If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.
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Sure, the stock is speculative, but this company is unique and could be the next hot item on Wall Street's menu.
Maybe it's the name. Maybe it's the symbol. Whatever it is, when shares of El Pollo Loco (LOCO) -- the "crazy chicken" restaurant -- exploded higher on a second day after a robust opening, it once again inspired a whole new level of top calling.
Is it justified? Does a stock that goes public at $16 and then goes to $19 on its first day and leaps to $34 on its second day make any sense at all? Can it signify something? Or is it a stock move filled with sound and fury signifying nothing?
First, we have to put this move in context, and the context that is GoPro (GPRO), which had a very similar move. The niche camera company, which is trying to grow into a full-blown ecosystem, went public at $24 -- the high end of the range. It jumped by 32 percent on the first day to $31, then rallied to $35 the next day, then galloped to $40 before it peaked at $48. So El Pollo Loco might not be so loco. The GoPro move made sense in some ways because it is a popular company, particularly among teens, with a hot-selling product that conceivably has staying power. Plus, it's profitable.
'We're not exactly in a uniformly strong market,' says the notably pessimistic newsletter publisher.
Permabear Marc Faber said Monday he expects stocks to drop 20 percent 30 percent by October.
"Don't forget many stocks are already down 10 percent. The home builders are down roughly 15 percent. Airlines have just dropped around 10 percent," he said on CNBC's "Halftime Report."
Faber, publisher of the "Gloom, Boom & Doom Report," also noted that several large-cap stocks were down by double-digit percentages.
"So, we're not exactly in a uniformly strong market," he said. "The Russell 2000 ($TOMX), which represents 2,000 companies, is down 2 percent for the year. And big deal, the S&P is up 6 percent, whereas the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam are all up between 15 percent and 25 percent."
Chains are ratcheting up their technology offerings in hopes of attracting younger travelers.
The company plans to announce this week new technology intended for its 4,200 properties world-wide. Targeting younger travelers, Hilton is aiming to leapfrog competitors that already have rolled out new services like turning mobile phones into room keys.
Guests already can check in and check out with a few punches on a smartphone or tablet-computer screen at all of Hilton's hotels in the U.S., the company said. By the end of summer, travelers will be able to see the location of and select their own rooms by mobile phone at six brands, from the midscale Hilton Garden Inn to the luxury Waldorf Astoria.
New rumors don’t change my view: GM will have two different plug-in electric car platforms in the next one to three years.
A few days ago, the Internet was again abuzz with rumors about a future electric car from General Motors (GM). The claim was that it would have 200 miles of range, be available by the end of 2016 and be part of the Chevrolet Sonic nameplate.
In essence, this is only a variant of rumors based around seemingly inconsistent statements from then-outgoing GM CEO Dan Akerson last December. I analyzed these inconsistencies on Dec. 16.
This time, it's really not a lot better, except for one thing: LG has recently said that it will have a battery capable of providing 200 miles of range by 2016. LG is GM's current battery supplier, but LG also supplies a long list of other automakers.
The retailer nicknamed 'Whole Paycheck' is trimming prices, which has hit profit margins and disappointed investors.
Faced with tough competition, the famously expensive natural and organic food retailer is trimming prices, looking to tone down its moniker -- perhaps to "Less Paycheck."
The tactic has predictably hit profit margins and sales growth, sending investors to the exits. They’ve knocked the stock down 43 percent since last October to trade recently at $37.40.
But by now, the selling looks overdone, creating an opportunity for both swing traders and long-term investors. Here's why:
If you insist on playing it, recognize that there are many seasoned stocks out there with much better odds.
Sometimes you just say I don't have an edge and you just take a seat and watch the action unfold. That's how I am approaching Twitter's (TWTR) report tomorrow. I just think there are too many factors at work to be informed both about how the company is really doing and how the company's stock is going to do with that report.
All through this earnings period we have seen the stocks of companies go higher that beat on the top and the bottom lines, meaning companies that exceed revenue and earnings estimates, and then guide higher for both sets of numbers.
Companies that beat only on the top and bottom lines but didn't guide up have not done well if they have moved higher ahead of the report. Companies that have failed to beat on the top line and guided down -- let's call that the Xilinx (XLNX) example -- have been crushed to smithereens.
They're still holding cash and stocks, but are now moving into direct investments in companies, a new report says.
The rich are increasingly enamored with private equity investing, but their rising allocation to PE funds doesn't mean they're cutting back on stock or cash allocations, according to a new survey of ultrawealthy investors by Tiger 21, a peer-to-peer network of high net worth individuals.
The 265 members polled -- with investable assets of more $25 billion -- increased their private equity allocations to 22 percent of the average portfolio during the second quarter of 2014, according to Tiger 21.
That matches the record in PE during the first quarter of 2013 and the most significant allocation increase since Tiger 21 began tracking member portfolios in 2007.
The report comes after a decade of strong private equity performance. PEreturns averaged 13.9 percent net of fees from 2003 to 2013 and outperformed the S&P 500 with dividends by 6.5 percentage points, according to a new report from industry trade association Private Equity Growth Capital Council.
If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.
Of course, these IPOs are expected and could always be delayed, but as things currently stand, 25 companies are poised to make their public debut this week, notably Synchrony Financial, the credit card unit of General Electric (GE).
In its report, the FT notes that in the current environment of rising equity prices and low volatility, companies that have been weighing a public offering are eager to come to market while equities are in favor with investors.
Last Friday, Goldman Sachs (GS) downgraded stocks for the next three months amid a risk that bond yields could rise, possibly suggesting that this ripe window for IPOs could soon be closing. At least a little bit.
With so much at stake, it's no wonder the activist investor was pushing for Family Dollar to be bought out.
The rich get richer, as activist investor Carl Icahn (pictured) made at least $149 million in less than two months from his investment in discount retailer Family Dollar (FDO).
Late on June 6, Icahn disclosed in a tweet that he owned a stake of more than 9 percent in Family Dollar shares. At the June 6 closing price of $60.53, the 10,691,011 shares that Icahn owned were worth $647.1 million.
It wasn't a smooth ride higher for Family Dollar's stock, however. After jumping 13 percent on June 9 after Icahn's stake was disclosed, the stock dropped 12 percent to close Friday at $60.66.
The Dow's recent drop will nag investors this week as the euphoria holding the market up this summer looks set to fade.
By Anthony Mirhaydari
The stock market's apparent invulnerability came to an end on Friday -- ending an 11-day winning streak for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) closing higher at the end of the week.
That's representative of just how complacent investors had become, since bidding stocks up ahead of the weekend is a vote of confidence. That's especially true in the context of all the geopolitical tension in Ukraine, Gaza and elsewhere.
As a result, the Dow index of blue-chip stocks closed below its 20-day moving average in a meaningful way for the first time since May, dropping below the 17,000 level in the process. Small caps suffered more, testing back down to their 200-day moving average.
But it's the drop in the Dow that will be nagging investors this week as the euphoria that's held the market up this summer looks set to fade.
The idea of US crude being a shelter from turmoil abroad may not be as far fetched as it seems.
By contrast, U.S. oil supplies -- close to generating 9 million barrels of oil per day ---are expanding, and far more secure than most of those abroad. Simultaneously, the U.S. shale boom has become a draw for international capital.
To be sure, gold, the dollar and U.S. Treasurys remain the premier safety assets during times of global distress. Meanwhile, oil market dynamics are overwhelmingly driven by supply and demand that place a "fear premium" on internationally priced Brent crude, and which drag on prices when turbulence abates.
Last night's call was a stunning reflection of how little the retailer cares about the whole process of reporting results.
Would it kill Amazon (AMZN) to answer one question with a helpful answer? Does the company have to stonewall endlessly and say whatever question is asked isn't relevant or isn't something the company cares about or monitors?
Last night's call was a stunning reflection of how little Amazon cares about the whole process of reporting results. First, the company reports its widest loss in two years, then makes it clear in the call that:
- It doesn't matter.
- It is a good thing anyway, because it is spending and ramping and ramping and spending.
As my friend Arum Rubinson at Wolfe Research pointed out in a terrific note this morning, "the word 'invest' was mentioned 33 times" on the call and "the only thing missing is a clear sign that the investments are paying dividends."
Investors are hoping the chain can emulate the rapid growth of Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Forget tech. The real hot IPOs are in the restaurant business.
Chicken chain El Pollo Loco (LOCO) debuted on the Nasdaq on Friday and shares went crazy.
While the company set its final initial public offering price at $15, El Pollo Loco shares opened at $19 and surged to $22.73 a share by the afternoon. That's a pop of over 50 percent.
Investors love El Pollo Loco, translated as "The Crazy Chicken," because it's the latest quick service/fast casual chain to emulate Chipotle Mexican Grill's (CMG) rapid growth. The Mexican-style grilled chicken restaurant has just over 400 locations across 5 states, but the vast majority (352) are in California.
It's the second-biggest shopping season of the year, although the total amount spent is expected to drop from last year.
By Jim Probasco
It may still be summer, but as far as retailers are concerned, it's time to get ready to go back to school.
Apple launched its back-to-school effort July 1, well before the July 4 holiday. For the promotion, students buying a Mac receive a $100 Apple Store Gift Card. An iPhone or iPad purchase nets a $50 gift card.
According to Time, Wal-Mart had a back-to-school Web page up in June, and Target posted a college registry program designed to encourage family and friends to make back-to-school gift buys.
Daniel Schwartz, 33, has helped turn the struggling burger chain into a cash machine.
After surrounding himself with an equally young management team -- including a 28-year-old chief financial officer -- Daniel Schwartz (pictured) has helped turn the struggling burger chain into a "cash machine," Devin Leonard writes for Bloomberg Businessweek's newest cover story.
"These days . . . Burger King is behaving more like a startup than a typical burger chain," Leonard writes.
Perhaps that's because this is Schwartz's first job in the fast-food industry. Before Burger King, he was an analyst at Credit Suisse in Boston, and more recently, he worked for 3G Capital, the Brazilian private equity firm that bought Burger King in 2010.
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Should the fast-food chain act as the boss of all workers in franchised stores? The company says no, but organized labor says yes.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages are mixed at midday with the Nasdaq Composite (+0.3%) and Russell 2000 (+0.3%) holding modest gains, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.3%) and S&P 500 (-0.1%) underperform.
Equity indices opened the midweek session on a strong note after the advance GDP reading pointed to a 4.0% expansion during the second quarter. In addition, a batch of better than expected earnings also factored into the early strength.
Despite those two ... More
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