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Stocks Hit New Record Highs; Men’s Wearhouse Climb on Takeover Plan

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Stocks pushed further into record territory today as the Dow Jones hit yet another new all-time high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq pushed further past 4,000, a day after topping that mark for the first time in 14 years. On the economic front, consumer confidence unexpectedly declined in November to a seven-month low. The Conference Board’s monthly reading dipped to 70.4 from 72.4 in October. That was below the consensus of 72.6. A separate report from the Commerce Department showed applications for new home construction hitting a five year high in October. The Case-Shiller housing index also showed signs of recovery in the housing market. Home prices in the 20 cities measured rose by the most in the 12 months through September since February 2006.

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Two suit makers, two Suitors. Men's Warehouse (MW) popped more than 7% today on news that it wants to buy competitor Jos. A Bank (JOSB) whose stock rose more than 11%. It's a turnaround from September when Jos. A Bank tried to buy Men's Wearhouse. All the shopping around began after Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer was ousted from his role as Executive Chairman of the company. Men's Wearhouse is offering $55 per share for Jos. A Bank for a purchase price totaling $1.2-billion.

Tiffany (TIF) dazzled today, climbing over 8% on its quarterly report. The luxury jeweler had a rock-solid beat with adjusted earnings of 73-cents a share when expectations where for 58-cents. Sales were also more than $20-million above estimates at $911.48-million. The beat was fueled by a 27% sales rise in the Asia-Pacific region, though revenues were down in Japan because of the weak yen. Same-store sales across all regions were up 7%.

Hormel (HRL) rose more 6% today on an earnings beat. The packaged-foods company reported profits of 58-cents a share when expectations were for 54-cents. Revenues also topped expectations at $2.323-billion versus $2.301-billion. Profits were up 19% over last year largely on the company's acquisition of the Skippy band. Hormel's portfolio also includes Dinty Moore and Spam.

Restaurant and retail chain Cracker Barrel (CBRL) moved more than 7% lower despite beating estimates with the release of its quarterly report. The company made $1.14 a share, a penny better than predictions. Revenues came in at $649.14-million topping expectations for $646.72-million. Shares may have slid because the company gave a modest outlook. For the quarter just ended, sames-store sales at restaurants were up 2.8%. Retail sales in shops adjoining the restaurants improved 2.5%.

Chico's (CHS) climbed several percentage points despite an earnings miss. The company made 22-cents a share, 2-cents lower than expectations. Sales also missed the forecast at $655.57-million versus $662.70-million. The stock had been down more than 5% in early trading before reversing course.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) is up 7% following its report yesterday. The company posted earnings of 8-cents a share beating estimates of 7-cents. Revenue also grew 49% from last year to $128-million. So, what exactly is behind the beat? The network security provider has seen a steady growth in its subscription service recently. Still, shares for the year are still down just over 10%.

Workday (WDAY), which we highlighted yesterday ahead of its earnings, was up more than 12% today. The company posted a loss of 12-cents a share which beat estimates for a loss of 17-cents. It also posted revenues of $127.9-million up from an estimate of $117.8-million. The cloud application company has had a pretty good year so far seeing its stock up 38% year-to-date.

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