The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has gained seven points in pre-market trading, suggesting a flat start to the stock market today. Still, any rise at all would be enough to set a new all-time high for the average, which is sitting at a 0.6% gain so far on the year.
Meanwhile, earnings reports continue to point toward improving corporate profits, particularly at the high end: Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS ) and Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL ) stocks are both on the move today after the companies delivered surprisingly strong quarterly numbers.
Michael Kors trounced Wall Street earnings estimates this morning by posting a 54% spike in quarterly revenue, along with a 63% improvement in profit. Sales for the luxury retailer climbed to $918 million, well ahead of the $816 million that analysts expected. Likewise, earnings of $0.78 a share far outpaced expectation for $0.68. Kors seems to be firing on all cylinders, with comparable-store sales up nearly 30% overall. Profitability also rose by a full percentage point to reach 61% of sales. In a report stuffed with good news for investors, what really sticks out is the company's broad-based success: retail sales were up 43% in North America and 125% in Europe, while Kors managed big gains in its licensing and wholesale businesses as well. Still, the company did provide a somewhat cautious outlook for the year ahead that targets comparable-store sales growth in just the "high teens." The stock was down 0.4% in pre-market trading.
Toll Brothers today posted a 150% spike in quarterly profit. The luxury homebuilder's earnings jumped to $0.35 a share from last year's $0.14 haul as it booked a 67% rise in sales to $860 million. But price hikes were the real driver of this quarter's strong results: Toll Brothers' average home sold for $706,000 -- up from $577,000 just a year ago. CEO Douglas Yearly said in a press release that the company isn't worried about a recent flattening of demand growth in the housing market, saying Toll Brothers believes we are "in the early stages of the housing recovery with significant pent-up demand building." Toll Brothers raised its forecast for its average sales price while reaffirming its prior guidance for delivering between 5,100 and 5,850 homes this year. The stock was up 3.6% in pre-market trading.
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