Netflix Trips, TI Slips, Wal-Mart Nips

How fitting is it that Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) shares should take a hit the day before Cloverfield hits the mailboxes of many of its subscribers?

The DVD rental specialist fared a whole lot better than Manhattan did in the theatrical thriller. Netflix had a healthy quarterly report and even upped its year-end subscriber target, but that wasn't enough for investors, who sent the stock lower last night after the company's first-quarter report.

The quarter fell in line with Wall Street's expectations, with earnings, revenue, and subscribers climbing 36%, 8%, and 21% respectively. Subscriber growth outpaced the top line because of membership cost reductions last summer. Margins improved despite the rollback, hence the buoyant bottom-line spurt.

With churn and subscriber acquisition costs clocking in lower, Netflix is doing all the right things. The problem is that the stock has been hitting new highs lately. That comes with unspoken expectations.

The company's new guidance is projecting 9.1 million to 9.7 million members on its rolls by year's end. This is the second time that Netflix has raised its guidance this year. Unfortunately, it's also the second time that Netflix has upped the account tally, slightly raised its revenue target, but left its net income figure intact.

News to go
They may like 'em big in Texas, but they're going to have to settle for small in Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN  ) . The chip maker saw its first-quarter revenue climb just 3% higher over last year's showing, but fall by 8% sequentially. Texas points to strength in its high-performance analog semiconductors, but a 20% improvement there only hammers home how poorly the company is doing elsewhere. Margins did improve, propping profits higher, but the company's second-quarter outlook is bracing investors for another ho-hum period of meager sequential gains, if that.

DuPont (NYSE: DD  ) topped its bottom-line target this morning, with earnings soaring 22% higher to $1.31 a share. Weakness in the chemical giant's construction and motor vehicle products was more than offset by strength overseas and with its agricultural and nutritional lines. I guess being a diversified conglomerate pays. That's "the point" of DuPont. 

Shine on, Sam Walton. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) claimed top honors on the annual Fortune 500 list yesterday. The world's leading retailer narrowly edged out ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) for the pole position, but that is only because the Fortune list ranks contenders by revenue instead of profits. Given the razor-thin margins of discount retailing, Wal-Mart wouldn't have even cracked the top five if the list was based on the bottom line instead of the top.

Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX  ) came through with better-than-expected first-quarter results. Revenue may have clocked in flat at just more than $2 billion for the biotech company, but adjusted earnings of $0.24 a share came in well ahead of last year's profitability, as well as the $0.11 a share that Mr. Market was expecting. What is it with Boston-based sports teams and Boston-named companies winning so much lately?

Is Rupert Murdoch's back against the Wall -- as in The Wall Street Journal? Managing editor Marcus Brauchli is stepping down, just a year into his tenure and a mere four months since News Corp. (NYSE: NWS  ) completed its Dow Jones acquisition, according to several media sources. Even if the resignation is considered amicable, it's easy to be skeptical of key changes that take place after a takeover. Let's just hope that News Corp. isn't expecting its Journal execs to maintain profile pages on MySpace or to submit their likenesses to be used as The Simpsons characters.

Oh, and happy Earth Day. If you don't have time to plant a tree, at least do your best to avoid running into one.

Have a great day out there.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (13)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 626424, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/28/2016 6:18:50 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,161.19 -8.49 -0.05%
S&P 500 2,126.41 -6.63 -0.31%
NASD 5,190.10 -25.87 -0.50%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/28/2016 4:03 PM
BSX $22.09 Up +0.60 +2.79%
Boston Scientific CAPS Rating: ***
DD $69.45 Down -0.39 -0.56%
DuPont CAPS Rating: ****
FOX $26.24 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Twenty-First Centu… CAPS Rating: ***
NFLX $126.57 Up +0.10 +0.08%
Netflix CAPS Rating: ***
TXN $70.80 Up +0.07 +0.10%
Texas Instruments CAPS Rating: ***
WMT $69.99 Up +0.16 +0.23%
Wal-Mart Stores CAPS Rating: ***
XOM $84.78 Down -2.14 -2.46%
ExxonMobil CAPS Rating: ****