Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Expect a weak start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) lost 35 points, or 0.2%, in premarket trading this morning. We are a few days into earnings season, and so far 65 members of the S&P 500 index have posted their quarterly results -- with two-thirds of that group beating profit and sales estimates, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, new earnings announcements have a number of stocks on the move this morning, including Coach (NYSE: COH ) , United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) , and Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT ) .
Coach posted a 6% decline in quarterly revenue, to $1.42 billion, as the retailer continued to struggle in reconnecting with fashion shoppers. Growth in the company's men's, footware, and Asian markets wasn't enough to overcome a big drop in its women's handbag and accessories business, and comparable-store sales dove by 13.6%. Coach's earnings fell to $1.06 a share for its second quarter, which was 14% below last year's result. Management admitted that those holiday-quarter results were "disappointing," but pointed to success in China, where sales grew by 25%, and to upcoming new product launches as reasons for optimism. Investors don't appear to be sold on that view, as Coach's stock is down 7.6% in premarket trading.
United Technology this morning booked a 29% boost in adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter, to $1.58 a share. Sales ticked higher by 2% to reach $16.8 billion. United Technology's aerospace and airline parts businesses were standouts in the quarter, as they both booked 20% order growth and helped organic sales rise by 4% overall. And, thanks to accelerating order growth toward the end of the year, the company was able to affirm its outlook for 2014, saying earnings should come in at about $6.70 a share on revenue of $64 billion. The stock is down 0.5% in premarket trading.
Finally, Abbott Labs posted fourth-quarter earnings of $0.58 a share on sales of $5.66 billion. Both figures were about even with what Wall Street expected. Results were helped along by a boost in Abbott's diagnostics business, which grew by 9% in the quarter. Abbott also issued earnings guidance for 2014, saying that it expects to book profit of $2.21 a share, exactly what analysts had targeted. The company boosted its share repurchase plans as well, to $2 billion for the year. The stock is up 1.2% in premarket trading.
Start 2014 off right
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