Market Focus


Hovnanian delivered more homes and higher earnings. The homebuilder’s fourth quarter results blew away estimates, another sign that the housing market is recovering. The company also predicts more profitability in the New Year. That sent shares higher, up almost 6% to $5.28.


Lululemon reported higher than expected earnings today, but the company’s outlook put a damper on its results. The yoga apparel maker, which has been struggling since its see-through pants debacle in March, lowered its sales forecast and said store traffic has slowed. The news was a sheer disappointment for investors. Shares plunged, down more that 11.5% to $60.39. 


Ciena reported a quarter with higher costs and weaker than expected profits which sent the network equipment maker’s stock into the red. The company blamed the miss on its telecom customers, like AT&T and Verizon, who have been holding back on spending. Shares tumbled about 7% to $21.31.


Aetna said it won’t be reinstating plans it cancelled that didn’t meet Affordable Care Act standards. The insurer’s CEO said it doesn’t have enough time to go through the regulatory processes to extend or renew cancelled plans. Last month, President Obama said insurers could extend plans that didn’t comply with the ACA temporarily, after hundreds of thousands of Americans found they couldn’t keep their existing plans. Aetna fell almost 2% to $65.14. 


Cisco delivered more bad news to investors. The company cut its earnings and revenue targets because of trouble in emerging markets, tightened consumer spending and its lagging network equipment business. The announcement was a more detailed report of a warning Cisco issued in early November. Shares fell more than 1.5% to $20.51. 

 Pepsi, Coke & Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings waged a soda war today. The chain said starting next year it’ll switch from serving Coke to Pepsi in its restaurants. It also plans to tap into Pepsi’s snack business and use Doritos in new menu items. Coca Cola still dominates the fountain business in the U.S. with an estimated market share of 70%. All three stocks were down on the news. Pepsi fell more than 1.5% to $81.28. Coke dropped 2% to $39.21 and shares of Buffalo Wild Wings were off more than 1% to $141.77. 


Aramark had a successful market debut today. The food services company sells beer at sporting events for teams including the Chicago Bears. Aramark raised more than $700 million from the IPO. The stock rose 13.5% to $22.70. 


Hilton returned to the market today in the biggest hotel IPO in history. The sale of its shares raised more than $2.3 billion. The CEO of the world’s largest hotel operators says the company’s global outreach is what sets it apart. Shares jumped 7.5% to $21.50.

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