Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
The stock market gave bullish investors some relief today, as many market analysts suggested that value-hungry investors decided to take advantage of the 325-point drop in the Dow yesterday to pick up stocks at a bargain price. Yet even though the rise of 0.5% to 0.75% for the Dow and S&P 500 didn't make up all of the market's lost ground, certain stocks did much better, with Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS ) , Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM ) , and Headwaters (NYSE: HW ) among the best performers of the day.
Michael Kors (KORS) spiked upward by 17% after the company announced strong results for the holiday quarter. The luxury retailer enjoyed comparable-store sales gains of 28%, beating its own guidance and leading to a 59% jump in total revenue. Margins were also strong, helping support a 77% rise in net income. As solid as 24% same-store sales growth in North America was, European comps of 73% wowed investors, and greater revenue from licensing shows that the luxury retailer appears to be running on all cylinders.
Yum! Brands (YUM) gained 9% after reporting earnings last night, with the fast-food giant seeing its net profit rising 4% in a big surprise to most investors. The key to the positive figures came from China, where total sales were up 3%. Things weren't perfect for Yum!, as the China division's same-store sales dropped by 4%. Yet in comparison to much worse results that the company has seen throughout the past several quarters, the quarter's figures led many investors to believe that a serious turnaround is just beginning for Yum! in China.
Headwaters soared by 20% as the building-materials specialist defied expectations for a quarterly loss in its most recent report, instead posting a modest profit and seeing quarterly revenue rise almost 11% from year-ago levels. In particular, Headwaters' building-product business saw sharp gains of 21% in sales, and that led the company to boost its projections for pre-tax earnings before interest and non-cash adjustments by about $5 million for fiscal 2014. As long as a strong U.S. economy keeps the industry moving in the right direction, Headwaters (HW) appears ready to keep taking advantage.
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