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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hot Stocks For The Week ....

Among the companies whose shares are actively trading are Netflix Inc. (NFLX), Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) and eBay Inc. (EBAY).




Netflix's ($101.24, +$14.26, +16.39%) first-quarter earnings climbed 44% on record net subscriber additions, leading the online video-rental company to raise its guidance for the full year. Shares hit a new all-time high, and the company scored an upgrade from Citi.



Chipotle's ($141.98, +$15.23, +12.02%) first-quarter profit climbed a higher-than-expected 49% on sales and margin gains. The restaurant chain also boosted its same-store-sales target for the year from flat to mid-single-digit growth on a percentage basis.



EBay's ($24.51, -$1.78, -6.77%) first-quarter earnings rose 11% on revenue growth in both its marketplace and payments segment, but the e-commerce giant disappointed Wall Street with lackluster second-quarter guidance. Analysts said eBay's guidance suggested the company's turnaround efforts are taking a little bit longer than they were expecting.



Baxter International Inc.'s (BAX, $50.71, -$8.24, -13.98%) first-quarter earnings rose 1.7%, in line with its own estimates, as each of its business segments reported increased sales, pushing revenue up by double digits. But the medical-products maker lowered its full-year guidance because of effects related to the recently passed U.S. health-care overhaul and continued plasma market pressures. Competitor Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corp. (TLCR, $19.25, -$2.73, -12.42%), which ranks third in global plasma product sales, also fell, as did Haemonetics Corp. (HAE, $57.27, -$3.35, -5.53%).



American depositary receipts in Nokia Corp. ($13.08, -$1.87, -12.51%) fell after the world's largest handset maker posted a weaker-than-expected rise in first-quarter net profit and cut its margin outlook, amid challenging conditions in the high end of the market.



Delcath Systems Inc. (DCTH, $13.08, +$2.23, +20.55%) announced the Phase III National Cancer Institute-led clinical trial of its liver-cancer treatment exceeded its primary endpoint expectations.





Other Stocks In Focus:

ABB Ltd. (ABB, $20.60, -$1.68, -7.54%) reported a 29% drop in first-quarter net profit due to weak demand for power infrastructure projects, pricing pressure and restructuring charges, raising concerns that increased competition and a sluggish global economy will stall the Swiss firm's recovery. Although Europe's largest electrical engineer by sales was optimistic that the improving global economy should support future earnings, analysts and investors were concerned that still-weak order income, which indicate future sales, and volatile raw material prices could hurt profits.



Align Technology Inc. (ALGN, $17.61, -$1.19, -6.33%) shares declined after the orthodontics-products company loosened the usage rules surrounding its clear, removable dental aligners called Invisalign. The company said it was giving up a requirement that its customers start at least 10 Invisalign cases annually. It conceded that this standard, which doctors needed to meet to maintain their active Invisalign provider status, had frustrated many customers.



Alliance Data Systems Corp.'s (ADS, $72.67, +$4.46, +6.53%) first-quarter profit climbed 67% as its Air Miles program saw continued improvement in both miles awarded and redeemed, which the company said was evidence of improving confidence for cardholders. The results topped analysts' expectations.



Industrial-products distributor Applied Industrial Technologies Inc. (AIT, $27.76, +$0.89, +3.31%) beat expectations with its fiscal first-quarter results. The company said it is encouraged by broad-scale activity it has seen in the industries it serves.



Cabot Microelectronics Corp. (CCMP, $38.51, -$4.18, -9.79%), a supplier of chemical mechanical planarization pads to the semiconductor industry, reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that fell short of Street expectations.



CenturyTel Inc. (CTL, $35.51, -$0.69, -1.91%) and Qwest (Q, $5.51, +$0.27, +5.06%) have agreed to merge in an all-stock deal that values Qwest at about $10.6 billion one of the biggest telecom deals in years. According to the deal, Qwest shareholders will receive 0.1664 share of CenturyLink for each of their Qwest shares, valuing the latter at $6.02 a share, a 15% premium to Wednesday's closing price. Including the assumption of $11.8 billion of Qwest debt, the deal is valued at $22.4 billion.



Citrix Systems Inc.'s (CTXS, $47.20, -$2.63, -5.28%) first-quarter profit surged on year-earlier restructuring costs, as the virtualization and infrastructure software company posted higher revenue in all of its businesses. But the company's second-quarter outlook merely matched expectations.



Israeli drug-discovery company Compugen Ltd. (CGEN, $4.89, +$0.15, +3.16%) said it has developed a Protein-Protein Interaction Blockers discovery platform, which will allow it to predict peptides to block diseases related to protein-protein interactions. In a pilot run, predicted peptides showed positive results for drug targets.



Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc.'s (DO, $85.34, -$4.96, -5.49%) first-quarter earnings fell 17% on surging interest costs as the deepwater driller cut its special dividend by 27%. The company declared a special cash dividend of $1.375 a share, a decline from its recent payments of $1.875 in addition to its regular dividend.



F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV, $71.25, +$4.29, +6.41%) reported better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter results and projected strong fiscal third-quarter results as demand for the Internet services company's BIG-IP family of application delivery controls continued to strengthen.



SunTrust Robinson Humphrey raised its rating on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR, $87.50, +$3.60, +4.29%) to buy from neutral, saying the recent fall in the shares represents a solid buying opportunity. "In our opinion, the growth story is far from over," the firm said, adding that the company is hitting an inflection point in terms of profitability.



Hershey Co.'s (HSY, $47.59, +$2.75, +6.13%) first-quarter earnings doubled as the maker of Kisses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups continued to profit from belt-tightening and price hikes, though sales volumes also climbed. Results handily topped analysts' expectations and the company boosted its 2010 forecast.



Stifel Nicolaus raised Huntington Bancshares Inc. (HBAN, $6.95, +$0.36, +5.46%) to buy from hold, saying the most recent quarter "confirmed that the erosion in Huntington's credit quality that began within 90 days of its ill-timed July 2007 Sky Financial acquisition peaked in 4Q09." CEO Steve Steinour has done an impressive job in his 15 months with the company of rebuilding it into a more competitive and profitability-driven bank, the firm said.



Isilon Systems Inc. (ISLN, $11.97, +$1.56, +14.99%) reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and revenue as sales improved in Europe and Asia and as the data-management and storage company grew its channel business and broadened its footprint with new and existing enterprise customers.



ITT Educational Services Inc.'s (ESI, $113.70, -$4.45, -3.77%) first-quarter profit rose by nearly half as more students enrolled in its schools, but stocks in the education sector remained under pressure as the federal government continues to discuss new regulations for the higher education industry. Among the other big decliners were Grand Canyon Education Inc. (LOPE, $26.31, -$0.66, -2.45%), Corinthian Colleges Inc. (COCO, $18.65, -$0.57, -2.97%) and Career Education Corp. (CECO, $34.78, -$0.92, -2.58%).



Intersil Corp.'s (ISIL, $15.73, -$1.02, -6.09%) higher-than-expected operating expenses disappointed investors, even as the chip maker posted first-quarter results that beat expectations and set guidance for the current quarter above views.



Janus Capital Group Inc. (JNS, $14.26, -$0.91, -6.01%) swung to a profit in the first quarter, aided by a rise in investment fees and absent prior year write-downs. But the company's results missed analysts' expectations and saw net outflows of $1.9 billion.



Leggett & Platt Inc.'s (LEG, $23.94, +$0.80, +3.46%) first-quarter profit surged as the diversified manufacturer handily beat Wall Street estimates on an increase in sales and gross margin. The maker of products ranging from residential furniture to industrial machinery also raised its 2010 outlook.



Life Time Fitness Inc. (LTM, $38.52, +$3.76, +10.82%) reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter amid what the company said were positive trends in reducing attrition and growing same-center revenue. The exercise-center operator reduced its attrition rate to 8.5% from 9.8% a year earlier.



Lionbridge Technologies Inc. (LIOX, $5.14, +$0.61, +13.47%) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM, $128.92, -$0.07, -0.05%) announced a partnership agreement to accelerate development and commercialization of automated translation technology, which instantly translates content such as Web pages, documents and customer support.



Flat-panel maker LG Display Co. (LPL, $20.54, +$0.92, +4.69%) swung to a first-quarter profit from a year earlier, largely helped by firm panel prices on strong demand for liquid crystal displays amid tight supply stemming from continued shortages of key components.



Massey Energy's (MEE, $42.53, -$1.26, -2.88%) first-quarter earnings fell a less-than-expected 23% due to slumping utility demand as the coal producer still reeling from the country's deadliest mine explosion in nearly 40 years decreased its expectations for coal shipments this year.



McClatchy Co. (MNI, $6.17, -$0.66, -9.70%) rebounded from a prior-year loss in the first quarter caused by a steep decline in advertising revenue and restructuring-related charges. But the newspaper publisher's per-share earnings missed the estimate made by the two analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.



MKS Instruments Inc.'s (MKSI, $23.35, +$2.35, +11.19%) first-quarter results widely beat expectations, as the maker of instruments for the semiconductor industry said it continues to see accelerating signs of rapid recovery in its business. It also projected results for the current quarter well above analysts' forecasts.



New York Times Co. (NYT, $12.29, -$0.45, -3.53%) rebounded from a prior-year loss in the first quarter caused by a steep drop in print advertising. The newspaper publisher in the latest quarter reported that total advertising declines continued to moderate, dropping 6%, and cost controls supported the bottom line. But the company suffered a 12% drop in first-quarter print ad revenue versus a year ago, which marked the depths of the U.S. recession. The performance underscores the difficulties newspapers still face, despite the improving economy.



Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Novavax Inc. (NVAX, $2.74, +$0.23, +9.16%) said the Health and Human Services Department has said its proposal to provide flu vaccine products for pandemic preparedness is "in the competitive range" for the award of an advanced contract.



PNC Financial Services Group Inc.'s (PNC, $69.01, +$3.71, +5.68%) first-quarter earnings rose 27%, handily beating analysts' estimates, following year-earlier write-downs as revenue increased and credit-loss provisions fell. "We began to see signs that the pace of credit deterioration had eased at the end of 2009, which is reflected in our lower first quarter provision for credit losses," said Chairman and Chief Executive James Rohr.



Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM, $39.22, -$3.41, -8.00%) swung to a fiscal second-quarter profit on double-digit growth in chip sales following last year's $748 million charge from settling long-standing litigation with Broadcom Corp. (BRCM, $34.92, -$0.31, -0.88%). But the world's largest wireless-chip maker gave a weak view for the current quarter while raising its fiscal-year earnings guidance.



Questar Corp. (STR, $49.26, +$3.40, +7.41%) said it is mulling a spinoff of its natural gas and oil exploration and production operations, which it said would create "two top-tier companies in their respective market segments."



KeyBanc upgraded restaurant chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. (RRGB, $27.60, +$2.22, +8.75%) to buy from hold, saying same-store sales have improved from a successful limited-time-offer strategy and improved consumer sentiment. The company is also increasing prices from discounts to more favorable locations.



Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.'s (RS, $50.77, -$2.80, -5.23%) first-quarter earnings more than doubled on lower costs while weak non-residential construction continued to pressure sales. The steelmaker also projected earnings below Street expectations. Olympic Steel Inc. (ZEUS, $35.12, -$1.55, -4.23%) also declined.



SanDisk Corp. (SNDK, $42.22, +$4.63, +12.32%) swung to a profit on double-digit sales growth as the company posted more than $1 billion in revenue for the first time in a first quarter. The flash-memory device maker's results exceeded expectations.



Sherwin-Williams Co.'s (SHW, $78.80, +$4.49, +6.04%) first-quarter earnings declined 13% as a charge related to the government's health-care overhaul masked higher sales and margins. The paint company sees second-quarter earnings above Street estimates and lifted its full-year targets.



SLM Corp. (SLM, $13.73, +$0.61, +4.65%) swung to a first-quarter profit as net interest income quadrupled and the company set a record for federal student-loan originations. The largest U.S. student lender, commonly known as Sallie Mae, posted results above Wall Street's expectations.



Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its outlook on Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.'s (HOT, $54.24, +$4.19, +8.37%) junk-level credit ratings to positive amid improving prospects for the U.S. lodging sector. S&P said it expects Starwood "could achieve and sustain credit measures appropriate for a one-notch" upgrade from the current BB, putting it on the brink of investment-grade territory.



Sybase Inc. (SY, $45.26, -$1.84, -3.91%) reported its first-quarter profit surged 42%, pushing the technology company to another record quarter on strong demand across all product lines and geographies as the company continues to see stabilization. But it only reiterated its year revenue view something that weighed on the stock.



TCF Financial Corp. (TCB, $18.42, +$2.07, +12.66%) beat analysts' expectations with its first-quarter results as the Minneapolis-based bank holding company said net charge-offs fell for the second straight quarter.



Teradyne Inc. (TER, $13.10, +$0.92, +7.51%) swung to a first-quarter profit the third in a row after a year of red ink as revenue and orders soared and margins increased sharply. The semiconductor testing equipment maker's results topped its guidance and it gave a second-quarter forecast far above analysts' estimates. The stock has more than doubled in the past year.



Textron Inc. (TXT, $24.07, +$2.47, +11.44%) swung to a first-quarter loss as lower sales from its finance and Cessna jets units dragged down revenue. The maker of Cessna planes and Bell helicopters met expectations for the quarter said its defense-related sector was solid and that industrial businesses saw a "significant recovery," strong enough to back its full-year guidance and increase its expectations for some metrics. It even said its looking for a rebound in orders for the struggling business jets and commercial helicopters.



United Rentals Inc. (URI, $12.27, +$1.57, +14.67%) reported a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss as the equipment rental company said it was seeing signs of a more positive environment and now expects to outperform its initial guidance on savings and free cash flow.



-By Dow Jones
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