On Friday's installment of Investor Beat, host Alison Southwick and Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio lead advisor Ron Gross take a look at some of the biggest blockbuster stories from this earnings season, to see who popped, and who dropped.
Chipotle had another phenomenal quarter this quarter, with shares up more than 11% by market close on the news. Revenue increased more than 20%, with same-store sales growing by more than 9%. The company is looking to open another 200 restaurants in 2014: Is that too aggressive? Could the company be approaching the dreaded "burrito saturation point?" In today's lead segment, Ron tells investors why he loves this stock, and how much more growth the company could still have left.
Then, although Amazon was able to increase sales by 20% year over year this quarter, to $25.6 billion, analysts wanted to see $26 billion, and the stock sold off 10% as a result. Amazon has missed analysts' estimates before, but the market is generally much more forgiving than this. Could investors be getting tired of Amazon's old excuse, that the reason we don't see soaring profits with this company is because it is eternally reinvesting in its future? Ron discusses why the old excuse still holds true, and why this is truly a stock for long-term investors, not for those who need to see profits today.
And Google shares are up today after the company announced Q4 earnings last night. The company mostly met analysts' expectations, though it missed on earnings per share, partly due to the lagging Motorola. Google did announce, however, that it would be selling Motorola to Lenovo, something Ron sees as a positive, selling off a business that was a distraction rather than core to Google's mission. He doesn't see the sale as something that will radically drive share prices upward.
The big story here was Google's stock split, announced in 2012 and now, finally clearing litigation. Rather than a traditional 2-for-1 split, the split will create a new class of shares, class C, which will act just like class A shares, but with no voting rights for class C shareholders. Google has been criticized for the move, which some see as a way for Brin and Page to retain control over the company, and investors have expressed concern that the two classes of shares will trade at different rates. Ron discusses the split, and how class C holders will be compensated if the disparity between class C and A shares becomes significant.
And finally, Ron talks about why he'll be watching LinkedIn as it reports earnings next Thursday. Analysts felt that the company issued weak guidance for this quarter when it reported last quarter, saying it "only" expected a 37% increase in revenue. Though an impressive number by all accounts, it wasn't good enough for Wall Street. Ron says he'll be watching when the earnings report comes out to see where revenue growth actually landed, and where the company is guiding to from here.