Stocks On the Move: Disney Jumps to All-Time High as Newmont, Cabot Disappoint

Newmont Mining and Cabot Oil & Gas were among the weaker performers at midday, while Disney led the Dow higher. Find out why.

Feb 21, 2014 at 12:30PM

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 Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) defied negative news on the housing front Friday to rise a modest 28 points as of 12:30 p.m. EST. Disney (NYSE:DIS) was the top performer in the average, with its stock hitting all-time highs. But beyond the Dow 30, Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) fell after their respective earnings reports, despite having some relatively positive things to say.

In the context of all the adverse weather-related news we've seen lately, Disney's 1.4% advance makes a great deal of sense. Its theme parks are located in good-weather areas that are popular destinations in their own right, and although its studio films rely on box-office proceeds for their initial success, Disney also makes money on that content further down the pipeline. Most importantly, with people staying indoors, Disney's television media properties have the biggest chance to shine, justifying the huge distribution fees that the House of Mouse reaps from cable companies and other distribution vehicles. Disney's relatively weather-proof business gives it an advantage in this long winter season.

Newmont, however, hasn't been as lucky, as its stock fell nearly 6% today even as gold prices remained relatively stable. The gold miner managed to boost production volume substantially in the fourth quarter compared to the year-ago quarter, but the huge decline in prices for gold bullion still led Newmont to report weaker overall revenue (a fall of 12%) than investors had expected. More importantly, plunging prices forced the company to adjust its reserves downward by 11%, with large impairment charges sending Newmont to a generally accepted accounting principles loss even as its adjusted net income fell short of expectations as well. Coming after a 25% dividend cut earlier this week, Newmont shareholders aren't happy with the gold miner's progress.

Cabot Oil & Gas slumped almost 7% even though many investors made favorable comments about the exploration and production company's latest earnings and reserves. At first glance, a 42% increase in proved reserves and new arrangements with a WGL Holdings (NYSE:WGL) subsidiary to have more of its natural-gas production delivered via pipeline look like positives for Cabot. Yet with investors having extremely high expectations for Cabot, even a near-doubling of profit and a 32% jump in revenue might not have been enough to satisfy shareholders looking to justify what had been a nearly 50% rise in the stock over the past year and an ambitious valuation.

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