Ultimate Market Recap: Consumer Banks Get a Boost, Social Media Companies Climbing

Friday Morning’s Top Stories

Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE:TSN) jumped almost 5 percent in early trading on Friday.  The company report a profit decline of 48 percent, but an increase of 9.4 percent in sales. Smithfield Foods Inc. (NYSE:SFD) also increased .58 percent.

Despite a 15 percent rise in earnings, shares of Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) dropped more than 6 percent.  “Our underlying business continues to grow behind increased advertising and merchandising, despite softness in certain countries and currency headwinds,” said Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive.

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Shares of Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG) fell 1.7 percent after reporting a 4.6 percent decrease in same-store sales. The company said, “As we move past the impact from this year’s weak flu season, we anticipate an improvement in the coming months in the number of comparable prescriptions filled relative to January’s result.”  CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE:CVS) shares declined .38 percent.

The Clorox Co. (NYSE:CLX) gained 2.7 percent after announcing a fiscal second quarter profit of $105 million (79 cents per share), compared to $21 million (15 cents per share) the previous year.

Beam Inc. (NYSE:BEAM) shares climbed 1.8 percent higher this morning after reporting fourth-quarter increased to $94.1 million (59 cents), compared to $85.4 (55 cents per share) the prior year.

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Consumer bank stocks such as Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) received a boost as the unemployment rate declined from 8.5 percent to 8.3 percent.  Today’s report includes revisions adding a total of 60,000 jobs to payrolls in November and December. The Labor Department also revised December’s gains to 203,000, from an initially reported 200,000.

Friday Morning Hot Stocks

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN): In FY12, overall domestic protein, including chicken, beef, pork and turkey production is expected to decrease. Because exports are likely to remain strong, we forecast total domestic availability of protein to be down 2-3% compared to FY11, which should continue to support improved pricing. Shares of Tyson Foods, Inc. are trading 5.64% higher today.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD): After Gilead reported higher than expected Q4 revenue, Oppenheimer believes that the company’s 2012 guidance is conservative and expects sales of the company’s HIV treatments to continue to grow. The firm maintains an Outperform rating. Shares of Gilead Sciences, Inc. are trading 7.79% higher today.

The Clorox Company (NYSE:CLX): The company also expects 2%-4% revenue growth for the year. Shares of The Clorox Company are trading 1.76% higher today.

Zoltek Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZOLT): CEO Zsolt Rumy commented: “We estimate that this large turbine segment of wind energy generation will increase at an annual rate of 15-25% for the next decade or more. These positive market fundamentals should enable us to maintain and build upon their leadership position as the primary supplier of carbon fiber to producers of wind turbines.” Shares of Zoltek Companies, Inc. are trading 38.24% highertoday.

Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD): Threshold Pharmaceuticals announced that a global agreement was signed with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to co-develop and commercialize TH-302, Threshold’s small molecule hypoxia-targeted drug. TH-302 is currently being investigated in a global Phase 3 clinical trial in patients with soft tissue sarcoma, a randomized Phase 2 trial in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer from which top-line results are expected in February, as well as additional clinical studies in other solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Merck (NYSE:MRK) will receive co-development rights, exclusive global commercialization rights and will provide Threshold an option to co-commercialize the therapeutic in the U.S. In exchange, Threshold will receive an upfront payment of $25M and could receive up to $35M in additional development milestones during 2012. Threshold is also eligible to receive a $20M milestone payment based on positive results from its randomized Phase 2 trial in pancreatic cancer. Total potential milestone payments are $525M, comprised of $280M in regulatory and development milestones and $245M in sales-based milestones. In the U.S., Threshold will have primary responsibility for development of TH-302 in the soft tissue sarcoma indication. Threshold and Merck KGaA will jointly develop TH-302 in all other cancer indications being pursued. Merck KGaA will pay 70% of worldwide development costs for TH-302. Shares of Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. are trading 77.51% higher today.

Friday’s Trending Stocks

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX): According to sources close to the matter, Viacom (NYSE:VIA) Chairman Sumner Redstone is expected to approve a subscription revenue agreement with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and says the companies are putting “the final touches” on a deal, the New York Post reports. Viacom already has streaming agreements with Hulu and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). Talk of the deal is not getting in the way of Netflix shares rising 2% to $126 per share today.

The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL): Sees Q3 net sales up 4%-5% in constant currency. Consensus is $2.27B. Including items, EPS is expected tobe 27c-31c. The Company expects to take charges associated with restructuring activities in Q3 of about $7M, equal to approximately 1c per diluted common share. In connection with its long-term strategic plan, as well as certain ongoing initiatives, the Company expects to realize savings of between $25M-$35M in Q3. Shares of The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. are trading 3.93% lower today.

Trimble Navigation Limited (NASDAQ:TRMB): Trimble Navigation (NASDAQ:TRMB), which markets advanced positioning products, reported Q4 EPS of 54c, versus analysts’ consensus estimate of 48c. The company’s revenue also came in higher than expected. Trimble provided Q1 EPS guidance of 61c-63c, versus the consensus estimate of 58c. The company’s Q1 revenue guidance was also higher than expected. Trimble believes that its positive momentum will continue into 2012 and the company expects to post strong results in 2012, subject to worldwide economic conditions. “We enter 2012 with a strong portfolio that is dynamic and capable of producing significant growth over the next few years,” added Trimble CEO Willa McManmon. In early trading, Trimble jumped $3.17, or 6.57%, to $51.31. Shares of Trimble Navigation Limited are trading 5.9% higher today.

BEAM Inc (NYSE:BEAM): Says earnings target for 2012 is to grow diluted EPS before charges/gains at a high-single-digit rate against 2011 base of $2.12. Consensus is $2.32. Shares of BEAM Inc are trading 1.54% higher today.

Market Recap

Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +1.23%, S&P+1.46%, Nasdaq +1.61%, Oil +1.43%, Gold -1.77%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) rose to $97.74 a barrel. Precious metals were down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,728.20 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 1.64% to settle at $33.62.

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Today’s markets were up because:

1) Jobs. Labor Department today lowered the U.S. unemployment rate by two-tenths of a point to 8.3 percent, the lowest it’s been since February 2009. January data showed nonfarm payrolls to have risen a whopping 243,000, wildly exceeding even the most optimistic of economists’ projections.

2) Services. The January installment of the Institute for Supply Management’s services indexrose to 56.8, from a revised 53.0 in December, the highest level since February 2011. The services sector was shown to have expanded at a faster rate last month, boosted by new orders, while the ISM’s employment index rose from 49.8 in December to 57.4 in January, the highest level in six years.

3) Financials. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) led today’s rally despite being named in major lawsuits today, with Goldman alleged to have defrauded investors in a 2006 offering of mortgage-backed securities, while the former three have been accused by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of fraudulently using an electronic mortgage database to avoid the need for recording mortgage transfers. Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) also joined in the rally, each rising more than 3 percent.

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After Hours Radar Stocks

After closing 30 percent lower on Friday, shares of THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) bounced 7 percent higher in late trading.  The company reported a $55.9 million loss for the third quarter.

Shares of NetSuite (NYSE:N) jumped 2.45 percent after the closing bell. The company reported revenue of $64.1 million, compared to estimates of $63 million. According to JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens, NetSuite is advancing due to growing demand for business software applications sold as a Web-based service, MarketWatch said.

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Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) shares were halted on Friday after its CEO Steve Appleton died in a small plane crash in Boise, Idaho. “Our hearts go out to his wife, Dalynn, his children and his family during this tragic time,” the company said in a statement. “Steve’s passion and energy left an indelible mark on Micron, the Idaho community and the technology industry at large.”

Bank stocks such as JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) edged slightly lower in extended trading hours. Both stocks closed the day higher after the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.

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Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) continued to climb .30 percent higher after the closing bell.  The social gaming company has received strong boost from the Facebook IPO announcement.  According to Facebook’s SEC filing, Zynga accounts for 12 percent of Facebook’s revenue.  Other social companies such as LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD) and Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) also received a boost from Facebook this week.

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