Posts by Lawrence Lewitinn

  • China's investors find safe haven in American real estate

    Lawrence Lewitinn at Yahoo Finance 9 hrs ago

    The sudden collapse in the Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) and the devaluation of the yuan in the past month have led some to worry that it could cause trouble for the U.S. real estate. But those who follow the market closely see potential capital flows from the turmoil in China to the relative safety of American property.

    “There’s a fear that Chinese buyers, who have been such a market-maker in parts of the United States, may pull back,” said economist Jim Costello of Real Capital Analytics. “Those fears are a little unfounded.”

    Worldwide in the last 12 months, Chinese investors bought $21.1 billion in commercial real estate – income-producing properties priced above $2.5 million – according to data compiled by Real Capital Analytics. Nearly $5.9 billion was invested in the United States, with the lion’s share – $4.5 billion – going to Manhattan.

    High profile acquisitions by Chinese buyers of Manhattan landmark properties have been likened to that of another Asian powerhouse – Japan in the late 1980s.

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  • Icahn buys into FCX, big changes at BIG, ULTA looking pretty

    Lawrence Lewitinn at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    Your daily dose of trending tickers, the stocks you're following based on your Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Freeport-McMoRan (FCX)

    Activist investor Carl Icahn just disclosed an 8.5% stake in the company. He owns 88 million shares or about $900 million worth of the stock. The company announced it was cutting its workforce by 1,500 people and slashing capital expenditures by 29%. Shares of the miner are still down some 70% in the past 12 months with tumbling gold prices.

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    Big Lots (BIG)

    The discount retailer reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and raised guidance. On an adjusted basis, profits were $0.40 per share compared to $0.31 a year ago. Analysts were expecting earnings of $0.34. Big Lots is also making some big moves at the C-level, with several management changes announced as part of what the company is calling a "realignment of responsibilities".

    Ulta Beauty (ULTA)


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  • Analyst trolls Chanos, says he's lying about Elon Musk's SolarCity

    Lawrence Lewitinn at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    One of Wall Street’s most famous short-sellers has set his sights on one of Elon Musk’s companies. Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates is questioning SolarCity’s business model and shorting the company’s shares. But an energy analyst says Chanos is not being truthful.

    Chanos, who first came to prominence shorting Enron in 2000, has likened SolarCity to a subprime financing company, saying that leases customers take on for solar panels amount to second mortgages on their homes.

    SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive refuted that charge and said that customers’ average FICO score is about 740, with the lowest at 650, slightly above subprime levels.

    Meanwhile Musk, who is SolarCity's chairman and Rive's cousin, bought more than 123,500 shares at around $40.48 each on Friday as Chanos went public about shorting the stock.

    An analyst following the company is also challenging Chanos’ accusations.

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  • Oil has no reason to melt down: energy analyst

    Lawrence Lewitinn at Yahoo Finance 7 days ago

    Worries about China and near-record production from OPEC and the U.S. have knocked oil prices below $40 a barrel. But one energy analyst thinks the markets may have beaten up crude a little too much.

    Oil has fallen by a third in the past month and a half, with the price of crude tumbling some 7% in the last five days alone. Bad economic data out of China and the country’s subsequent devaluation added to concerns that there’s more supply of oil than demand in the markets.

    Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show American production at 9.4 million barrels per day, still close to its all-time highs of 9.61 million barrels per day set in June. OPEC production is at 31.5 million barrels per day, which is a 3-year high.

    However, Pavel Molchanov, energy analyst at Raymond James, maintains nothing has happened in the past few days to merit such a steep selloff.

    “Nothing happened in the oil market in the last 24 hours or 72 hours to cause this kind of meltdown other than just sentiment on all commodities and all equities being so negative right now," he said.


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  • SEE: The 'Godfather' funeral angering Italy

    Lawrence Lewitinn at Yahoo Finance 10 days ago

    It was a sendoff fit for a real boss. Well, that it’s if he’s the boss of atrocious taste.

    The gaudy funeral for alleged mobster Vittorio Casamonica in Rome made it clear that he didn’t want to be remembered as an alleged mobster but an out-and-out mafia don.

    His cortege included a horse-drawn gilded carriage with six black horses. There was a helicopter that threw rose petals at the hundreds of mourners who gathered at San Giovanni Bosco church to bid farewell. Posters throughout showed photos of a smiling Casamonica, declaring him “King of Rome” and saying, “You conquered Rome. Now you’ll conquer paradise”.

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    And, to drive home the point, a brass band outside played the theme music from “The Godfather” as his casket was brought into the chapel. Once services were over, Casamonica’s coffin was brought out as the brass band played “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, better known as the theme song from “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

    In the meantime, the pilot of the helicopter that threw those rose petals had his license suspended for flying too low.


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  • Oh, Deere! Foot Locker profits run higher, Peabody keeps soaring on Soros

    Lawrence Lewitinn at Yahoo Finance 10 days ago

    Your daily dose of trending tickers, the stocks we're following based on your Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Deere & Co. (DE) An earnings report has investors saying, "Oh, Deere!" That's because Deere & Company reported a 40% drop in quarterly profits. Low commodity prices and a strong dollar have been hitting the equipment maker's top line. Revenues for the most-recent quarter were $7.6 billion, a 20% drop from last year. Deere also lowered its full-year international sales forecasts.

    Foot Locker (FL) Foot Locker shares are running all over the place. The shoe-seller's most-recent quarter's earnings of $0.84 per share beat the street's estimates of $0.69. That's a 29% increase from last year. But on an adjusted basis, Foot Locker's earnings were $0.64. The retailer, which operates more than 3,700 stores worldwide, has seen its share price run up 27% so far this year.

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  • Valeant soft on Sprout, NetApp up on guidance, Lumber Liquidators higher on hire

    Lawrence Lewitinn at Yahoo Finance 11 days ago

    Your daily dose of trending tickers, the stocks you're following based on your Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) Valeant is falling after the company announced it was buying Sprout Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion. Earlier this week, Sprout received approval from the FDA for a drug called Addyi, which has been dubbed "the female Viagra". Valeant has been in acquisition mode this year. A few months ago, it bought Salix Pharmaceuticals for $11 billion. Despite Thursday's drop, Valeant shares are up 66% this year.

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    NetApp (NTAP) NetApp is up even though it just reported a loss in its most-recent quarter a series of layoffs. The internet storage company saw a 10% drop in revenue and $30 million in losses. It is also letting go of 500 workers. But it reported non-GAAP earnings of 29 cents a share, beating analyst expectations. NetApp also gave positive guidance for this current quarter. However, the stock is still down almost 26% this year.

  • Energy stocks "a good value" despite lower oil: S&P Capital IQ

    Lawrence Lewitinn at Yahoo Finance 11 days ago

    The drop in oil prices has taken its toll on energy stocks. But one strategist is optimistic on the sector’s prospects.

    Crude prices (CLV15.NYM) are approaching $40 per barrel, down from nearly $100 a year ago. Lower oil prices helped to bring down the S&P 500’s energy sector, which is down 17% since the beginning of 2015. Energy (^GSPE) is the worst performer of the 10 major sectors in the S&P 500 (^GSPC).

    Throughout the year, analysts lowered their expectations on energy stocks because of oil’s decline. But when second-quarter earnings came out, energy companies soundly beat Wall Street’s expectations. The sector’s earnings were on average 30% higher than analysts’ estimates. Five of the top 10 companies with the largest earnings surprises were in the energy business.




    Q2 EPS Estimate

    Q2 EPS Actual

    % Difference

    Electronic Arts


    Information Technology




    Hudson City Bancorp







  • One way to get around airline baggage fees

    Lawrence Lewitinn at Yahoo Finance 12 days ago

    The cutthroat competition for cheap airfares had led airlines to come up with different ways to get money out of customers. And some carriers are now even charging passengers for carry-on bags.

    “Back in 2008, the airlines devised policies that involved charging us to check our luggage,” explained lifestyle attorney Shari Olefson, CEO of The  Carnegie Group. “At the same time, we saw a lot of airlines consolidating, a lot of flights consolidating, and of course airlines adding more seats to their airplanes."

    Airlines like Southwest (LUV) and JetBlue (JBLU) let passengers check in their first bag for free while any others like American (AAL) and United (UAL) charge $25. In most cases, carriers ration scarce cargo space by charging more for each additional piece of luggage, according to the website

    "What we’re stuck with now are planes carrying 180 people but will only accommodate 125 pieces of [carry-on] luggage," Olefson said.


  • Target overshoots, American Eagle beats, Lowe's disappoints

    Lawrence Lewitinn at Yahoo Finance 12 days ago

    Here is your daily dose of trending tickers, the stocks you're following based on your Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Target (TGT)

    Target beating estimates and raising revenue guidance.The retail giant posting earnings of $1.21 per share for its most-recent quarter, twice what it was a year ago. The company raised its earnings outlook for the year by a dime. It's now a range between $4.60 and $4.75 a share. One very bright spot has been digital sales, which is seeing 30% growth from last year.

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    American Eagle Outfitters (AEO)

    One retailer not having a good day is, surprisingly, American Eagle Outfitters. Shares are being sold off even though the company beat analysts' estimates. The teen apparel seller reported 12% higher revenue for the most-recent quarter compared to last year. And earnings were $0.17 a share, a huge increase from last year's $0.05. Still the stock is trading down, falling 10% earlier in the session on what looks to be profit-taking. Prior to Wednesday's drop, American Eagle was up 33% for the year.


    Lowe's (LOW)