Related EGHT Mid-Day Market Update: Dow Rises 50 Points; H&R Block Shares Decline Following Weak Q3 Results Summit: Time To Buy 8×8 Related NQ Mid-Day Market Update: Crude Oil Down Over 3%; Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Shares Rise Following Positive Kidney Disease Drug Data NQ Mobile Gains 5% Following Insider Purchase Agreement
Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.05 percent to 17,918.07 while the NASDAQ declined 0.08 percent to 4,943.37. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.01 percent to 2,082.67.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Thursday, telecommunications services shares gained by 0.42 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included 8×8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT), up 4 percent, and NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE: NQ), up 2 percent.
In trading on Thursday, basic materials shares fell by 0.45 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (ADR) (NYSE: SID), down 13 percent, and Dominion Diamond Corp (NYSE: DDC), down 9 percent.
Top 10 Services Stocks For 2016: Williams-Sonoma Inc.(WSM)
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. operates as a specialty retailer of home products. It offers culinary and serving equipment, including cookware, cookbooks, cutlery, informal dinnerware, glassware, table linens, specialty foods, and cooking ingredients; and bridal and gift items under the Williams-Sonoma brand name. The company also provides home furnishing categories, including furniture, textiles, decorative accessories, lighting, and tabletop items under the West Elm brand name; bed and bath products under the Pottery Barn brand name; and children?s furnishings and accessories under the Pottery Barn Kids brand name. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. sells its home products through four retail store concepts, which include Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm; six direct-mail catalogs that comprise Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Bed and Bath, PBteen, and West Elm; and six e-commerce Websites, which consist of williams-sonoma.com, potte rybarn.com, potterybarnkids.com, pbteen.com, westelm.com, and wshome.com. As of January 30, 2011, it operated 592 stores, including 260 Williams-Sonoma, 193 Pottery Barn, 85 Pottery Barn Kids, 36 West Elm, and 18 outlet stores located in 44 states of the United States; Washington, D.C.; Canada; and Puerto Rico. The company was founded in 1956 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM) is estimated to post its quarterly earnings at $0.50 per share on revenue of $1.08 billion. Williams-Sonoma shares gained 1.50 percent to close at $50.88 on Tuesday.
Top 10 Services Stocks For 2016: Outerwall Inc.(OUTR)
Outerwall Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides automated retail solutions primarily in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Its Redbox segment owns and operates approximately 40,480 Redbox kiosks in 33,060 locations that enable consumers to rent or purchase movies and video games. The companys Coinstar segment owns and operates approximately 20,930 coin-counting kiosks in 19,660 locations, which enable consumers to convert their coin to cash, convert coins and paper bills to stored value products, and exchange gift cards for cash. The companys ecoATM segment owns and operates approximately 2,250 kiosks in 2,020 locations that enable consumers to purchase and sell electronic devices for cash at self-service kiosks. Its ecoATM segment also operates gazelle.com, a direct-to-consumer online solution for the purchase and sale of certain electronic devices for cash. The companys other co ncepts and investments include identifying, evaluating, building, acquiring, and developing self-service concepts in the automated retail space. The company was formerly known as Coinstar, Inc. and changed its name to Outerwall Inc. in June 2013. Outerwall Inc. was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Shares of Outerwall Inc (NASDAQ: OUTR) surged over 8 percent in Monday’s after-hours trading session following news for investors the company has begun the process of exploring strategic and financial alternatives. Outerwall’s Board also announced the raising of the company’s quarterly dividend from $0.30 to $0.60 per share. Outerwall shares jumped 8.11 percent to $37.18 in the after-hours trading session.
Top Gas Utility Stocks To Watch For 2016: MEDIFAST INC(MED)
Medifast, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the production, distribution, and sale of weight management and disease management products, and other consumable health and diet products in the United States. The company?s product lines include weight and disease management, meal replacement, and vitamins. It also operates weight control centers that offer Medifast programs for weight loss and maintenance, customized patient counseling, and inbody composition analysis. The company markets its products under the Medifast and Essential brand names, including shakes, appetite suppression shakes, women?s health shakes, diabetics shakes, joint health shakes, coronary health shakes, calorie burn drinks, calorie burn flavor infusers, antioxidant shakes, antioxidant flavor infusers, bars, crunch bars, soups, chili, oatmeal, pudding, scrambled eggs, hot cocoa, cappuccino, chai latte, iced teas, fruit drinks, pretzels, puffs, brownie, pancakes, soy crisps, crackers, and omega 3 and digestive health products. Medifast Inc. sells its products through various channels of distribution comprising Web, call center, independent health advisors, medical professionals, weight loss clinics, and direct consumer marketing supported via the phone and the Web; Take Shape for Life, a physician led network of independent health coaches; and weight control centers. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.
- [By Lisa Levin]
In trading on Friday, non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares rose by just 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Medifast Inc (NYSE: MED), down 5 percent, and Bridgford Foods Corporation (NASDAQ: BRID), down 6 percent.
Top 10 Services Stocks For 2016: Starbucks Corporation(SBUX)
Starbucks Corporation purchases and roasts whole bean coffees. It operates approximately 16,858 stores, including 8,833 company-operated stores and 8,025 licensed stores. The company offers approximately 30 blends and single-origin premium arabica coffees. It also provides handcrafted beverages, such as fresh-brewed coffee, hot and iced espresso beverages, coffee and non-coffee blended beverages, Vivanno smoothies, and Tazo teas; and merchandise products, including home espresso machines, coffee brewers and grinders, coffee mugs and accessories, packaged goods, music, books, and gift items. In addition, it offers fresh food items, which comprise baked pastries, sandwiches, salads, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, and fruit cups. Further, it also provides VIA ready brew coffee, bottled frappuccino beverages, discoveries chilled cup coffee, doubleshot espresso drinks, iced coffee, whole bean coffee, and ice creams. The company?s brand portfolio includes Tazo tea, Ethos water, Seatt le?s Best Coffee, and Torrefazione Italia Coffee. Starbucks Corporation sells its products in approximately 50 countries worldwide. Starbucks Corporation was founded in 1971 and is based in Seattle, Washington.
- [By Reuters]
Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images Coffee chain Starbucks has asked U.S. customers to leave their guns at home after being dragged into an increasingly fractious debate over U.S. gun rights in the wake of multiple mass shootings. While many U.S. restaurant chains and retailers don’t allow firearms on their properties, Starbucks’ policy had been to default to local gun laws, including “open carry” regulations in many U.S. states that allow people to bring guns into stores. In August, this led gun-rights advocates to hold a national “Starbucks Appreciation Day” to thank the firm for its stance, pulling the company deeper into the fierce political fight. Locations for Starbucks Appreciation Day events included Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were shot dead in an elementary school in December. Starbucks (SBUX) closed that shop before the event was scheduled to begin. Chief executive Howard Schultz said in an open letter to customers late Tuesday that Starbucks Appreciation Day events “disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of ‘open carry.’ To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores.” The coffee chain didn’t, however, issue an outright ban on guns in its nearly 7,000 company-owned cafes, saying this would potentially require staff to confront armed customers. The Seattle-based company hoped to give “responsible gun owners a chance to respect its request,” Schultz said. The CEO told Reuters the policy change wasn’t the result of the Newtown Starbucks Appreciation Day event, which prompted the Newtown Action Alliance to call on the company to ban guns at all of its U.S. stores. Nor was it in response to the mass shootings this week at the Washington Navy Yard. “We’ve seen the ‘open carry’ debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening,” Schultz wrote, noting that “some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction,” at times soliciting and confronting empl
- [By Victor Mora]
Starbucks provides in-demand coffee and tea products and services to consumers around the world. The company is reportedly ready to expand to Colombia, where it sources most of its beans. The stock has been flying higher in recent years and is now trading at all-time high prices. Over the past four quarters, earnings and revenues have been rising, which have led to upbeat investors in the company. Relative to its peers and sector, Starbucks has been a year-to-date performance leader. Look for Starbucks to continue to OUTPERFORM.
Top 10 Services Stocks For 2016: Stage Stores, Inc.(SSI)
Stage Stores, Inc. operates as a specialty department store retailer in small and mid-sized towns and communities in the United States. Its merchandise portfolio comprises moderately priced brand name and private label apparel, accessories, cosmetics, footwear, and home goods. The company also offers merchandise direct-to-consumer through its e-commerce Website and send program. As of January 30, 2016, it operated 834 specialty department stores in 39 states and a direct-to-consumer channel under the BEALLS, GOODY’S, PALAIS ROYAL, PEEBLES, and STAGE nameplates. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Stage Stores Inc (NYSE: SSI) shares fell 15.11 percent to $5.00 in pre-market trading after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q1 results and lowered its full-year outlook.
Top 10 Services Stocks For 2016: Liberty Interactive Corporation(QVCA)
Liberty Interactive Corporation, incorporated on February 28, 2006, owns interests in subsidiaries and other companies, which are primarily engaged in the video and online commerce industries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, the Company operates in North America, Europe and Asia. The Company’s principal businesses and assets include its subsidiaries QVC, Inc. (QVC), zulily, llc (zulily), Bodybuilding.com, LLC (Bodybuilding) and CommerceHub and Evite, Inc. (Evite). The Company’s segments include QVC, zulily, and Corporate and other.
Bodybuilding is an e-retailer of nutritional and dietary supplements. Bodybuilding also hosts an online health and fitness publication, offering free daily fitness content, workouts, video-based training plans, recipes, health advice and motivational stories. The online e-retail model combines detailed product information and real-time user reviews on approximately 15,000 health and fitness supplements and accessories.
CommerceHub provides a cloud-based e-commerce fulfillment and marketing software platform of integrated supply, demand and delivery solutions for large retailers, online marketplaces and digital marketing channels, as well as consumer brands, manufacturers, distributors and other market participants. CommerceHub’s software platform acts as a hub that allows trading partners to conduct omni-channel commercial relationships in consumer and business-to-business e-commerce markets. Approximately 9,500 trading partners have access to CommerceHub’s platform daily to exchange critical information with each other, including orders, invoices, product information and other electronic documents. Evite is an online invitation and social event planning service on the Web. In addition to invitations, Evite also offers party ideas, planning checklists and other tools.
QVC markets and sells a range of consumer products primarily through live merchandis e-focused televised shopping programs distributed to approxi! mately 360 million households each day and through its Websites, including QVC.com, and other interactive media, such as mobile applications. In the United States, QVC distributes its programming live 24 hours per day, 364 days per year and presents on over 770 products every week. Internationally, QVC distributes live programming 8 to 24 hours per day, depending on the market. QVC classifies its products into over six groups: home, beauty, apparel, jewelry, accessories and electronics. QVC’s televised shopping programs reached approximately 140 million television households outside of the United States, primarily in Germany, Austria, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Italy and France. In addition, QVC’s joint venture in China reached approximately 110 million homes. Internationally, QVC-International also broadcasts pre-recorded shows on additional channels that offer viewers access to a range of QVC programming options. These channels include QVC Beauty & Style and QVC Plus in Germany and QVC Beauty, QVC Extra, QVC Style and QVC +1 in the United Kingdom.
QVC distributes its television programs, through satellite and optical fiber, to cable television and direct-to-home satellite system operators for retransmission to their subscribers in the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France and neighboring countries. In the United States, QVC uplinks its analog and digital programming transmissions using a third-party service. QVC’s Web and mobile platforms are integrated with its televised programming and product distribution capabilities.
Zulily is an online retailer. Zulily’s merchandise includes women’s, children’s and men’s apparel, children’s merchandise and other products, such as kitchen accessories and home decor. Zulily launches a range of flash sales events. These events feature thousands of product styles from different vendors and typically last for over 70 h ours. Zulily acquires new e-mail subscribers through a set o! f paid an! d unpaid marketing channels, including affiliate channels and partners, customer referrals, direct navigation, display advertising, key word search campaigns, search engine optimization, social media and television ads. Zulily acquires customers once through paid and unpaid sources, and then drives engagement and repeat purchases from those customers over a long period of time through the sending of daily e-mails and mobile push communications.
The Company competes with Amazon, Travelocity, Priceline, American Express and Navigant International.
- [By Scott Rubin]
Stock gainers included Mercadolibre Inc (NASDAQ: MELI), up almost 14 percent, and Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: NUS), which added 12 percent. The positive gains in both stocks were due to strong earnings reports. Shares of Liberty Interactive Group (NASDAQ: QVCA) plunged almost 22 percent on Friday due to disappointing sales growth in its fiscal second quarter. Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE: BMY) lost 16 percent after a disappointing study involving its Opdivo drug.
Top 10 Services Stocks For 2016: Annaly Capital Management Inc(NLY)
Annaly Capital Management, Inc. owns a portfolio of real estate related investments in the United States. It invests in various types of agency mortgage-backed securities and related derivatives to hedge these investments; and residential credit investments, such as credit risk transfer securities and non-agency mortgage-backed securities. The company also acquires, finances, and manages commercial loans and other commercial real estate debt, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and other commercial real estate-related assets. In addition, it engages in corporate middle market lending transactions; and operates as a broker-dealer. The company has elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust (REIT). As a REIT, it is not subject to federal income tax to the extent that it distributes its taxable income to its shareholders. Annaly Capital Management, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is based in New York, New York.
- [By Amanda Alix]
It was just about one year ago that QE3 made its debut, and mortgage REITs, particularly agency-only players like Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY ) , Armour Residential (NYSE: ARR ) , and American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC ) began moaning about the increased competition for mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Hatteras Financial (HTS) has jumped 9.4% to $15.60 after agreeing to be purchased byAnnaly Capital Management (NLY) for $1.5 billion.Annaly Capital Management has dropped 1.1% to $$10.30.
- [By Boniface Murigu]
It’s no secret that mREITs such as American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC ) (NASDAQ: AGNC ) (NASDAQ: AGNC ) , Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY ) (NYSE: NLY ) (NYSE: NLY ) ,and CYS Investmentshave gone through a very turbulent trading period, with all major players losing a sizable share of market value.
Top 10 Services Stocks For 2016: Home Depot, Inc. (The)(HD)
The Home Depot, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer. It operates The Home Depot stores that sell various building materials, home improvement products, and lawn and garden products, as well as provide installation, home maintenance, and professional service programs to do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me (DIFM), and professional customers. The company offers installation programs that include flooring, cabinets, countertops, water heaters, and sheds; and professional installation in various categories sold through its in-home sales programs, such as roofing, siding, windows, cabinet refacing, furnaces, and central air systems, as well as acts as a contractor to provide installation services to its DIFM customers through third-party installers. It primarily serves home owners; and renovators/remodelers, general contractors, repairmen, installers, small business owners, and tradesmen. The company also sells its products throug h online. As of December 31, 2015, it had 2,274 stores, including 1,977 in the United States, 182 in Canada, and 115 in Mexico. The Home Depot, Inc. was founded in 1978 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Credit Suisse analystSeth Sigman and team see slowing growth for Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW) when they release their earnings but also believe that should remain a bright spot in retail:
Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News
We see limited/less upside for HD and LOW in Q2relative to prior quarters, and expect sequentially lower growth, as iswell documented by now. But, we expect Q2 results to outshine whatseems to be a weakening broader retail landscape, and we believeresults improved throughout the quarter as data today confirmed.Further, these stocks have underperformed the market by ~300 bpssince reporting Q1. As such, if one wants retail exposure, HD/LOWshould remain a good place to be.
Shares of Home Depot have fallen 0.6% to $136.16 at 2:14 p.m. today, while Lowe’s has dipped 0.1% to $81.53.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Credit Suisse analysts Seth Sigman and Kieran McGrath argue that both Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW) will beat first -quarter earnings forecasts, but Home Depot is a “better way to play” earnings. They explain why:
Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News
Home Depot/Lowe’s are positioned to deliver upside to Q1 expectations. With that relatively well known, our incremental analysis revisits the differences in housing trends and demand drivers inHome Depot vs.Lowe’s markets down to the store-level, helping explain the recent comps gap, as well as assess the sales and margin upside or recoverability inLowe’s case, as that remains a key consideration for investors and valuation.
The call: We believeHome Depot is the better way to play Q1 (even as these stocks move together on a longer term basis), as its markets have still outperformed Lowe’s, and its Pro oriented categories likely benefited more from weather. For Lowe’s, based on its market differences and more challenging seasonal trends in April, we assume the gap remains wide and similar to 4Q15. That said, our analysis supports thatLowe’s has opportunities to narrow the gap as the year goes on. And its EPS outlook on its own supports upside to its stock.
Shares of Home Depot have gained 0.5% to $136.37 at 3:25 p.m. today, while Lowe’s has risen 0.6% to $75.98.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
We wondered if Advance Auto Parts (AAP) just had a bad quarter or something more serious, whether there was beauty in being boring for Home Depot (HD), and just how risky Ford Motors’ (F) autonomous driving plan might be.
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Home Depot (HD) is enjoying some strong performance in 2013. Shares of the world’s largest home improvement retailer have rallied more than 22% since the calendar flipped over to January, besting the broad market’s impressive climb higher over the same period. More recently, HD has been tracking sideways, but that doesn’t mean that the upside is over in this home improvement stock. Here’s how to trade it.
HD is currently forming a rectangle pattern, a setup that’s formed by a horizontal resistance level above shares at $80 and horizontal support below shares at $72. The setup gets its name because those two lines effectively “box in” shares of Home Depot right now. That makes it an “if/then trade.”
An if/then trade is a contingent trade that doesn’t have directional bias — in other words, the ultimate direction of the trade is determined by the direction that HD breaks out of its channel. So, if HD breaks above resistance at $80, then it’s time to buy shares. If they slide below $72 support, then it’s time to short. There’s no trade until one of those conditions is met.
Top 10 Services Stocks For 2016: H&R Block, Inc.(HRB)
H&R Block, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides tax preparation, banking, and other services to the general public primarily in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The company offers assisted income tax return preparation and related services through a system of retail offices operated directly by the company or by franchisees; and online tax services, such as tax advice, professional and do-it-yourself (DIY) tax return preparation, and electronic filing services through its Website hrblock.com. It also develops and markets DIY desktop income tax preparation software; and develops and provides applications for mobile devices, which offer tax and related services. In addition, the company provides refund anticipation checks, H&R Block Emerald Advance lines of credit and Prepaid MasterCard, and Peace of Mind Extended Service Plan, Tax Identity Shield, and Cash Back refund discount programs. Further, it offers tradition al retail banking services primarily to its assisted and DIY tax clients. The company was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Shares of H & R Block Inc (NYSE: HRB) surged over 12 percent on Friday as the company reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter and lifted its quarterly dividend to $0.22 per share. H & R Block shares gained 0.29 percent to $24.30 in the after-hours trading session.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
H&R Block (HRB) has climbed 3.1% to $22.20 after beating earnings forecasts by a penny and hiking its dividend.
Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) has gained 1.2% to $5.16 after getting upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Macquarie.
- [By Lisa Levin]
H & R Block Inc (NYSE: HRB) was down, falling around 14 percent to $20.42 as the company reported a disappointing tax season. The company announced plans to lower 13 percent of its workforce. Oppenheimer downgraded H&R Block from Outperform to Perform.
Top 10 Services Stocks For 2016: Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc.(WEN)
The Wendy’s Company operates as a quick-service hamburger company in the United States. The company, through its subsidiary, Wendy’s International, Inc., operates as a franchisor of the Wendy’s restaurant system. As of December 26, 2011, the Wendy’s system comprised approximately 6,500 franchise and company restaurants in the United States and the United States territories, as well as in 26 other countries worldwide. The company was formerly known as Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc. and changed its name to The Wendy’s Company in July 2011. The Wendy’s Company was founded in 1884 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Analysts expect Wendys Co (NASDAQ: WEN) to report its quarterly earnings at $0.06 per share on revenue of $352.08 million. Wendys shares rose 1.79 percent to $11.38 in after-hours trading.