Why First Solar, Veracyte, and KB Home Jumped Today

Stocks plunged Wednesday after Fed Chair Janet Yellen surprised the market with hints of a sooner-than-expected rate increase, but these stocks still posted strong gains. Find out more about what made these stocks soar.

Mar 19, 2014 at 8:00PM

Most investors believed that the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting today would prove to be a non-event. But while the continuation of the Fed taper didn't surprise anyone, Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments during the subsequent press conference threw markets for a loop, with hints that the Fed could raise interest rates sooner after the end of quantitative easing than investors had expected. That send the Dow down triple digits, but it didn't stop solid advances for First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Veracyte (NASDAQ:VCYT), or KB Home (NYSE:KBH).

First Solar soared more than 20% after the solar giant gave positive guidance for revenue during the current year and for better profits in 2015 and 2016 than investors were expecting. Interestingly, First Solar's revenue guidance doesn't call for guaranteed fast growth, with ranges of $3.7 billion to $4 billion this year, $3.8 billion to $4.3 billion in 2015, and $3.8 billion to $4.5 billion in 2016. But even though some analysts have argued that First Solar's operating expenses could keep profit margins down and hold back earnings growth, First Solar's projections for earnings to rise to as much as $5 per share by 2016 are quite optimistic compared to the consensus of analysts. With so much competition in the solar industry and with First Solar largely shut out of the fast-growing residential-solar segment, the company will need to see favorable trends continue in order to reach its lofty goals.

Veracyte climbed 8%, as the biotech diagnostics company released earnings last night. Revenue climbed 53% from year ago levels, with its Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysts and Afirma Gene Expression Classifier products gaining traction in the diagnostics marketplace. Specifically, as Veracyte has gotten more health insurance companies to provide coverage for expenses related to its products, it has seen greater adoption of those products among physicians. Still, with the company having jumped more than 40% since its first-day close after its October 2013 IPO, Veracyte still has a lot of growing to do before it can convince some skeptical investors that it has staying power in the highly competitive health-care niche. But with revenue guidance for 2014 that could almost double 2013's figures, Veracyte's growth potential is extensive.

KB Home rose almost 6% after this morning's earnings report from the homebuilder defied some forecasts for a weak season. KB Home reversed a year-ago loss with a profit of $0.12 per share, which is unusual for this particular season of the year, as revenue jumped 11% on an 18% rise in net orders and 21% gains in backlogs. Tight markets for available land have sent average home prices soaring, with KB Home reporting averages of more than $305,000, up 12% from last year's levels. The good news pulled peer Lennar (NYSE:LEN) up as well, and with Lennar reporting its earnings tomorrow, investors should soon see whether KB Home's positive results were a fluke or an indication of widespread strength in housing.

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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.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

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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