Investors woke up plenty of stock-specific news this morning.
It’s already a busy day and the market just opened. Here are the major stories so far today:
- Lululemon cut its earnings forecast (down 14%). “We were on track to deliver on our sales and earnings guidance through the month of December; however, since the beginning of January, we have seen traffic and sales trends decelerate meaningfully,” said CFO John Currie. “Based on this recent performance and assuming these trends continue through the remainder of January, we are reducing our outlook for the fourth quarter.”
- Suntory investment firm will buy Beam Inc (up 24%). The company makes the popular Jim Beam brand liquor. Suntory will become the world’s third-largest maker of distilled drinks after the $US16 billion purchase, Reuters reports. The shares went ripping after the news.
- Wendy’s shares surged after strong Q4 earnings backed by the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger (up 8%). “Same-restaurant sales accelerated in the second half of the year compared to the first half. Driving the positive same-restaurant sales growth was the strong consumer reaction to the Company’s successful 2013 promotions, most notably, the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, Pretzel Pub Chicken sandwich, and Bacon Portabella Melt on Brioche,” the company reported.
- SodaStream shares dropped after lackluster year-end figures (down 21%). “Despite achieving all-time record sales, we failed to deliver our profit targets and are disappointed in our fourth quarter performance…These preliminary results reflect a challenging holiday selling season in the U.S. and several factors, mostly from the second half of the quarter that negatively impacted our gross margin,” Daniel Birnbaum, SodaStream CEO, said in a statement.
- Shares of Juniper are climbing after reports that Paul Singer’s hedge fund is making an activist play (up 8%). Elliott Management already has a 6.2% stake in the company, but the stock is up after Bloomberg reported that Singer will make a stronger push for control, which could lead to a share buyback.
- Goldman Sachs gives Twitter a boost (up 5%). Goldman, which was Twitter’s lead underwriter in its IPO, gave the stock a “buy” rating, saying it shows 14% upside.
As the old market cliche goes, it’s a stock picker’s market these days. Market correlations are down, so investors keying in to the right stories are going to do particularly well. And bad stock pickers — and fund managers — won’t be able to hide away in a highly-correlated market environment.
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