Corporate earnings and continued doubt about Europe's finances helped wipe out the Dow on Tuesday, which tumbled 83 points after having started off the day in positive territory.
Yet some companies managed to go in the other direction, some even rising higher by double-digit percentages. But resist the urge to high-five everyone in the cubicles next to you, though, since smart investors won't celebrate until they know why their stock surged. Without a fundamental basis for the bounce, these stocks can quickly make the return trip down.
Tuesday's % Change
CAPS Rating (out of 5)
|Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR )
|AerCap (NYSE: AER )
|magicJack VocalTec (Nasdaq: CALL )
|ASML (Nasdaq: ASML )
|Power-One (Nasdaq: PWER )
On the up and up
Bucking a broad, down day on the market is much easier to do when it's rumored you're the subject of buyout talks, which is the happy circumstance aircraft leasing specialist AerCap finds itself in after hiring Goldman Sachs to help explore its "strategic alternatives." Chasing rumors isn't the smartest move investors could make, but analysts think it could fetch up to $17 a share, still another 36% higher than where it jumped to yesterday, and at less than six times earnings estimates and considering analyst growth forecasts, this might be one still worth jumping into.
Maybe it's not as good as getting bought out, but when investors have been languishing as long as Coldwater Creek's shareholders have, being thrown a lifeline like a private equity outfit did yesterday certainly puts some salve on the wounds. Golden Gate Capital gave the retailer a $65 million loan in exchange for two seats on its board. The P/E firm makes troubled retailers its specialty, having taken a similar interest in Pacific Sunwear, J.Jill, and Payless Shoes. A turnaround still needs to be accomplished, though, and that's not always guaranteed in the rough-and-tumble world of women's retail. I'd hold off here until there's something worth hanging your hat onto.
A big investment also sent shares of computer chip equipment maker ASML higher, though it was Intel and not private equity that was providing the funding. We've seen what the prospects for a slowdown in PC sales meant to AMD after it reported gloomy guidance, but Intel seems to be looking beyond the immediate future and gazing further down the road. For a 25% stake in ASML, Intel will be paying for R&D into new technologies.
Dialing up growth
Another day, another breathless press release from magicJack VocalTec and another bounce higher for the stock. When it comes to the VoIP specialist, it's almost wash, rinse, repeat. This time magicJack boosted full-year EPS guidance to $1.50 to $1.80, compared with previous expectations of $1.25 to $1.70, with second-quarter sales expected to be from $37.5 million to $38.5 million, ahead of previous estimates of $36 million. With as much disdain as I hold these pieces of self-puffery, magicJack does seem to be selling more of its dongles and people are renewing their service. As CAPS member WillMunny00 says:
I bought a magicjack a few months ago. I will never go back to a landline. The product for the price is amazing. Great call quality and all the features of a landline and included. This is a great product.
Catching a cold
There was no company-specific news to account for Power-One being able to fight the tide of a lower market, but a positive article on Seeking Alpha calling it the "lynchpin" of the solar sector may have contributed to the good feeling among investors. Unfortunately, I don't share that analyst's optimism as the solar sector is not done taking a beating and will likely continue contracting before we start seeing expansion, let alone the kind we witnessed a few years ago.
Global governments just can't afford the kind of subsidies it takes to make solar power (or wind or biomass or any other alt fuel initiative) to make it competitive with fossil fuels. With natural gas so plentiful and so cheap, it doesn't make economic sense to pursue these other forms of energy. Power-One manufactures inverters that change DC electricity produced by solar and wind into AC electricity fed into electrical grids, but pricing pressures throughout the industry make it difficult for anyone to command any kind of margin.
Yet the CAPS community doesn't hold the same negative feelings that I have as nearly 650 members have weighed in on the inverter maker and 94% of them think it's going to outstrip the performance of the broad indexes, just as it did yesterday.
With the stock now swinging higher, however, tell me in the comments section below or on the Power-One CAPS page how much higher it will fly, or whether investors will get burned betting on a comeback.
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