Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Morning

US stocks opened slightly positive today, helped by a Commerce Department Report that showed retail spending held steady in February despite horrible weather in much of the country.
After yesterday's announcement that Caterpillar will increase its US-based excavator production, the WSJ opines on this "onshoring" trend.
After a decade of rapid globalization, economists say companies are seeing disadvantages of offshore production, including shipping costs, complicated logistics, and quality issues. Political unrest and theft of intellectual property pose additional risks.

FBR Capital downgraded Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) to Market Perform from Outperform, after the company reported a larger than expected loss last night. Shares are off 15.3% in early trading...

Hibbett Sporting Goods surprised to the upside this morning, with EPS of 40cents versus the consensus estimate of 31cents. They guided this year's earnings to about 1.21 per share, slightly above current expectations. Note however, the extreme "product concentration" they enjoyed...
"We are pleased with the strong comparable stores’ sales performance delivered by all merchandise categories during the quarter. Approximately one-third of this increase can be attributed to a strong demand for licensed products due to both the University of Alabama and the New Orleans Saints successful football seasons and resulting championships. We are encouraged that the positive sales trend has accelerated into the first quarter of Fiscal 2011.”


The WSJ reports that just as things are improving markedly for the airline industry, their labor unions will wreck the party. Largely to blame for past aviation bankruptcies, they're back for more...

Shares of Hansen Natural (HANS) are up 1% this morning, after announcing a $200million share buyback. This terminates the previous buyback plan, under which $189million in stock had been repurchased.

Edmunds reports on early March auto sales. Despite its recall issues, Toyota (TM) not only regained market share lost earlier this year, but also increased share over the year-ago period. Nice!


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