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Behind Pandora’s Spike; Reading into Dell and Nordstrom Reports; Jos A. Bank Jitters

Hot Stock Minute

Pandora (P) has been up more than 8% in premarket trading. Goldman Sachs has just upgraded the stock and given it a new price target of $27. Analyst Heath Terry says he is encouraged by three consecutive quarters of accelerating growth. He also says the company seems to understand its competition. This morning's rise adds to gains of 109% year-to-date.

Dell (DELL) seems determined to hover just below the $13.75 price being offered by company founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management.Dell reported earnings after yesterday's closing bell. They beat the street, but were still dismal compared to last year. Adjusted earnings were 25-cents a share, a penny above estimates but down from 42-cents a year ago. Revenue was also above the consensus at $14.5-billion, about the same as last year. Dell says its woes have been worsening with slumping P-C sales forcing it to cut prices. By the way competitor Lenovo says it is now selling more tablets and phones than PCs.

Nordstrom (JWN) has dipped 2.3% on its earnings. The chain beat by a nickel on the bottom line, posting profits of 93-cents a share. But revenues were about $90-million short of expectations. Nordstrom is also cutting its full year forecast. Same-store sales for the period just ended were actually up more than 4% from a year ago. But analysts were looking for gains of almost 7%. Prior to the moves we're seeing at this hour, shares of Nordstrom have been up about 11% this year.

Joseph A. Bank (JOSB) has been down more than 6% in premarket trading. It seems the chain is having trouble giving its merchandise away. The company says customers have not been responding to its high-volume sales campaigns--offers like buy one suit, get five items free. That means, sales and profits will both fall short of expectations for the quarter. At this point, the CEO is predicting profits between 49 and 53-cents a share down from earlier estimates of 68-cents. Revenue will likely be shy of $232-million when earlier estimates were for more than $270-million.

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