ANN Jumps on Private-Equity Stake, While Tiffany Fails to Shine

The blue chips ended down slightly after a mostly up day. In retail, ANN jumped 13% on private equity disclosure, and TIffany fell slightly after reporting earnings.

Mar 21, 2014 at 10:00PM

Stocks traded above water for most of today's session, and the S&P 500 even hit an intraday trading high at 1,883.97. However, an afternoon sell-off caused all three major indexes to finish down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) closed down 28 points, or 0.2%, while the broad-based S&P lost 0.3%. The Nasdaq fell 1% on a widespread sell-off of biotech stocks.

The afternoon decline did not seem to be prompted by any particular news item; perhaps it was just profit taking and position covering in high-volume trading on an options Friday. In international news, Russia completed its annexation of Crimea, and Russian stocks fell 1% on another round of sanctions against officials and tycoons in the formerly communist country.

Reporting earnings this morning, Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) finished down 0.5% after trading up 3% at one point during the session. The high-end jeweler came up short on the bottom line with an adjusted profit of $1.47 per share on estimates of $1.52. Sales were up 5.1%, or 9% on a constant-currency basis, to $1.3 billion, matching expectations. Without adjustments, the company saw a loss of $0.81 per share due to an adverse arbitration ruling with Swatch, costing it $473 million. Management also issued downside EPS guidance for 2014 of $4.05-$4.15 against estimates of $4.28, though investors tended to see the guidance as overly conservative, sending the stock higher for most of the session.

Elsewhere in retail, ANN (NYSE:ANN) was getting a boost, climbing 13% after private equity firm Golden Gate Captial disclosed a 9.5% stake in the Ann Taylor parent. Golden Gate is known for shaking up retailers, but said it had no intentions of the sort, showering management and the overall business with praise in a letter, and saying it believed shares were "significantly undervalued." ANN responded to the investment by saying it's had two straight years of record earnings and four straight of improving comparable sales, and that it welcomed new investors. Based on today's rally, investors seemed to agree that shares are undervalued. The retailer beat fourth-quarter earnings estimates easily last week, and is now up more than 30% since its pre-earnings announcement on February 6.

Stocks every investor should own
It's no secret that investors tend to be impatient with the market, but the best investment strategy is to buy shares in solid businesses and keep them for the long term. In the special free report, "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," The Motley Fool shares investment ideas and strategies that could help you build wealth for years to come. Click here to grab your free copy today.

Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

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.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information