Stock Market Today: Why lululemon and Accenture are on the Move

What you need to know about the stock market today.

Mar 27, 2014 at 9:00AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has lost 13 points in pre-market trading, suggesting a slightly negative start to the stock market today. The Dow isn't likely to find much direction from global stocks, which stayed put in overnight trading: Europe's STOXX index was flat at 7:30 a.m. EST after making big moves over the last few sessions.

Still, some individual companies will post large swings today despite that quiet start for the Dow. In fact, news is breaking on several stocks that should see heavy trading in today's session, including lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED).


Lululemon stock was down 0.12% in pre-market trading after the company announced fourth-quarter earnings that narrowly beat expectations. The clothing retailer saw net sales rise by 7% to $521 million as earnings held steady at $0.75 a share. Wall Street had targeted $515 million in sales and $0.72 a share in profit. Beyond that slight beat there wasn't much to rave about in these results. Comparable-store sales fell by 2% and profitability shrunk by 3 percentage points to 53.5% of sales. The company expects comps to stay slightly negative this quarter as well, to begin what CEO Laurent Potdevin called an "investment year" for lululemon.

Accenture today posted earnings results for its fiscal second quarter that just missed Wall Street estimates. The consulting and IT services giant took in $7.13 billion in sales, up 1% from last year but below the $7.21 billion that analysts expected. Profit, at $1.03 a share, was a penny shy of targets as well. Looking beyond those headline results, Accenture had a solid quarter: operating profit held steady at 13.3% of sales and the company ended the quarter with over $10 billion in new contract bookings. Accenture now expects sales growth for the full year to be between 3% and 6%, up slightly from its prior estimate of 2% to 6% growth. The stock lost 1.8% in pre-market trading.

Finally, pharmacy and grocery retailer Fred's this morning booked disappointing results for its fourth quarter. Sales fell by 6% to $495 million and profit shrunk by 10% to $134 million. Fred's management pointed to a big spike in costs for generic drugs, which crimped earnings in its pharmacy business. The harsh winter weather that hurt most retailers also took its toll, the company said. Management said it expects both of those issues to continue into the first quarter of this year. Fred's stock was unchanged in pre-market trading. 

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Accenture and Lululemon Athletica. 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.

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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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