Market Focus


Priceline, the online travel agency, posted better than expected results as it booked more hotel stays, airline tickets and car rentals. But its profit and revenue outlook for the current quarter lagged estimates. Still shares were up initially after hours. The stock ended the regular session a fraction higher to $1,283.


Nordstrom’s earnings topped estimates, but sales during the holiday quarter came in a bit light, snowbagged by higher markdowns. The luxury retailer’s guidance missed expectations, as the company said its planned entry into Canada will continue to weigh on profit. The stock fell after-hours, shares ended the regular session up a fraction to $59.44.


Groupon’s revenue jumped 20 percent on strong demand for discounts. But the daily deals site forecast little profit growth in 2014 because of increased investments. That disappointed investors, sending shares lower after the results. The stock ended the regular session up 2.5 percent to $10.28.


Marriott’s fourth-quarter profit plunged 17 percent on lower revenue, in part because the quarter was shorter than it was last year. The hotel operator was one of the few consumer-oriented companies that didn’t blame it decline on the bad weather. Earnings came in higher than estimates. Shares rose slightly to $51.79.


Shares of Conn’s, the electronics and home appliance retailer got slammed in today’s session. The chain cut its profit forecast for this year and 2015, citing weaker sales growth and higher bad debt. The CEO said cold weather and higher energy costs were affecting some customer’s ability to pay off their debt. The stock fell nearly 43 percent to $31.89.


Apple is the new Microsoft, at least that’s what one Barclay’s analyst says. The firm slashed its rating on Apple’s stock to “equal weight” from “over weight” saying it expects shares won’t move much for the next year or so. The anaylst also said as an investor, Apple’s future products don’t excite him. Shares were off one percent to $531.15.

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