Lulu Looks Fit, Facebook Gets Virtually Real, and King Drops Its New Crown

Good evening, good lookin'. Here are the four things you need to know on March 29.

Mar 29, 2014 at 7:00PM
Take a break from your spring-break binging and check out what sent Wall Street to a mostly down week.
 
1. Stock market winner ...
Armed with a new CEO, lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) released its earnings report for the final quarter of 2013, and the results sent the stock up 6.2% on Thursday.

The fourth quarter of the a year is the meat and potatoes for most retailers -- all because of the holiday season. For Lulu, based in our neighbor to the north, sales topped $521 million, which was a solid $4 million above Wall Street's expectations, with net income of $109.7 million. Plus, the results were a fancy 7% rise from the same quarter the year before and higher than the company's own projections released in January.

Keep in mind that investors were just happy to see a sign that Lulu is starting 2014 on a fresh slate for more than just financial reasons. Remember that sheer-pants debacle last spring? That cost the company $60 million in revenue last year. Then its founder had to step down from his CEO role after commenting that not all women's bodies were made for Lulu's products (classy, dude). It's no wonder the theme of the earnings report release was making a more "emotional connection" with consumers this year. #latenewyearsresolutions

2. ... And stock market loser
In case you didn't catch it on your news feed, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) dropped a solid $2 billion over the week. The new acquisition: Oculus. Its virtual-glasses hardware straps to your face like Oakley ski goggles that look like they've taken some steroids. Someone's trying to compete with Google Glass.

Just to give you some context, the 'Book spilled $1 billion to control your photo life history when it bought Instagram. And it's lower than the hefty $19 billion Mark Zuckerberg's company spent on WhatsApp when Zuckerberg went to a coffee shop to sit down with the founders and tell them he was about to cut a check.

So what makes FB the loser here? The stock dipped on the news, because investors are a bit wary of Zuckberg's recent buying spree. For Oculus, $400 million of the deal is in cash and the rest is in FB stock for the venture capital-backed company. During the news conference announcement, Zuck also made clear that he doesn't anticipate that the Oculus product will be profitable, but he plans on cashing in on Oculus through software services or advertising instead. Interesting plan, Zuck.

3. The big IPO of the week was a bummer
Despite having the coolest new ticker symbol on Wall Street, mobile-game maker King Digital Entertainment (NYSE:KING) dropped an uninspiring 16% Wednesday on its first day as a publicly traded company. King is the mind behind the colorful waste-your-time-while-commuting-on-the-subway app Candy Crush and sold 22 million shares in its initial public offering to raise $500 million. Its addictive games may be projected to bring in $2 billion over the next year, but investors know how users get bored of them. Quickly.

4. US GDP news was complicated
As Wall Street eagerly awaited, the Commerce Department reported the final official numbers for US GDP growth for the fourth quarter and entire year of 2013. The not-so-hot news was that U.S. economic production grew by a paltry 1.9% overall in 2013, which isn't worth writing home to Mama about. But the bacon-worthy news was that GDP for the fourth quarter to end the year came in above expectations at 2.6% growth. In the post-financial crisis world (GDP shrank by 2.8% in 2009, FYI), that's a pretty good improvement for a mature nation like the United States.

MarketSnacks this week:
  • Monday: Federal Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks
  • Tuesday: Motor Vehicle Sales
  • Wednesday: ADP Employment Report
  • Thursday: International Trade Report
  • Friday: The March Non-Farm Payrolls Job Report

As originally published on MarketSnacks.com

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