Why Middleby, Abercrombie & Fitch, and SunEdison Soared Today

The broader stock market ended the day little-changed on Wednesday, but these three companies hung onto their extensive share-price gains. Find out more about what made these stocks soar.

Feb 26, 2014 at 8:01PM

Wednesday's stock market action turned out to be anticlimactic, as initial strength in the major-market benchmarks gave way to a pullback later in the day. By the close, the Dow and S&P 500 posted very modest gains, but both indexes remained short of their all-time record marks. Nevertheless, several individual stocks saw much more extensive gains, and Middleby (NASDAQ:MIDD), Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), and SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE) were among the best performers of the day.

Middleby jumped 13% as the maker of commercial food services and processing equipment crushed investors' expectations on earnings and revenue in its fourth-quarter results. The company said that sales rose 29%, producing 32% more in net income for the quarter. Although much of the gains came from acquisitions during the year, Middleby's sales climbed almost 9% even excluding the impact of those acquisitions. The commercial food-service division outperformed the food-processing equipment division, but Middleby pointed to its most recent acquisition of steam-cooking equipment maker Market Forge as bolstering its long-term prospects in the industry.

Abercrombie & Fitch gained 11% even as the teen-oriented retailer struggled with a challenging holiday season for the industry in general. Sales for A&F fell by 12%, causing earnings to fall by more than half. Yet with investors having expected even worse results, some pointed to A&F's cost-cutting measures as actually having a positive impact on the stock. CEO Mike Jeffries cited a "difficult and uncertain environment" as weighing on the retailer, but with expectations so low for the industry, Abercrombie is in a great position to deliver value for shareholders if it can avoid making major mistakes.

SunEdison climbed 9% on a mixed day for solar stocks. Even as First Solar posted troubling earnings results that called the utility-solar giant's future business model into question, SunEdison announced that it would build four utility-scale solar projects in the U.K., marking its first business efforts there. With the island nation wanting to bolster the role that solar will play in its overall energy portfolio, establishing an early presence could prove to be a smart move for SunEdison as it tries to distinguish itself in the rapidly expanding solar space.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Middleby. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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