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Lowe’s and Target Beat; Staples Misses; Hewlett-Packard on Deck

Home improvement giant Lowe's (LOW) just reported a healthy beat on earnings and is and now up nearly 5% in early trading. The chain reported earnings of 88-cents a share versus expectations of 79-cents. That's up from 64-cents a year ago. Sales also higher than estimates at $15.7 billion. Lowe's says it's drawing more business as homeowners get encouraged by the recovery in the housing market. It's a similar story to what we heard when rival Home Depot reported yesterday. As for Lowe's, it hit a new 52-week high a week ago Monday and is up 22% year-to-date.

Target (TGT) which is also out with its earnings. Pardon the cliche, but it hit the bullseye for the quarter. We're talking earnings of $1.19 a share, a quarter better than expected. Revenue also topped estimates though no by as wide a margin. This is one of the few retailers we've seen surpass estimates for the quarter. Competitors like Wal-Mart, Kohls, and yesterday J-C Penney all disappointed. Target is up 16% overall in 2013. But it has been a rough month, down 7% ahead of this morning's report.

Staples (SPLS) is down nearly 10% after reporting earnings this morning. The office giant missed estimates, with profits of 16-cents, versus expectations of 18-cents. That would have been flat from last year. Sales were also slightly below expectations at $5.31-billion. The issue? Overseas. Staples pointed to weak business in Europe and Australia. Despite the pullback we've been seeing in the larger market, this stock hit its 52-week high last Tuesday and goes into today's session up 47% year-to-date.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) reports after the closing bell. The company is expected to post earnings of 86-cents a share down from $1 even a year ago. Revenue is likely to be down 8% to $27.29-billion. So far this stock is up 72% year-to-date, just shy of its 52-week high. CEO Meg Whitman is trying to maintain momentum as the company looks to rebuild with a focus on servers. A key stat to watch for in the report: PC market share. Dell reported an increase which means we might see a decline here.

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