If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.
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Early indication eases fears of a Dendreon-like flop.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) needed to give investors an early signal that its new eye drug can keep pace in a competitive market. So the company blew away Wall Street's fourth-quarter sales estimates.
Shares of Regeneron jumped Tuesday morning after the company said its drug Eylea recorded as much as $25 million in sales in its first six weeks on the market. Analysts expected a little more than $3 million in sales.
The biggest surprise of 2012 could be that the financials, the most hated group out there, can actually soar.
You get tech moving, you get banks moving, you get the market moving. We are in a weird juncture when the groups that had been laggards are providing leadership, especially when no one believes the earnings for any of these stocks, other than Wells Fargo (WFC), USBancorp (USB) and Apple (AAPL), will have good quarters.
But that doesn't matter. Expectations are incredibly low for this quarter and I think they will even get lower following Alcoa’s (AA) report.
Don't count the greenback out yet.
By Dan Caplinger
In recent years, fears about the long-term prospects of the U.S. economy drove the dollar to historic lows against the local currencies of many countries around the world. Yet with the near-collapse of the euro and continuing problems with the impact that sovereign debt woes could have across the globe, Treasury bills have once again achieved safe-haven status, and the U.S. dollar is acting like the powerful reserve currency it once was.
On its face, that may sound like good news. But you may want to be careful what you wish for, because if dollar strength persists, it could have some serious consequences for prospects for economic growth in the U.S. as well as for your investments.
Twinkie maker is in the fight for its life.
As the Journal noted, times are tough for the privately held Irving, Tex. baker, which had been held up as a model of corporate restructuring since emerging from its first bankruptcy in 2009. Not only does the maker of Wonder Bread carry $860 million in debt, it owes "more than $50 million to vendors, which have been demanding payments on shortened time frames because of Hostess's financial condition," the paper said.
Some investors brag on message boards about achieving great returns on earnings-based trades. That was just dumb luck.
By Thomas Kee, guest columnist
Thanks to Alcoa (AA), earnings season is off to a positive start. But I predict that this earnings season will still leave investors with lots of questions unanswered -- questions about future growth rates and current market multiples.
In addition to Alcoa, I'm also looking for clues about the broader market's direction in results from Lennar (LEN), and JP Morgan Chase (JPM). In each case, I'll be looking to see if concerns about future growth come to the surface. I won't trade in these stocks, but I'll work the earnings news into my broader market thesis.
The leader in private schooling benefits from China's one-child policy and emphasis on credentials.
By Paul Goodwin, Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report
New Oriental Education (EDU) is the leader in the private education sector in China. The company specializes in teaching languages, especially English, and test preparation courses; it also offers a varied curriculum that includes primary and secondary education.
A spike in oil prices due to Iran's threats could divert traffic from trucks, but higher fuel costs would pressure railroad margins.
Energy analysts have stated that Iranian action could lead to an increase of 50% or more in the price of oil. Rising fuel prices could help fuel-efficient railroads, such as Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC), CSX Corporation (CSX), and Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) as traffic would be diverted away from trucking. However, it could also put pressure on rail companies' margins as fuel represents a major portion of their operating costs.
Homebuilding stocks have recently rebounded strongly, and investors can now look to buy select stocks on future pullbacks.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
The homebuilding industry group is one of the stronger components of this sector, and it now appears that it completed a significant bottom in October. It has been a long time since the Dow Jones Home Construction Index completed a weekly head-and-shoulders top in 2006.
Overall, earnings growth is likely to slow this year, so investors should look to cash-rich, US-focused companies that might deliver upside surprises.
Fourth-quarter earnings season got off to a sorry start Monday when aluminum producer Alcoa (AA) reported results that were just as disappointing as the market had been expecting, including its first loss in more than a year.
But don't get too distracted by Alcoa's bleak results and outlook. True, it's the first company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to report, but that doesn't mean it's a harbinger of bad news to come. Companies generally have been revising their earnings outlook downward, but that simply reflects the need for caution in turbulent times and leaves room for upside surprises.
With monthly dividends and an attractive yield, this school bus operator is going for growth.
By Roger Conrad, Canadian Edge
You won't have income for long without growth. Student Transportation (STB) has plenty of both, with monthly dividends that produce a yield of more than 8.5% and contracts in place to grow revenue 18% this fiscal year.
We believe this North American pure play energy infrastructure company will be able to generate highly visible cash flow and dividend growth.
By: Zacks Equity Research
Following the successful separation of its upstream operations via a tax-free spin-off, we have upgraded Williams Companies Inc. (WMB) to "outperform" from "neutral."
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams is a premier energy infrastructure provider in North America. The company’s core operations include finding, producing, gathering, processing, and transporting natural gas. Boasting of a widespread pipeline system, Williams is one of the largest domestic transporters of natural gas by volume. Its facilities -- gas wells, pipelines, and midstream services -- are concentrated in the Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Gulf Coast, and Eastern Seaboard.
Many regional and local banks are starting to do better as the economy expands.
By Igor Greenwald, MoneyShow.com
Two months ago, I called bank stocks "lepers," harping on the market's lack of faith in the financial health of Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), and other money-center banks trading at vast discounts to alleged book value.
Lower lows followed shortly, but for the past six weeks much of the banking sector has been rebounding. The charts of Wells Fargo (WFC), US Bancorp (USB), and even JP Morgan (JPM) are resurgent, making Citi and B of A look more like laggards than canaries in a coalmine.
But a long-term plan may not be enough to ward off short-term risks.
Eastman Kodak's (EK) stock soared Monday -- well, relatively speaking -- on news that the company is restructuring to adapt to the digital age. The company is creating two distinct business units to separate commercial from consumer products and will streamline costs even more.
Many folks watching Kodak were expecting a much different announcement: that the once-dominant photography company was declaring bankruptcy and possibly disappearing forever.
So does the new move change anything or secure Kodak's future?
Hyatt Hotels and Marriott are upgraded to 'buy,' while Starwood Hotels is downgraded to 'neutral.'
Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
- Juniper (JNPR) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
- EOG Resources (EOG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
- Valeant (VRX) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
- Tractor Supply (TSCO) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
- Hyatt Hotels (H) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
- Marriott (MAR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
This cost-containment company helps keep fraud and overpayments down while healthcare spending goes up.
By Jim Oberweis, Jr., The Oberweis Report
For a play on healthcare reform in this country, HMS Holdings (HMSY) is a small cap to own. The company provides cost-containment services for state Medicaid programs and other third-party payors by ridding the system of fraud and errors.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices have taken a step back from their best levels of the day in reaction to a Reuters report indicating European officials have reached a preliminary deal to introduce sanctions against Russia's oil and defense sectors.
While the agreement has not been made official yet, the announcement is likely to lead to speculation about a potential boomerang effect on the global economy.
According to the reports, the sanctions will be in place for three months ... More
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