Investors who’ve waited patiently for shares of Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) to get cheap have gotten their chance. Despite stronger-than-expected growth in the company’s commercial cloud business during its fiscal third quarter, Microsoft shares are down more than 4% in after-hour session Thursday.
Microsoft’s cloud-first strategy, implemented by under CEO Satya Nadella, has paid huge dividends for the company, whose shares were near all-time highs heading into Thursday’s results. But valuation concerns had crept in, suggesting that growth expectations were too high. Microsoft, at least for one quarter, couldn’t deliver. Let’s go through the numbers.
The Quarter that Was
For the quarter that ended March, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant earned a net income of $3.76 billion, or 47 cents a share, which declined from $4.99 billion, or 61 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. On an adjusted basis, when taking out one-time gains and costs, the company earned 62 cents a share, which was 2 cents shy of Street estimates.
Top Cheap Companies To Buy Right Now: UnitedHealth Group Incorporated(UNH)
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated provides healthcare services in the United States. Its Health Benefits segment offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services to national employers, public sector employers, mid-sized employers, small businesses, and individuals; and non-employer based insurance options for purchase by individuals. It also provides health and well-being services for individuals aged 50 and older; and for services dealing with chronic disease and other specialized issues for older individuals, as well as health plans for the beneficiaries of acute and long-term care Medicaid plans. This segment offers its services through a network of 730,000 physicians and other health care professionals, and 5,300 hospitals. Its OptumHealth segment provides health, financial, and ancillary services and products that assist consumers through personalized health management solutions; benefit administration, and clinical and network management; health-based financi al services; behavioral solutions; and specialty benefits, such as dental, vision, life, critical illness, short-term disability, and stop-loss product offerings. The company?s Ingenix segment offers database and data management services, software products, publications, consulting and actuarial services, business process outsourcing services, and pharmaceutical data consulting and research services. Its Prescription Solutions segment provides integrated pharmacy benefit management services comprising retail network pharmacy contracting and management, claims processing, mail order pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy, benefit design consultation, rebate contracting and management, drug utilization review, formulary management programs, disease therapy management, and adherence programs to employer groups, union trusts, managed care organizations, Medicare-contracted plans, Medicaid plans, and third party administrators. The company was founded in 1974 and is based in Minn e tonka, Minnesota.
- [By Javier Hasse] Related AAPL 6 High-Quality Tech Stocks To Buy On The Dip Dr. Dre TV Show 'Vital Signs' Coming To Apple Review Of PostCapitalism By Paul Mason And The Winning Of The Carbon War By Jeremy Leggett (Seeking Alpha) Related WMT Your Recession Playbook: Avoid These Stocks, Buy Ross Stores Wal-Mart's Troubles Extend Beyond Brazil: Beware The U.K. Plug Power: Home Depot Gains Anchor Traction As Plans For A Second DC Emerge (Seeking Alpha) The Dow Jones Industrial Average(INDEXDJX:.DJI) tracks the performance of 30 major U.S. companies, from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) to UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE: UNH) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT). The index has lost more than 8.5 percent since the beginning of the year. But, is there a way to capitalize from future declines or surges? Well, there always are binary options.
2016 has been quite volatile for the Dow. So, a few questions arise. Where will the index go next? Will it continue to surge? Or, will it fall once again? And, is there a way to bet on its performance over the short term without being exposed to high risks and collateral?
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Clinton 15 stock basket (DBUSCLNT): UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Humana (HUM), McKesson (MCK), Aecom (ACM), Quanta Services (PWR), ExxonMobil (XOM), Alcoa (AA), NextEra Energy (NEE), Cree (CREE), First Solar (FSLR), Facebook (FB), Netflix (NFLX), Prudential Financial (PRU), Citigroup (C), Union Pacific (UNP).
- [By Reuters]
Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images NEW YORK — Walgreen is moving 120,000 employees to a private health insurance exchange from coverage provided directly from carriers, the company will announce Wednesday. The pharmacy chain will join 17 other large employers on the Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange as part of a growing movement to offer employees fixed dollar amounts to purchase their own plans on such exchanges. The end-cost to employees depends on the plan chosen, but they typically get more options than under traditional arrangements. Private exchanges mimic the coverage mandated as part of the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment in the public exchanges starts Oct. 1. “What happens to employer contributions over time? Will they put in as much as they put in the past? These are unanswered questions but potential negatives,” says Paul Fronstin, a senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The benefit to Walgreen and other employers is unknown at this point, as their cost-savings aren’t clear. Of the 180,000 Walgreen (WAG) employees eligible for health care insurance, 120,000 opted for coverage for themselves and 40,000 family members. Another 60,000 employees, many of them working part-time, weren’t eligible for health insurance. Aon Hewitt (AON) says other participants in its program include retailer Sears Holding (SHLD) and Darden Restaurants (DRI). These new additions raise enrollment to 330,000 from 100,000 last year, and Aon Hewitt estimates enrollment will jump to 600,000 next year, a fivefold increase from 2012. By 2017, nearly 20 percent of employees nationwide could get their health insurance through a private exchange, according to Accenture Research (ACN). A recent report by the National Business Group on Health said that 30 percent of large employers are considering moving active employees to exchanges by 2015. Other major providers of private exchanges include Mercer, a division of Marsh & Mc
Top Cheap Companies To Buy Right Now: Sirius XM Radio Inc.(SIRI)
Sirius XM Radio Inc. provides satellite radio services in the United States and Canada. It broadcasts a programming lineup of approximately 135 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news and information, talk and entertainment, traffic, and weather on subscription fee basis through two satellite radio systems in the United States; and holds an interest in the satellite radio services offered in Canada. The company also simulcasts music and selected non-music channels over the Internet; and offers applications to allow consumers to access its Internet services on mobile devices. As of December 31, 2010, it had 20,190,964 subscribers. In addition, the company designs, establishes specifications, sources or specifies parts and components, and manages various aspects of the logistics and production of satellite radios; licenses its technology to various electronics manufacturers to develop, manufacture, and distribute radios under various brands; and imports radios distri buted through its Websites. The company?s satellite radios are primarily distributed through automakers, retailers, and its Websites. Further, it provides music services for commercial establishments; a satellite television service to offer music channels as part of certain programming packages on the DISH Network satellite television service; music and comedy channels to mobile phone users through mobile phone carriers; Backseat TV, a service offering television content designed primarily for children in the backseat of vehicles; Travel Link, a suite of data services that include graphical weather, fuel prices, sports schedules and scores, and movie listings; and real-time traffic and weather services. The company was formerly known as Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and changed its name to Sirius XM Radio Inc. in August 2008. Sirius XM Radio Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in New York, New York.
- [By Javier Hasse]
As stated above, the market strength led to net selling of some big companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), which rebounded in July. Similar was the situation for Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST), Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) and General Electric Company (NYSE: GE).
Top 5 Japanese Stocks To Watch Right Now: Kohl’s Corporation(KSS)
Kohl?s Corporation operates department stores in the United States. The company?s stores offer private and exclusive, as well as national branded apparel, footwear, and accessories for women, men, and children; soft home products, such as sheets and pillows; and housewares primarily to middle-income customers. As of January 29, 2011, it operated 1,089 stores in 49 states. The company also offers on-line shopping on its Web site at Kohls.com. Kohl?s Corporation was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Kohl’s (KSS) are getting killed today after the retailer cut its full-year guidance as profit margins shrank. Citigroup’s Paul Lejuez and Tracy Kogan have the details:
Gabe Hernandez/The Monitor/Associated Press
Not unlike its department store peers, Kohl’s had a tough 4Q. Though comps were up slightly (+0.4%), it was below consensus of +1.7% (though inline with our flat forecast) and margins were significantly below plan as the company needed promotions to drive sales. As we indicated in our 1/4/16 report An Object In Motion(Retail Physics Hold True For Holiday), we believe elevated inventories at dept stores will pressure GM in 1Q (and we believe this will hold true for Kohl’s). Given the tough landscape, and with 1,000+ stores across the country, we believe Kohl’s will continue to be challenged to drive sales and earnings higher, despite its many in-store initiatives. We reiterate our Neutral rating…We are lowering our 2015E/2016E from $4.25/$4.29 to $4.00/$3.91. For 2016 we model comps 0-(1)% and op margin of 7.4% (down 80bps). We are lowering our TP from $49 to $46 to reflect our forecast reduction.
Shares of Kohl’s have tumbled 16% to $43.04 at 11:28 a.m. today, while Macy’s (M) has dropped 2.6% to $40.56, and Nordstrom (JWN) has fallen 5.7% to $47.64.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Credit Suisse analysts Michael Exstein and Anjani Vedula call Kohl’s (KSS) the “canary in the coal mine” for mall retailers. They explain why:
Rarely does a sector see a secular shift as dramatic as the one now occurring in retail in general and the mall anchors specifically. After last year’s poor operating and stock performance, many retail investors are now expecting a significant cyclical recovery in margins. However, we do not think this is a realistic expectation because mall anchors’ expense structures have fundamentally changed for two reasons: 1) sales mix has shifted towards the lower margin e-commerce channel; 2) brick & mortar operating margins are increasingly pressured (on both an absolute dollar basis as well as % of sales basis), leading to lower operating margins in aggregate.
Using Kohl’s 10-K disclosure to illustrate this shift. We illustrate this secular shift in mall anchors’ expense structures by modelling the breakout in operating income for Kohl’s brick & mortar business (B&M) versus their e-commerce business. Kohl’s gives more details on the shift in SG&A than its peers, making it easier to illustrate the pressures the industry is under. In fact, in spite of the pressures, Kohl’s has maintained relatively constant sales as well as gross margins, no small feat considering they are absorbing shipping & handling charges associated with e-commerce. In effect, we are using Kohl’s as the “canary in the coal mine”, as a preview of a larger secular issue facing the mall anchor sector…
While all retailers with an e-commerce business are exposed to these secular changes to some degree, those with a higher e-commerce penetration are more exposed, sooner. On the brick & mortar operations side, those retailers with the lowest wage rates are likely to be most impact by the essentially industry-wide wage increases brought on b
Top Cheap Companies To Buy Right Now: S&P Smallcap 600(PH)
Parker Hannifin Corporation manufactures fluid power systems, electromechanical controls, and related components worldwide. Its Industrial segment offers pneumatic and electromechanical components, and systems; filters, systems, and instruments to monitor and remove contaminants from fuel, air, oil, water, and other liquids and gases; connectors that control, transmit, and contain fluid; hydraulic components and systems for builders and users of industrial and mobile machinery and equipment; critical flow components for process instrumentation, healthcare, and ultra-high-purity applications; and static and dynamic sealing devices. This segment sells its products to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their replacement markets in the manufacturing, transportation, and processing industries. The company?s Aerospace segment provides flight control systems and components, including hydraulic, electrohydraulic, electric backup hydraulic, electrohydrostatic, and electro -mechanical components for precise control of aircraft rudders, elevators, ailerons, and other aerodynamic control surfaces. It also provides electronics thermal management heat rejection systems, and single-phase and two-phase heat collection systems for radar, ISAR, and power electronics. This segment markets its products primarily to OEMs in the commercial, military, and general aviation markets, as well as to end users. Its Climate and Industrial Controls segment offers systems and components primarily for use in the mobile and stationary refrigeration, and air conditioning industry; and in fluid control applications in various industries, such as processing, fuel dispensing, beverage dispensing, and mobile emissions. This segment serves OEMs and their replacement markets. Parker-Hannifin Corporation markets its products through direct-sales employees, independent distributors, wholesalers, and sales representatives. The company was founded in 1918 and is headquartered i n Cleveland, Ohio.
- [By Charles Mizrahi, President and CEO, Hampton Investors, Inc.]
Parker Hannifin (PH) generates strong revenue from its aerospace division, while its primary industrial segment is lagging.
Overall, we like the company’s balanced portfolio. PH had solid order rates this past year with backlog of $3.6 billion between its industrial and aerospace segments.
Top Cheap Companies To Buy Right Now: Emerson Electric Company(EMR)
Emerson Electric Co. operates as a diversified manufacturing and technology company. The company engages in appliance solutions, climate technologies, industrial automation, motor technology, network power, process management, professional tools, and storage solutions businesses. Its appliance solutions business provides appliance controls, appliance motors, heating products, and white-rodgers; climate technology business provides heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) solutions for residential, industrial, and commercial applications; and industrial automation business offers bearings and power transmission products, electrical power generation products, electric motors, variable speed drives and servos, electrical products, material joining solutions, fluid automation products, and wind turbine systems. The company?s motor technology business provides appliance motors, HVACR motors, DC motors, fractional horsepower motors, integral horsepower a nd larger motors, and drives; network power business provides power, precision cooling, connectivity, and embedded solutions; and process management business provides various wireless related products from self-organizing field networks to wireless asset and people tracking. Its professional tools business offers pipe working and threading equipment, pressing technology, utility locating and visual diagnostics systems, drain maintenance tools, power tools, air tools, general purpose hand tools, wet/dry vacs, job site storage equipment, truck tool boxes and equipment, and van storage equipment; and storage solutions business provides shelving and storage products for residential, commercial, and foodservice needs, as well as offers specialized carts, mobile computer workstations, and cabinet fixtures. The company was founded in 1890 and is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Industrial companies like Dover (DOV), Emerson Electric (EMR), Eaton (ETN), 3M (MMM) and Rockwell Automation (ROK) are calling for earnings growth to get better during the second half of the year. Bernstein’s Steven Winoker and team aren’t feeling as confident:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
3) Other downside catalysts have come and gone, such asEmerson Electric (EMR) effectively ruling out aRockwell deal;
4) However, our view that the upward trajectory in customer capex spending remains muted combined with the stock still trading at >19x NTM EPS limits our upgrade to just Market-Perform despite our long-term bullish view of industrial automation in general and Rockwell specifically
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Bernstein’s Steven Winoker and team contend that Brexit is “bad for all our companies it is just a matter of degree.” They explain why Tyco International (TYC), Idex (IEX), Danaher (DHR),Honeywell International (HON) and Emerson Electric (EMR) could feel some degree of pain:
Top Cheap Companies To Buy Right Now: 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.
- [By Jim Jubak, Senior Markets Editor, MoneyShow.com]
It’s hard for any company to raise prices in the current non-inflationary environment. But it’s especially hard right now for operators of fast food restaurants, given the intense price competition in a very crowded marketplace. McDonald’s sales growth in recent quarters has been driven by the success of its Dollar Menu, so raising prices in that segment are a big deal for the company. In addition, pushback from franchisees who say they can’t afford to refurbish their stores, given higher charges from McDonald’s hits at one of McDonald’s key advantages in its market—it’s ability to refresh stores more frequently than competitors. A McDonald’s refresh at $600,000 on average, according to the company, costs substantially more than a remodel at Burger King (BKW) at $300,000 or Wendy’s (WEN) at $375,000 for the least expensive version. McDonald’s restaurants average $2.5 million in annual sales.
- [By Michael Flannelly]
Argus Research upgraded fast food restaurant operator The Wendy’s Co (WEN) on Thursday, noting that the company’s store remodeling and new menus should help drive higher sales.
The analysts upgraded WEN from “Hold” to “Buy” and see shares reaching $10. This price target suggests a 21% upside to the stock’s Wednesday closing price of $8.25.
Wendy’s shares were up 24 cents, or 2.91%, during early morning trading on Thursday. The stock is up 54.19% year-to-date.
- [By Michael Flannelly]
KeyBanc analysts upgraded fast food restaurant operator The Wendy’s Co (WEN) on Friday, noting that the company has a number of positive developments that could provide a floor for the stock.
The analysts upgraded WEN from “Underweight” to “Hold.”
KeyBanc analyst Christopher O’Cull said, “We are raising our rating for The Wendy’s Company to HOLD as we believe: 1) Wendy’s SRS performance will diverge from the industry for the foreseeable future as new products are supported by more effective use of marketing dollars; 2) better menu and promotional management will lead to improved franchisee profitability (a focus of the new CFO Todd Penegor); and 3) the opportunity to extend the re-franchising program will provide a floor on the stock.”
Wendy’s shares were up 7 cents, or 0.81%, during pre-market trading on Friday. The stock is up 57.01% year-to-date.