Businessman blowing bubbles (© GSO Images/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)
Take bubble talk with a grain of salt

Jim Cramer asks, why pay any attention to letters from a manager who lost money in the first quarter?

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

Wall Street is getting more selective and demanding profits from this hyped-up sector.

By InvestorPlace Wed 2:01 PM

Credit: © Rick Wilking

Caption: Boxes from Amazon.com are pictured on the porch of a houseBy Jeff Reeves


Tech stocks have been mighty choppy this year.


On one hand, Facebook (FB) is up strongly on the year, with 15 percent gains so far in 2014 after great earnings in January. On the other hand, e-commerce darling Amazon (AMZN) has shed more than 16 percent as investors worry about profitability in the wake of a fourth-quarter earnings miss.


Similarly, the initial public offering space is muddled for tech stocks. Some recent tech IPOs are up strongly -- like China's 500.com (WBAI), which has almost tripled from its December offering price. Other recent issues, like the IPO of mobile video game studio King Entertainment (KING) -- which sold off on its first day of trading and remains down since going public in March -- have gone pretty poorly.

 

The company's blowout quarterly report was a surprise to many professionals watching the stock.

By Benzinga Wed 1:23 PM

Credit: © Noah Berger/Bloomberg News/Getty Images
Caption: The Gilead Sciences Inc. offices in Foster City, Calif.By Tim Parker


Many investors would argue that the analyst community doesn't get much of anything right.


But normally, analysts aren't more than a few cents off when predicting a company's quarterly per-share earnings.


So how did the analyst community get Tuesday's Gilead (GILD) numbers so shockingly wrong?


After the bell, the company reported per-share earnings of $1.48, excluding certain items, on revenue of $5 billion. Analysts predicted EPS of only 91 cents on revenue of about $3.9 billion. Revenue was 98 percent higher year over year.

 

Workers ramp up a campaign to slow the Postal Service's partnership with the company, and are urging unionized teachers to shop elsewhere.

By MSN Money Partner Wed 12:59 PM
People leave a Staples store in Broomfield, Colorado (© Rick Wilking/Newscom/Reuters)By Kris Maher and Drew Fitzgerald, The Wall Street Journal

A postal-workers union is ramping up a campaign to try to slow the U.S. Postal Service's partnership with Staples (SPLS), including asking unionized teachers to boycott the chain and buy school supplies elsewhere.


Last fall, Staples began providing postal services under a pilot program that now includes 82 stores in California, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Massachusetts. The sites are staffed with Staples employees.


The American Postal Workers Union, whose members have average pay of just under $25 an hour, said it fears a broader rollout would end up transferring more duties to lower-paid Staples employees, cutting the need for neighborhood post offices and leading to post-office layoffs. The union represents 200,000 postal workers, or roughly half the total.

 

The carrier is loved by its passengers, but its investors aren't so happy.

By TheStreet.com Staff Wed 12:02 PM

Caption: A JetBlue Airways Corp. plane in Long Beach, Calif.
Credit: © Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Ted Reed, TheStreet


As the airline industry heads into a golden age of profitability, one of the big six airlines is still sitting on the runway, waiting for its shares to take off.TheStreet.com logo


That carrier is JetBlue (JBLU). Perhaps the best indication of its predicament is that its shares are up about 4 percent this year. 


That's fine in comparison to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX), which is up about 2 percent. But shares in the remaining five of the top six airlines are up at least 20 percent.


American (AAL), the best performer in the group, is up 42 percent while United (UAL), the worst performer, is up 20 percent. Delta (DAL), with its shares up 27 percent year to date, will kick off airline earnings season on Wednesday. On Thursday, JetBlue is expected to report earnings of 7 cents a share, up from 5 cents in the same quarter a year earlier, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

 

Shares of the online streaming company were up after a solid earnings report, but CEO Reed Hastings isn't happy.

By Motley Fool Investor Beat Wed 11:54 AM
Shares of streaming video company Netflix (NFLX) were up big Tuesday after it announced a strong quarter, which included beating analyst estimates for profit and meeting estimates for revenue. Even more important, the company saw its total number of subscribers grow to 48.4 million, a new high.

But the real highlight from Netflix was the comments from CEO Reed Hastings about the proposed Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) merger. Despite the fact that Netflix recently made a deal with Comcast to pay extra for faster streaming service, Hastings has said that he doesn't approve of the upcoming merger.  

Why pay any attention to letters from a manager who lost money in the first quarter?

By Jim Cramer Wed 11:34 AM

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday in New York © Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesHow did it come to the point that we now get our opinions from investment letters from managers who lost money in the first quarter?


How is it that we now bank with managers who tell us there is a tech bubble brewing without taking into account that the bubble has been bursting for a month now? Isn't that what we are doing if we are relying on Greenlight Capital's performance letter out Tuesday, the one in which the most salient feature should be the line showing it was down 1.5 percent for the quarter?


It's a catchy letter, for certain.

 

Many people are waiting for the iPhone 6 to arrive before they upgrade their phones, and that will mean dull results for the company.

By MSN Money Partner Wed 11:28 AM
Caption: The Apple logo is displayed at an Apple Store
Credit: © Maja Hitij/epa/CorbisBy Cadie Thompson, CNBC

With many consumers holding out for the new iPhone 6 model and subsequently not driving up sales, Apple (AAPL) is likely to report unimpressive earnings after the bell on Wednesday, analysts say.


Many are waiting for the iPhone 6 to hit the market before they upgrade their smartphones and that means dull quarterly earnings for the company.


"With the much anticipated iPhone 6 due for release later this year, we believe many potential iPhone buyers will pause before the major upgrade," said Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group, in a recent note to clients.


Apple is expected to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of $10.18 per share -- which is just 1 percent growth year over year -- on revenue of $43.53 billion, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters.

 
Tags: AAPL

As the market wades through what many people hope is a sixth bull year, some have grown nervous about how long the run can go.

By MSN Money Partner Tue 2:08 PM
Image: Home for sale © CorbisBy Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

You can keep your gold and stocks because there's no place like home for my money.


That seems to be the gist of a recent survey from Gallup, in which Americans picked real estate as the cream of the the long-term-investment crop. 


Their other choices were gold, stock and mutual funds; savings accounts and CDs; or bonds. Some 30 percent of those polled picked real estate, versus 24 percent each for gold and stocks, while 14 percent gave savings accounts/CDs the nod and just 6 percent said bonds were the way to go. 


The bond drag is not too surprising considering how investors have been fleeing funds like the Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTRX). Bonds have also been a consistent nonfavored option in the Gallup poll. This marked the first year gold was included as an option in the Gallup survey of 1,026 adults aged 18 and older.

 

Bank CEOs make for easy targets. But behind them are the potentially more powerful directors that should be held to account as well.

By The Fiscal Times Tue 1:16 PM

Caption: A Citibank branch in Miami, Fla.
Credit: © Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times


Mike Mayo has some questions for the big banks -- and he's hoping that the annual meetings will produce some answers.


Unlike most of his peers, Mayo -- an analyst at brokerage group CLSA who has spent the last 25 years tracking the banking industry -- has either acquired stock in some of the banks he covers or, in other cases, acquired the right to speak on behalf of a shareholder (as a "proxy").


All so that he can ask publicly some of the questions that analysts more normally ask behind closed doors.


Of course, Mayo and his peers continue to do this every quarter, when the banks host quarterly conference calls to discuss their latest batch of earnings.

 
Tags: C

The company's US motorcycle sales rose despite a harsh winter, sending the stock up 8%.

By InvestorPlace Tue 12:44 PM

A Harley Davidson motorcycle during the company's 110th anniversary celebration in Milwaukee, Wis., on Thursday (© Morry Gash/AP)By Christopher Freeburn


Harley-Davidson (HOG) shares surged on Tuesday following a first-quarter earnings report of profits that beat Wall Street forecasts.


The stock was up 8 percent by midday Tuesday after the storied motorcycle maker said it grew revenue 10.2 percent from a year earlier to $1.73 billion, which drove profits up 18.7 percent to $265.9 million. On a per-share basis, earnings of $1.21 easily bested the $1.07 expected by Wall Street analysts.


Despite snowy weather, U.S. motorcycle sales increased 3 percent. By contrast, Asia-Pacific region motorcycle sales vaulted more than 20 percent, while sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa climbed 8.2 percent. Worldwide, the company said it sold 57,415 motorcycles during the quarter, including 35,730 in the U.S.

 
Tags: HOG

Valeant Pharmaceuticals has teamed up with activist investor Bill Ackman and Pershing Square Capital Management for a $47 billion deal to acquire Botox maker Allergan.

By TheStreet.com Staff Tue 12:28 PM

Allergan Pred Forte eye drops © Stuwdamdorp/AlamyBy Antoine Gara, TheStreet


Pershing Square Capital Management may be re-writing the rules of activist investing after teaming up with Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) on a takeover bid for Allergan (AGN). Valeant will offer Allergan $48.30 a share in cash and 0.83 of its shares in the bid, which values Allergan at an about 10 percent premium to its Monday closing share price. 


The takeover effort is the first that counts an activist hedge fund investor as a crucial piece and it raises the prospect of similar marriages between activist investors and deal-seeking corporations looking to press an unsolicited merger. 

 

Jeff Bezos has lost $6.3 billion so far this year as shares of his company have declined.

By MSN Money Partner Tue 12:23 PM
File photo of Jeff Bezos on Nov. 16, 2012 (© Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)By Nick Summers, Businessweek

Jeff Bezos is one bad day -- or even just a middling one -- from an abysmal distinction. 


He'll have lost more money than anyone else on earth in 2014 if his net worth declines by just $200 million, relative to Mexican investor Carlos Slim, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.


The Amazon (AMZN) founder has lost $6.3 billion so far this year, second only to Slim's $6.5 billion decline. Bezos (pictured) has most of his wealth tied up in company stock, which has declined 17.3 percent since Jan. 1, bringing his net worth to $29.7 billion. 


On a percentage basis, Slim has lost about half as much as Bezos, 8.8 percent, to cut his worth to $67.3 billion, the second-largest pile in the world.

 
Tags: AMZN

As regulations tighten around coal, these natural gas and oil producers stand to benefit.

By Traders Reserve Tue 11:56 AM

Image: Natural gas plant © Kevin Burke/CorbisBy Karen Riccio

 

The Environmental Protection Agency just announced plans to further stiffen regulations on coal-fired power plants and the emission of carbons.

 

This can only mean bad news for companies with profits tied to coal, and good news for profits tied to natural gas and oil. The EPA's move will ultimately increase the need for cleaner, more efficient producers of energy.


While solar and wind may have a purpose and contribution to the cause, the immediate beneficiary will be the explorers and developers of natural gas and oil. Natural gas reserves in the U.S. have increased two-fold over the past 14 years; and shale and tight gas production has more than doubled in the last four years. According to the International Energy Association (IEA), we are sitting on a 2.2 quadrillion cubic feet of proven and recoverable oil.

 

The company is growing, but it needs to grow fast enough for the uber-excited bulls.

By InvestorPlace Tue 11:28 AM

Caption: The Facebook logo is seen on a tablet screen
Credit: © Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Jeff Reeves


Facebook (FB) has had a busy start to 2014. Earnings blew the doors off in January, the stock is up 8 percent despite a small loss for the broader S&P 500 Index ($INX) and the company has rattled off a bunch of big-time acquisitions.


But for the next few weeks, Facebook shareholders will be most concerned about the balance sheet instead of the drumbeat of headlines and daily FB stock charts.


That's because the biggest catalyst for FB stock performance lately has been its blowout earnings and revenue growth posted at the end of January; FB stock gapped up by double-digits the next day as a result and has stayed strong ever since.


So what's in store this time when Facebook earnings hit Wednesday?

 
Tags: AOLFBYHOO

Netflix and Halliburton plainly illustrate what's justifying this broad-market run.

By Jim Cramer Tue 11:13 AM

(From top) Netflix Inc in San Jose Calif. & Halliburton manufacturing facility in Duncan, Okla. © MTP/Alamy; Robert Hughes/ZUMA PressWhen you listen to a Netflix (NFLX) call, you are sitting there thinking, "How can these guys be that good?"


Then you listen to a Halliburton (HAL) call and you say, "How can these guys be that good?"


Two calls. Two subjects. Two tours de force.


TheStreet.com logoNetflix is a plain-English company that has figured out that conference calls shouldn't be just about analysts trying to get help on their models. This is a much bigger-thinking company than that. Netflix is trying to explain why if you offer a superior product, be it Time Warner's (TWX) HBO or Amazon (AMZN) or anyone else, even Comcast (CMCSA), people will take it. But it has to be genuinely superior.


I love that Netflix goes into the viewing habits of customers. This company has actually thought about customers like good retailers do. It recognizes that people prefer to have all the content at once if they would like that content. Netflix also knows the foreign markets will work, because, well, they already work. Witness the comments about how "The Mentalist" is the No. 1 show in France. I'm surprised Netflix didn't mention that the French always loved Jerry Lewis. My favorite line: "The total addressable market over time are human beings that enjoy TV shows and movies, because everybody is going to be on the Internet."

 

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

105
105 rated 1
271
271 rated 2
420
420 rated 3
633
633 rated 4
492
492 rated 5
532
532 rated 6
725
725 rated 7
515
515 rated 8
343
343 rated 9
140
140 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
UPLULTRA PETROLEUM Corp10
EOGEOG RESOURCES Inc10
SWNSOUTHWESTERN ENERGY COMPANY10
TAT&T Inc9
COPCONOCOPHILLIPS9
More

Trending NOW

What’s this?

RECENT QUOTES

WATCHLIST

Symbol
Last
Change
Shares
Quotes delayed at least 15 min

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.

MARKET UPDATE

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains on Thursday, but not before enduring a morning dip into the red, which took place in reaction to reports indicating Russia has commenced military exercises on the Ukrainian border.

The news from Europe knocked the key indices from their early highs, while giving a boost to safe-haven assets like gold futures (+0.5% to $1290.80/ozt), Treasuries (10-yr yield -1 bps to 2.69%), and the Japanese yen (102.30 ... More


Currencies

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.