Market Focus


Dow component Merck was out with earnings today. The drug maker reported a 14 percent drop in profit last quarter because of tough competition from generics, restructuring charges and some currency fluctuations. Despite the miss, shares rose to multi-year highs during the day after the company announced a new alliance with three other cancer drug maker. By the close shares edged up only a fraction to $53.53.

Coca-Cola & Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Green Mountain saw a lot of green after the market close. The company signed a 10-year deal with Coca-Cola to collaborate on an at-home cold beverage system. Coke will also buy a 10 percent stake in Green Mountain for $1.3 billion. Shares of Green Mountain initially halted on the news, but when it reopened they soared more than 35 percent. In the regular session the stock rose slightly to $80.88.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren issued a warning today. The clothing company said it expects increased promotions to eat into 2014 gross margins. Ralph Lauren’s third-quarter results beat as demand from North American stores lifted sales. But investors couldn’t get past the outlook. Shares slumped 3.5% to $148.71.

Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder also spooked investors with a weaker-than-expected forecast. This quarter the beauty products maker saw profit slide, triggered by a slowdown in its Asian market. Lauder lowered its revenue outlook because of weakness in Europe, South Korea as well as China. Shares tumbled, down 5.5% to $65.36.

Time Warner

Time Warner’s fourth-quarter profit shrank 12 percent because of higher costs and write-downs, which offset revenue growth from its HBO unit. Still earnings beat estimates. The media giant also raised its quarterly dividend and approved a $5 billion stock buyback program, which pleased investors. Shares rose one percent to $63.09.

3-D Systems

3-D Systems took a big hit in today’s session. The 3-D printer maker cut its fourth quarter profit estimate, hurt by falling demand for its consumer printers and printed parts. Other 3-D printer company including Stratasys, Exone and Voxeljet fell in sympathy. Shares of 3-D Systems plunged down 15 percent to $64.10.

Hain Celestial

Hain Celestial reported a weak earnings report after yesterday’s closing bell. Investors are concerned about the natural food retailer’s margins, that were hit hard by increased commodity costs. Shares fell six percent to $85.44.

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