Market Wrap: Color Fades for Barnes & Noble; Home Prices Surge; Smith & Wesson Still Strong

Market wrap for June 25th

End of the Day: S&P 500 up 14.9 to 1,588.03; Dow Jones up 100.8 to 14,760.31; Nasdaq up 27.1 to 3,347.89

* Data from the U.S. Commerce Department had durable goods orders up 3.6 percent in May 2013, versus Street expectations for a gain of 3.0 percent and a rise of 3.6 percent reported in April. Excluding transportation, orders rose 0.7 percent, down from 1.7 percent in April, but surpassing expectations for a drop of 0.5 percent.

* The S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index showed record monthly gains in their 10- and 20-City Composites during April, up 11.6 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively. For the month of April, 19 of the 20 cities showed positive returns; Detroit was the only MSA to remain flat. Compared to March 2013, thirteen cities showed improvement with Minneapolis showing the largest change with a gain of 2.9 percent compared to its March return of (1.1) percent

* Walgreen Company (NYSE: WAG) reported Q3 EPS of $0.85, 6 cents worse than the analyst estimate of $0.91. Revenue for the quarter came in at $18.3 billion versus the consensus estimate of $18.44 billion. Front-end comparable store sales (those open at least a year) increased 0.4 percent in the third quarter, customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 3.9 percent and basket size increased 4.4 percent, while total sales in comparable stores increased 1.4 percent.

* Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) reported Q4 EPS of ($2.11), versus the analyst estimate of ($0.96). Revenue for the quarter came in at $1.3 billion versus the consensus estimate of $1.33 billion. For fiscal year 2014, the company expects Retail comparable bookstore sales to decline in the high-single digits on a percentage basis. College comparable store sales are expected to decline in the low-single digits on a percentage basis. * Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL) reported Q3 EPS of $1.05 vs estimate of $0.85. Revenue for the quarter came in at $946.8 million versus the consensus estimate of $965.07 million. The Company continues to reengineer business processes and refine its educational delivery structure. These restructuring activities are expected to favorably impact annual operating expenses by at least $400 million beginning in fiscal year 2014, when compared to fiscal year 2012. This is a $50 million increase in anticipated savings from the Companyâs previous outlook. The Company expects to realize at least $300 million of these annual cost savings in fiscal year 2013.

* Coal stocks saw a little action today following President Barack Obama announcing new climate control plans. Plans call for limits on carbon emissions from all U.S. power plants. Of the 6,597 power plants in the U.S., coal-fired plants account for 589 of the total and accounted for 38 percent of electricity produced in the U.S. last year. Ending the session on a positive note were Alpha Natural Resources, (NYSE: ANR) Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE: ACI), Peabody (NYSE: BTU), Cliffs (NYSE: CLF), and Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WLT), among other "Big Coal" names.

* Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SWHC) reported Q4 EPS of $0.44, in-line with the analyst estimate of $0.44. Revenue for the quarter came in at $178.7 million versus the consensus estimate of $170.72 million. Sees Q114 EPS of $0.34 to $0.37, versus the consensus of $0.30. Also sees Q114 revenue of $162 million to $167 million, versus the consensus of $141.2 million. Also sees FY14 EPS of $1.30 to $1.35, versus the consensus of $1.13. Sees FY14 revenue of $605 million to $615 million, versus the consensus of $590.4 million. When Walther is excluded from the full year 2013 results, estimated net sales for 2014 would represent year-over-year growth of 12 percent at the mid-point, the company noted.

* Today, Pandora said partnerships with 23 auto brands and 8 aftermarket manufacturers has led to over 2.5 million subscriber activations.

* Kenneth J. Kay will no longer serve as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) as of July 31, 2013. The Company is entering into a six-month consultancy agreement with Mr. Kay pursuant to which Mr. Kay will provide transitional services as needed.

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