Stock Futures Higher on Growth Hopes. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, DRI, KBH, MCD, KORS, ORCL, TXN, TIBX, RIG
Published on Friday, 21 September 2012 06:36 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, September 21st (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a higher open, as overseas markets steadied after the prior session drop following several weak manufacturing data points around the world, which pointed to slowdown in the global economy. Participants were getting comfort from the announced central bank actions to boost growth and from a report stating that Spain was close to asking for a bailout.
In Asia, stocks gained, posting a modest rebound after the sharp drop in the prior session following weak manufacturing data in China and a drop in Japanese exports. Participants took comfort in the major central banks’ actions aimed at reactivating growth and tackling the euro zone debt crisis. The Nikkei climbed 0.25%, while the Shanghai Composite ticked 0.09% higher.
In Europe, markets were trading higher after the Financial Times reported that the Spanish government could seek a bailout from international creditors within a week. The request will allow the ECB to implement its new bond-buying program aimed to reduce sovereign yields.
The euro was jumping against the Dollar, trading above the $1.30 level. Crude oil was gaining 0.72% to $93.09 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was climbing 0.50% to $2.811 per MMBtu. Gold was adding 0.35% to $1774.00 an ounce, and silver was climbing 0.53% to $34.865 an ounce; meanwhile copper was advancing 0.89%.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI), KB Home (NYSE: KBH), McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS), Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN), Tibco Software (NASDAQ: TIBX), and Transocean (NYSE: RIG).
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was gaining 0.46% to $701.90 in pre-market amid reports of large crowds at Apple stores from Sydney to Tokyo looking for its new iPhone 5, which is hitting stores today in nine different countries. The iPhone 5 is having a fast launch with 22 additional countries planned for a week later. Apple sold out of its allocation of iPhone 5s for pre-order in the first hours of last Friday, having to bump delivery times for the device to 2 weeks, a week after the device hits stores. Some reviews for the iOS 6, which is the new operating system that came out with the new iPhone 5 have not been very pleasing, with many criticizing Apple for launching its Maps Application with multiple location errors and low resolution satellite pictures. Apple created the new Maps application, which will be coming as default in the latest version of the iOS, substituting Google Maps. The stock was able to break above the $700 mark for the first time on Monday after the company announced that it sold a record 2 million units of its newly released iPhone 5. It logged at all-time high of $703.99 on Wednesday.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI), the owner and operator of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurant chains, will be in focus as the company is set to report its quarterly results later this morning. On average analysts expect a profit of $0.84 per share on revenue of $2.03 billion. The highest earnings estimate is $1.02 per share, while the lowest is $0.78. Last quarter, Darden earned $1.15 per share, which was inline with consensus.
KB Home (NYSE: KBH), the single-family homebuilder targeting first time buyers, reported better than expected earnings on revenue that was inline with consensus. The homebuilder said that fiscal third quarter GAAP earnings were $0.04 per share, $0.20 better than consensus, on revenue that jumped 15.6% from a year ago to $424.5 million. Average selling home prices increased 8% from a year ago and 5% sequentially from the prior quarter. The order backlog reached its highest level since 2008, as net orders increased 3% from a year ago to 1,900 units.
McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) will be in focus after climbing 0.11% in after hours trading following the fast food restaurant chain announcement that its raising its quarterly cash dividend by 10% to $0.77 from $0.70 per share.
Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS), the high fashion retailer, will be in focus as it jumped 3.8% in after hours trading following upbeat current quarter and fiscal 2013 earnings guidance. The retailer said that for its fiscal second quarter it sees EPS in a range of $0.38 to $0.40 up from prior guidance in a range of $0.33 to $0.35. For fiscal 2013, Michael Kors expects earnings in a range of $1.39 to $1.41 per share on revenue of $1.85 to $1.95 billion. The company noted that the new guidance reflects confidence in the strong momentum of the Michael Kors brand and the continued execution of our key growth strategies, amid success in establishing Michael Kors as a global luxury lifestyle brand.
Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), the information management software provider, will be in focus after the company reported quarterly results that showed earnings inline with expectations but revenues were below consensus. Oracle said that for its fiscal first quarter it earned $0.53 per share, excluding non-recurring items, on revenue that fell 2.3% from a year ago to $8.21 billion versus consensus of $8.42 billion. The database management software provider said that new software licenses and cloud software subscriptions grew 11% in constant currency. The company noted that its new cloud business is approaching a $1 billion run rate. Additionally, Oracle issue current quarter earnings guidance that was mostly inline with estimates.
Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN), the maker of digital signal processing (DSP) and microcontroller (MCU) semiconductors, announced after the closing bell that it would boost its quarterly dividend by 23.5% to $0.21 per share from $0.17.
Tibco Software (NASDAQ: TIBX), the independent provider of business integration software, tumbled in after hours after earnings were inline with expectations but revenue missed consensus. Tibco said that for the quarter it earned $0.27 per share, excluding non-recurring items, on revenue that climbed 11.4% from a year ago to $255 million versus consensus of $259.6 million. Additionally, the company issued downside fiscal fourth quarter guidance on both the top and bottom lines.
Transocean (NYSE: RIG), the largest offshore drilling contractor in the world, was gaining 1.6% to $47.13 in pre-market amid reports that Brazil’s state-led oil Petrobras has lawyers helping Transocean to overturn a ban in the country that resulted from a oil spill last November at an offshore field own by Chevron. Additionally, the stock was seeing support from a report stating that BP's Gulf of Mexico oil drilling operations are near levels before the spill, which resulted from the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Macondo oil field.
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