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US HOT STOCKS: Quiksilver, Timken, VeriFone, Yelp

    U.S. stocks were trading higher Friday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average recently climbed 33 points to 14,971, the SP 500-stock index edged up 5.4 points to 1,660, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 9.3 points to 3,668. Among the companies with shares actively trading are Quiksilver Inc. (ZQK), Timken Co. (TKR), VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY) and Yelp Inc. (YELP).


    Quiksilver’s ($6.85, +$1.65, +31.73%) third-quarter earnings fell 84% as the sports outfitter was hurt by restructuring-related charges, asset write-downs and other items, as well as lower revenue. But adjusted earnings beat expectations and Chief Executive Andy Mooney said the results “reflect progress on our path toward improving operating efficiencies.”


    Timken’s ($62.33, +$2.07, +3.44%) board has approved a plan to split the company’s steel business from its bearings and power transmission businesses into two publicly traded companies, a move that had been urged by an activist investor and supported by shareholders.


    VeriFone ($22.88, +$2.16, +10.40%) swung to a fiscal third-quarter loss as the maker of card-payment systems’ product sales continued to decline and margins also weakened. However, adjusted earnings and revenue beat VeriFone’s expectations and the company offered upbeat sales guidance for the current quarter.


    Two shops initiated coverage of Yelp Inc. ($62.67, +$3.76, +6.38%) with positive things to say about the company’s position in the mobile and local Internet sectors. Deutsche Bank started its coverage with a buy rating, and Barclays initiated coverage with an overweight rating.

       Other stocks to watch: 

    Ambarella Inc.’s (AMBA, $17.14, +$1.80, +11.73%) fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 20% as the manufacturer of image-processing chips posted a double-digit revenue gain.


    American Tower Corp. (AMT, $72.01, +$3.26, +4.74%) has agreed to buy real-estate investment trust MIP Tower Holdings LLC for about $3.3 billion in cash, a deal that will expand the number of towers it owns and bolster its funds from operations.


    Andersons Inc. (ANDE, $64.05, -$3.85, -5.67%) was cut to hold from buy by BBT, which says the company’s shares are firmly within 10% of its previous price target. “Given an immature 2013 corn crop and limited visibility for 2015, we believe it is prudent to move to the sidelines, at this time.”


    Calfrac Well Services Ltd. (CFW.T, CFWFF, $33.83, +$1.29, +3.97%) has agreed to acquire all of the operating assets of Mission Well Services LLC for about $147 million.


    Conn’s Inc. (CONN, $52.67, -$7.69, -12.74%), whose stock has more than tripled this year, continues to get hit following Thursday’s declines on a weaker-than-expected second-quarter earnings report.


    Senior living services provider Emeritus Corp. (ESC, $19.85, -$1.87, -8.61%) updated its view for the year, saying its key performance indicators have declined relative to expectations.


    Goldman Sachs upgraded online broker E*Trade Financial Corp. (ETFC, $16.31, +$0.76, +4.89%) to buy from neutral, saying the company’s capital plan, recently approved by regulators, could lead to per-share earnings doubling over the next three years.


    Finisar Corp. (FNSR, $23.70, +$0.86, +3.77%) swung to a fiscal first-quarter profit as the telecommunication-equipment provider reported a double-digit jump in revenue and sharply higher gross margins. Results exceeded the company’s expectations and Finisar also issued a rosy outlook for the current quarter. Shares of rival JDS Uniphase Corp. (JDSU, $14.47, +$0.52, +3.69%) also gained.


    Infoblox Inc. (BLOX, $40.75, +$5.51, +15.64%) reported it swung to a stronger-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter profit as the data-center technology company’s revenue and margins climbed.


    Korn/Ferry International’s (KFY, $19.61, +$0.89, +4.75%) fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 9.6% as the executive-search company posted double-digit revenue growth, thanks to a boost from recent acquisitions. Adjusted earnings and fee revenue beat expectations and the company projected fiscal second-quarter earnings above analysts’ estimates.


    Layne Christensen Co. (LAYN, $18.60, -$1.01, -5.15%) fiscal second-quarter loss widened as the company posted a decline in revenue driven by weak results in its mining and geoconstruction segments. The results underperformed Wall Street expectations.



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    Mystic Maggie

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