S&P 500 Recap: Monsanto Earnings, Ross Stores Bucks the Trend

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) over-expansion in the past decade is a well-known fact. Now Starbucks has to contend with higher costs. Starbucks says it is raising it’s prices by 1% in the Northeast and Sunbelt states to compensate. Will this ease the pressure? The market seems to be saying “Yes”.

Investing Insights: Aloca Kicks Off 2012 Earnings Season with These Expectations.

Ford’s (NYSE:F) December sales numbers are in: the Fusion underperformed, but the Escape, Explorer, regular trucks and F-Series trucks all outperformed expectations by a large amount. To summarize, sales increased by 10%, instead of the 7.7% consensus forecast.

Although Bed Bath and Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) stock has gone nowhere fast since mid-October, Oppenheimer pointed out its same-store growth bodes well for its future, and argues that its current price doesn’t reflect its likely earnings power.

Chipolte Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) has hit the big time: Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) believes Chipolte’s EPS growth rate of 35-40% is both feasible and likely. GS also believes that Chipolte’s results belongs with other hyper-growth restaurant stocks.

Investing Insights: Competition in the Coffee Industry is Heating Up.

LSI Corporation (NYSE:LSI) topped the S&P leader board in large part due an upgrade to Outperform by Wedbush. They raised its price target from $7.00 to $8.50. Wedbush’s reasons for optimism include the recent purchase of chip tech company SandForce.

Monsanto’s (NYSE:MON) Q1 earnings report came in, and it was impressive. Revenues beat expectations by about 20% and earnings per share were $0.23, which beat estimates by six cents.

Holiday sales were just too slow, and lots of promotions ate away at margins. Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) was a clear exception to this trend, and has raised its guidance after December same-store sales were up 9%, instead of the 4.2% forecast by analysts.

Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) is experiencing sluggish DVD sales. Their solution? Expand the period of time in which companies like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) can rent new releases. Nevertheless, Netflix as a company may have turned the corner.

MetroPCS Communications (NYSE:PCS) was one of the biggest losers in the S&P because of a 30% drop in new users. The stock has been stagnant ever since, but is showing some signs of life.

The past month has been difficult for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) as retail sales have lagged across the board. But Amazon shares got a nice bounce as investors see troubles at Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) favoring online giants such as Amazon.

After a Doomsday moment in December, Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) has been remarkably consistent. Investors are worried about Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) new move to place Google Flight above internet travel sites, but some of the selloff may have been overdone in the short term.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) was hurt like many retailers based on disappointing holiday sales. But they have gained almost all of those losses back to end the week.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Stella Mariz at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com