
- Teekay LNG (TGP) to equal weight from underweight at Morgan Stanley.
- American Railcar (ARII) to outperform from market perform at Morgan Keegan.
- Texas Instruments (TXN) to buy from neutral at Sterne Agee.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: ARO, CSCO, CTSH, ELN, EZCH, LEAP, OGE, TXN, WIN ...
Fans of Aeropostale (ARO
) must be pretty shaken Friday. And, no, I don't mean fans of the store itself; I'm referring to those who own the stock.
This is one scary session for the mall retailer, make no mistake about it. The stock closed Thursday's session at $23.04, which means that it was off by 14%. Volume is very high. On Wednesday, the company reported earnings for the third quarter. According to The Wall Street Journal
, Aeropostale made 63 cents per share, but that included a charge of four cents; excluding the latter, it looks as if management beat expectations by a penny
Continue reading Aeropostale: Buy the Sell-Off or Not?
- Time Warner Cable (TWC) was upgraded to outperform from market perform at Bernstein.
- Citigroup upgraded MEMC Electronic (WFR) and Skilled Healthcare (SKH) to buy from hold at Citigroup.
- Administaff (ASF) was upgraded to buy from hold at Roth Capital.
- The Buckle (BKE) was upgraded to buy from hold at KeyBanc.
- BofA/Merrill upgraded DreamWorks (DWA) to neutral from underperform.
- Corrections Corp. (CXW) was upgraded to buy from neutral at SunTrust.
- Marvell Technology (MRVL) was upgraded to positive from neutral at Susquehanna.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: ARO, BA, BKE, DWA, MRVL, SGEN, TWC, WFR ...
- BB&T (BBT) was upgraded to buy from neutral at Janney Montgomery.
- Amylin (AMLN) was upgraded to outperform from market perform at Leerink.
- Wells Fargo upgraded Morton's Restaurant (MRT) to outperform from market perform.
- Check Point (CHKP) was upgraded to overweight from neutral at HSBC.
- Deutsche Bank upgraded Excel Maritime (EXM) to buy from hold.
- JinkoSolar (JKS) was upgraded to buy from hold at Auriga.
- Piper Jaffray upgraded Compellent (CML) to overweight from neutral.
- BofA/Merrill upgraded Crane (CR) to buy from neutral.
- Goldman upgraded Wisconsin Energy (WEC) to conviction buy from buy and American Electric (AEP) to buy from neutral.
- Motorola (MOT) was upgraded due to increasing carrier support by MKM Partners.
- Under Armour (UA) was upgraded to buy from neutral at Sterne Agee.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: ANF, BBT, COH, GPS, JCG, KKR, MOT, OSG, UA, UBS, WEC ...
Aeropostale (ARO), a mall chain with colleagues like American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) and Gap (GPS), reported same-store sales for the month of September this week. They seemed relatively decent to me, even though they didn't measure up to the previous year's performance.
Last month, the company saw a 3% expansion in the metric, according to the press release. By comparison, same-store sales rose 19% in September 2009. Hey, don't fret about it. You're not going to generate growth like that all the time; it just doesn't happen. A 3% increase is fine considering the economy. On a year-to-date basis, comps are higher by 4% versus a gain of 12% in last year's similar frame.
Continue reading Is Aeropostale a Buy After the Latest Comps Report?
- RBC Capital upgraded Brookfield Infrastructure (BIP) to outperform from sector perform with a $20 target. The firm thinks the units' valuation is compelling, while the company's proposed acquisition of assets is positive.
- Stifel upgraded First Horizon (FHN) to buy from hold based on valuation and its path towards normalized profitability. The firm has a $15 price target on the stock.
- KeyBanc upgraded Isle of Capri (ISLE) to buy from hold based on improved earnings growth and valuation. The firm has a $13 target on the stock.
- ATA Inc. (ATAI) was upgraded to neutral from underweight at Piper Jaffray.
- Buckeye Partners (BPL) was upgraded to neutral from sell at Goldman.
- Sinopec (SNP) was upgraded to overweight from neutral at HSBC.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: ANN, BIP, DUK, FHN, ISLE, JCG, POM, RE, SMT ...
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