Downgrade Hurts American Eagle While Doughnuts and Skiing Dominate the After-Hours

Markets end the session flat after little economic news today.

Mar 12, 2014 at 9:00PM
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It was rather quiet on Wall Street today. with only one major economic report coming out. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) ended the session down 11 points, or 0.07%, while the S&P 500 increased by 0.03%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.37%. But while the major indexes didn't make big waves today, a few retailers did.

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) dropped 2.67% today, after Morgan Stanley analysts downgraded the stock from "equal weight" to "underweight." The company's earnings release yesterday just slightly beat Wall Street's estimates, with management citing weak demand for its goods as it expects first-quarter results to break even with last year. Quite a few teen retailers have reported similarly weak quarterly results and pessimistic expectations for the future, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the number of companies in this niche shrink in the years to come.   

One consumer stock on the move today was Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD), which ended the regular session up 2.42% and jumped another 9.76% following its after-hours earnings report. Was the report that great? Well, no. The company's earnings per share of $0.12 were shy of estimates by a penny, while revenue fell 4.6% and sales of $112.7 million missed expectations of $118.75 million. Apparently, stocks rose on the company's outlook for fiscal 2015, where it sees 20% to 30% year-over-year EPS growth and a 10% jump in its store count. The company also increased its share repurchase authorization from $50 million to $80 million. 

Another big mover after the bell was Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN), which lost 3.37% following its own after-hours earnings report. EBITDA rose 6% over the same quarter last year, but net income dropped 2.1%. The dramatic 73% drop in snowfall in the Tahoe region from the same period contributed to a 27.2% visitation decline to its Tahoe resorts for the quarter. On a positive note, Vail Resorts doubled its dividend, from $0.2075 to $0.4150 per share.  

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A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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