Solar should rebound strongly today as OIL rebounds But I won't be here to see it, going on 11 day vacation. Have a nice week.
State rebate heats up interest in solar-power installations
Program can trim $10,000 from cost
By Matt Gunderson
Globe Correspondent / May 22, 2008
Option players betting ESLR to $12.50+ in June
The Sun Also Rises
Posted by David Gaffen
SolarVolatility, thy name remains solar stocks. Two solar stocks are notable for their divergent direction in Thursday trading after sales-related news for one, and an analyst downgrade for the other.
Shares of Solarfun Power Holdings Ltd. rose 5% Wednesday after its earnings report in what’s been an interesting year for the shares. The stock declined by 72% between the end of 2007 and March 10, but have since recovered to gain a ridiculous 195%.
Goldman Sachs lowered ratings to a sell Thursday, citing the recent performance of shares. They suggest that “looming margin and cash flow pressure” makes the current valuation “unwarranted.” The shares were down 18% in trading in active trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Those inclined to play one solar company off another (if such trades exist) could have been shifting into shares of Evergreen Solar, which gained 19% after the company announced $1 billion in new contracts. The news brought out bullish players in the options market, who bought June call options at a $12.50 strike price (that’s out of the money), betting that the stock will continue to rise.
At least one analyst believes the stock would have done better Thursday had it not been for Solarfun. “Frankly, I’m surprised the stock is not up even more and feel that this could be due to Goldman Sachs downgrading Solarfun,” writes Sean Udall, on Minyanville.com, who has a position in Evergreen Solar.
Evergreen Solar signs sales contracts worth $1B
Thursday May 22, 9:03 am ET
Evergreen Solar signs sales contracts worth nearly $1 billion
MARLBORO, Mass. (AP) -- Solar panel producer Evergreen Solar Inc. said Thursday it received two long-term sales contracts worth nearly $1 billion.
The company received a $750 million deal with Germany-based Ralos Vertriebs GmbH for panel deliveries starting this year through 2013 and another deal with an unspecified U.S.-based installer.
Evergreen Solar said it will make the panels at its plant in Devens, Mass.
"We will enter into selective long-term supply agreements with additional companies that also bring differentiated value to their customers and serve markets that are at the forefront of solar growth," Richard M. Feldt, Evergreen Solar's president and chief executive, said in a statement.
Shares of the company soared $1.43, or 16 percent, to $10.53 in premarket trading. The stock, which is down 47 percent in the year to date, closed Wednesday at $9.10. [more]
well below estimates. If we can't build supplies of Crude prior to Memorial day which is the summer driving and start of stronger Demand for Oil then we won't be seeing a strong build number anytime soon again until October 2008.
Oil hits $135 a barrel on new supply concerns
By PABLO GORONDI, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 55 minutes ago
Oil prices rose above $135 a barrel for the first time Thursday, with supply worries, global demand and an ever weakening U.S dollar driving crude futures up.
The world's top energy watchdog is preparing a sharp downward revision of its oil-supply forecast, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery rose as high as $135.09 before falling back slightly. By midday in Europe, the contract stood at $134.37 a barrel in electronic trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $1.20 on Wednesday's close of $133.17.
That settlement price, up $4.19 on Tuesday's close, marked NYMEX crude's largest one-day price advance since March 26.
Meanwhile, July Brent crude on the ICE Futures exchange in London also reached a new record of $135.13 a barrel Thursday. By midday in Europe, it had retreated to $134.35, a gain of $1.65 on its Wednesday close.
"Simply put, this is a market you cannot afford to be short in," said U.S. analyst and trader Stephen Schork about Brent futures in his Schork Report.
With gas and oil prices setting new records nearly every day, analysts have begun to wonder what might stop prices from rising. There are technical signals in the futures market, including price differences between near-term and longer-term contracts, that crude may soon fall. But with demand for oil growing in the developing world, and little end in sight to supply problems in producing countries such as Nigeria, few analysts are willing to call an end to crude's rally.
"The sentiment in the market is very bullish at the moment," said David Moore, commodity strategist with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. "The U.S. dollar was weaker last night, and also the U.S. EIA report showed an unexpected decline in U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, so there's a combination of factors pushing the oil prices higher."
Crude prices breezed past $130 early Wednesday, then accelerated when the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude inventories fell by more than 5 million barrels last week. Analysts had expected a modest increase.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs last week revised its oil price forecast for the second half of 2008 from $107 to $141 a barrel. But some analysts saw the new target becoming a reality much sooner.
"Futures are moving so fast that under the current volatility that goal could already be reached within the end of the week," said a report by Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix in Switzerland.
Some analysts say crude has been boosted in recent days by especially strong demand for diesel in China, where power plants in some areas are running desperately short of coal.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the Paris-based International Energy Agency is in the middle of its first attempt to comprehensively assess the condition of the world's top 400 oil fields.
For years the IEA has predicted that supplies of crude and other liquid fuels will arc gently upward to keep pace with rising demand, topping 116 million barrels a day by 2030, up from around 87 million barrels a day currently.
The agency is now concerned that aging oil fields and diminished investment mean that companies could struggle to surpass 100 million barrels a day in production over the next two decades, the paper reported.
That view has been echoed by many analysts.
"The market is really structurally tight ... oil demand is not growing that fast but supply is constrained," said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore.
In the U.S. Energy Information Administration report, gasoline inventories also fell, which took the market by surprise. Inventories of distillates, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, rose less than analysts surveyed by Platts had expected.
While the dollar gained slightly against the euro and the Japanese yen from overnight levels, it fell against the British pound and showed a new downward momentum.
The 15-nation euro bought $1.5765 in morning European trading, down from $1.5780 in late New York trading Wednesday.
The British pound bought $1.9786, up from $1.9689 late Wednesday. The dollar declined to 103.25 Japanese yen from 104.17 yen.
Investors see hard commodities such as oil as a hedge against inflation and a weak dollar and pour into the crude futures market when the greenback falls. A weak dollar also makes oil less expensive to buyers dealing in other currencies.
Many investors believe the dollar's protracted decline over the past year has been the most significant factor behind oil's rise from about $66 a barrel a year ago.
In other Nymex trading, heating oil futures rose 8.46 cents to $3.9930 a gallon (3.8 liters) while gasoline prices added 3.79 cents to $3.4344 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 9.5 cents to $11.735 per 1,000 cubic feet.
AP Business Writer Thomas Hogue in Bangkok, Thailand, contributed to this report. [more]
Raised my caps points from 2200 to 4600+ during that period or over 100%
Have any others of you caps players have had similiar numbers please share your numbers so I can see what worked for you.
How much higher do you think it will report this qtr with oil well above $120? I placed big buys in betting it will be much much higher.
Higher Oil Output Boosts Credo 1Q Profit
Thursday March 6, 8:55 am ET
Credo Petroleum Fiscal 1st-Qtr Profit Jumps on Increased Oil Production, Commodity Prices
DENVER (AP) -- Credo Petroleum Corp. said Thursday its fiscal first-quarter profit rose by nearly a third as oil production rose and commodity prices increased.
Net income for the three months ended Jan. 31 rose to $1.8 million, or 19 cents per share, compared with $1.4 million, or 15 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier.
Revenue increased to $4.6 million from $4.1 million.
The company said oil production rose to 15,700 barrels from 11,900 barrels a year earlier, while natural gas output fell to 392 million cubic feet from 528 million cubic feet.
The company made more on both commodities. Oil prices jumped to an average of $86.39 per barrel from $52.06 a year earlier, while gas prices, after accounting for hedging, increased to $8.24 per 1,000 cubic feet from $6.03 per 1,000 cubic feet previously. Hedging allows buyers and sellers to lock in prices ahead of time to protect against swings in the market. [more]
FPP , MXC, CLR have soared in recent days, but there are two that are still dirt cheap
DK & GPOR
on May 13th interview. Thats why LMC is so appealing at these current prices. LMC produces copper as its main metal.
Lundin Mining Releases First Quarter 2008 Results
Thursday May 15, 9:30 am ET [more]
Revenues up 76%
see's significant earnings from Mini Car sales ahead.
Just sent an alert to CAPS to add symbol KNDI to their system so we can rate it.
Kandi Technologies, Corp. CEO Rings NASDAQ Opening Bell; Sees New Addition to Anticipated Growth as Company Prepares to Launch Super Mini Car Line in the U.S.
Friday May 9, 1:45 pm ET
NEW YORK, NY--(MARKET WIRE)--May 9, 2008 -- Mr. Xiaoming Hu, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Kandi Technologies, Corp. (OTC BB:KNDI.OB - News), one of China's leading designers, manufacturers and exporters of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility vehicles (UTVs), and its number one exporter of go-karts, presided today over the Opening Bell at NASDAQ, celebrating the Company's recent listing on NASDAQ on March 18, 2008.
Source: Kandi Technologies, Corp.
(click to enlarge)
Mr. Xiaoming Hu, CEO and Chairman of Kandi Technologies, Corp. (NASDAQ:KNDI), rings the NASDAQ Opening Bell this morning (Friday, May 9, 2008)
· The MacReport.Net
Mr. Hu commented, "This continues to be a very exciting time for Kandi as we shortly expect to be adding a new layer of growth to our core all-terrain recreational vehicle business (ATRVs) with the introduction this summer to the U.S. market of our new super mini convertible cars for casual, neighborhood driving. We expect this new line of vehicles, which we anticipate will be followed by battery powered cars and gas powered hard tops, will be key drivers of our future growth, starting this year."
"As such," Mr. Hu continued, "we are very pleased to have attained our listing on NASDAQ, which should permit greater visibility with investors worldwide as we make progress toward achieving our goals."
About the Company
Kandi Technologies, Corp. ("Kandi" or the "Company"), founded in 2003 and headquartered in Zhejiang Province, The Peoples Republic of China (the PRC), achieved a listing on NASDAQ in March 2008 with the symbol: KNDI. In its core All-Terrain Recreational Vehicle (ATRV) businesses, the Company generated nearly $35 million in sales in 2007, coupled with a 370% increase in profits to just over $5 million. Kandi ranks as the number one manufacturer and exporter of go-karts in China. The Company's most recent focus in the ATRV category has been on specialized utility vehicles (UTVs), especially for agricultural purposes. This vehicle line is seeing strong growth, especially in the U.S., where Kandi sells approximately 70% of all its ATRV products, with the remainder exported to a variety of countries around the world. The most exciting new development at the Company is its plan to shortly launch in the U.S. its highly economical, beautifully designed off highway, super mini car for casual, neighborhood driving. Kandi believes that super minis will very rapidly become the Company's largest revenue and profit generators.
The Company's products can be viewed at http://www.chinakandi.com
The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. is the world's largest exchange company. It delivers trading, exchange technology and public company services across six continents, and with over 3,900 companies, it is number one in worldwide listings among major markets. NASDAQ OMX Group offers multiple capital raising solutions to companies around the globe, including its U.S. listings market; the OMX Nordic Exchange, including First North; and the 144A PORTAL Market. The company offers trading across multiple asset classes including equities, derivatives, debt, commodities, structured products and ETFs. NASDAQ OMX Group technology supports the operations of over 60 exchanges, clearing organizations and central securities depositories in more than 50 countries. OMX Nordic Exchange is not a legal entity but describes the common offering from NASDAQ OMX Group exchanges in Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Iceland, Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius. For more information about NASDAQ OMX, visit www.nasdaqomx.com. [more]
Forward looking we have .90 eps coming. For a stock under $7/shr thats amazingly cheap. Thanks in part to recession fears which have had a big impact on SORL stock price down but no impact on its soaring sales & profit growth.
SORL Auto Parts Reports First Quarter of 2008 Financial Results
Wednesday May 14, 7:00 am ET
Revenue Grows 26% and Net Income Grows 68%
First Quarter Financial Highlights
-- Revenue increased 25.6% year-over-year to US$30.7 million
-- Gross profit margin increased to 28.2% compared with 23.3% a year ago
-- Net income rose 68.0% year-over-year to US$3.5 million; diluted EPS
increased to US$0.19 from US$0.11 a year ago [more]
Thanks for shorting my picks to those that did, because you added fuel to the fire. [more]
Bank SSBX is at $3.71 , well below its $9+ book value
Economy is showing signs of life so it could be well Oversold.
Posted May 07, 2008 11:28am EDT by Aaron Task in Newsmakers, Recession, Banking
Related: UBS, FNM, WB, LM, LAZ, MER, CFC, BSC
With Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Merrill's John Thain chiming in, there's now near unanimity of opinion on Wall Street: The worst of the credit crisis is over.
Such comments seem outrageous given the latest batch of scary headlines from UBS, Fannie Mae, Legg Mason, Lazard, et al. But hope springs eternal on Wall Street, and the reality is the crisis in the debt markets has eased since JPMorgan's Fed-engineered purchase of Bear Stearns, which Paulson called "an inflection point." (Critics have used similar terms, but with a far different meaning.)
Meanwhile, even Henry "Mr. Sunshine" Blodget is starting to come around to the idea that the housing market may be hitting bottom, thanks to an op-ed by Cyril Moulle-Berteaux, managing partner of Traxis Partners, in The Wall Street Journal.
In making the case for a housing-market bottom, Moulle-Berteaux notes house price affordability has improved dramatically and the inventory of new homes is falling. (The piece appeared prior to Wednesday's weak report on pending sales of existing homes for March.)
The fund manager makes a compelling case, but omits the key element of financing. While demand for housing remains fairly stable and mortgage rates are still historically low, even buyers with high credit scores and large down payments are reportedly struggling to secure as lenders like Countrywide and WaMu grapple with the bubble's aftermath. [more]
signs show that even when financials miss estimates they are rising*** ````````` Check our Performance on http://caps.fool.com under EPS100Momentum
Economic Book Value & Book Value
RAIT’s economic book value per common share outstanding, a non-GAAP financial measure, increased to $14.67 as of March 31, 2008 from $10.52 as of December 31, 2007. Economic book value is computed by adding or subtracting from book value any unrealized losses or gains recognized in shareholders’ equity or through earnings that are in excess of RAIT’s value at risk, or RAIT’s retained investment. Under GAAP, RAIT absorbs unrealized losses or gains on investments held by certain of its consolidated entities, primarily RAIT’s consolidated securitizations, even if those unrealized losses or gains are in excess of RAIT’s retained investment in those securitizations.
RAIT’s GAAP book value per common share outstanding increased to $25.63 as of March 31, 2008 from $6.78 as of December 31, 2007. GAAP book value is computed by subtracting the liquidation value of RAIT’s cumulative redeemable preferred shares from total shareholders’ equity and dividing the result by the number of common shares outstanding at the end of the period.
For a discussion of the impact of the adoption of SFAS 159 (defined below) on the increase in RAIT’s economic book value and GAAP book value, see “SFAS 159 Adoption” below.
A reconciliation of RAIT’s GAAP book value and economic book value as of March 31, 2008 and December 31, 2007, including management’s rationale for the usefulness of this non-GAAP financial measure, is included as Schedule III to this release.
As of March 31, 2008, RAIT had $147.2 million of consolidated cash resources available to invest in commercial real estate, including $66.5 million of RAIT’s restricted cash and $46.5 million of unused capacity under secured credit facilities. In addition, RAIT’s two unconsolidated European securitizations held $363.3 million of restricted cash not reflected on RAIT’s balance sheets to fund investments in these securitizations. During the first quarter, we repaid $70.9 million of our repurchase agreements. As of March 31, 2008, RAIT had $67.9 million outstanding under its repurchase agreements and $146.7 million outstanding under its secured credit facilities and other indebtedness. [more]
partial of RAS earnings : [more]
Just bought Berkshire stock ahead of earnings.
TCS Reports Record First Quarter 2008 Net Income, up 90% Sequentially
Thursday May 1, 4:05 pm ET
Record $4.6 Million, $0.11 per Share GAAP Profit, on 18% Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth; $8.4 Million, $0.20 per Share EBITDA up 79% Year-Over-Year
ANNAPOLIS, MD--(MARKET WIRE)--May 1, 2008 -- TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NasdaqGM:TSYS - News), a global leader in mission-critical wireless communications technology, reported record results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008.
First Quarter 2008 Results
-- Revenue was $40.4 million, up 18% from $34.1 million in the first
quarter of 2007 and an increase of 9% from $37.1 million in the previous
-- GAAP net income was a record $4.6 million or $0.11 per share, versus a
net income of $0.6 million or $0.02 per share in the first quarter of 2007,
and an increase of 90% over net income of $2.4 million or $0.06 per share
in the previous quarter.
-- EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and
Amortization, and Noncash Stock Compensation) for the quarter was a record
$8.4 million or $0.20 per basic and $0.19 per diluted share. This is a 45%
increase from $5.8 million or $0.14 per basic and $0.13 per diluted share
in the previous quarter, and a 79% increase from $4.7 million or $0.12 per
basic and $0.11 per diluted share in the same year-ago quarter. (See
important discussion about the presentation of EBITDA, below.)
"The quarter's results affirm favorable profit contribution trends from commercial segment text messaging technology, location based services for public safety, and from the government segment," said Maurice B. Tosé, TCS chairman, CEO, and president. "The robust growth in the use of SMS text messaging drove carrier customers to purchase licenses for additional capacity during the quarter, including the equivalent of more than two quarters' worth of a six-quarter arrangement begun in Q3 2007. Continuing increases in SMS usage indicate that $7.5 million of license sales previously slated for the second half of 2008 will more likely occur in the second and third quarters. Government segment profitability improved on a modest increase in year-over-year volume, with significantly higher volume now expected in the remaining 2008 quarters, as some shipments previously planned for Q1 will occur in Q2 and subsequent. Overall, our company franchises in premium wireless carrier services and secure deployable communication systems for government produced a strong start for the year and positions TCS for a solid, multi-year run."
Backlog at the end of the quarter remains strong in both government and commercial segments and is about double its level a year ago.
Senior Vice President and CFO
TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.
Source: TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. [more]
from year ago on Potash price tripling.
Chinese potash importers agree to huge price rise
Reuters - Thursday, April 17,2008
NEW YORK, April 16 - Chinese fertilizer importers agreed on Wednesday to pay more than triple what they did a year ago for potash imports.
North American exporter Canpotex has agreed to sell potash in 2008 to Sinofert Holdings, the largest distributor of fertilizers in China, for $576 per tonne, a whopping $400 per tonne higher than the price it paid a year ago.
Canpotex is a venture of Potash Corp , Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc that exports potash produced by all three companies from the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.
Belarussian Potash Corp, the Russian counterpart of Canpotex, also agreed to raise prices to Chinese importers by $400 per tonne.
Last month, both Canpotex and Belarussian agreed to sell potash to India for $625 per tonne in 2008, more than double the price the country paid in 2007.
Booming demand for food grains across the globe, driven by the growing needs of developing economies and mandates for the increasing use of biofuels in the United States and Europe, have led to significant increases in the prices of agricultural crops and allied products.
Due to the timing of this settlement and demand in other markets, Canpotex has only 1 million tonnes to commit to Sinofert through the remainder of this year, Potash Corp said in a statement.
"Significantly higher potash prices and extraordinarily tight supply have become much more firmly entrenched since China's previous contract was signed 14 months ago," Potash Corp Chief Executive Bill Doyle said in a statement.
"This settlement highlights the importance of securing supply in an increasingly tight market," he added.
China, which is the world's largest importer of potash, usually buys the crop nutrient at a significant discount to other large importers like India and Brazil.
But this year China lost some of its pricing leverage as Indian importers, who normally price potash contracts after China, jumped ahead of the queue due to tight global supplies of the crop nutrient.
BPC, a joint venture between Uralkali and Belaruskali, agreed to ship around 1 million tonnes of potassium chloride by the end of 2008 to China's two largest importers of mineral fertilizers, Sinochem and CNAMPGC.
Shares of Russia's Uralkali rose more than 8 percent on the London Stock Exchange while those of Potash Corp, Mosaic and Agrium also rose following the announcements.
In trade before the bell, shares of Potash Corp were up 3 percent to $190, while those of Mosaic rose 2.9 percent to $131.25 and Agrium shares climbed 3.2 percent to $81.50. [more]
Well its time to start loading up on IPI because its forward PE is now down to 10. I did not want to buy IPI at $50+ because I had a feeling it would come down to mid $40's after all the people that bought on all hype in the $50's got scared out and sold. Well the hype on IPI was real but it had to retrace to start a real rally just like VISA retraced at the beginning and now is in the $80's
Forget about a recession, Economy rebounding already.
Employers cut fewer jobs in April, jobless rate falls
Friday May 2, 9:08 am ET
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer
Employers cut fewer jobs in April, jobless rate falls to 5 percent
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Employers cut far fewer jobs in April than in recent months and the unemployment rate dropped to 5 percent, a better-than-expected showing that nonetheless still revealed strains in the nation's crucial labor market.
For the fourth month in a row, the economy lost jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday. But in April the losses totaled 20,000, an improvement from the 81,000 reductions in payrolls logged in March. Job losses for both February and March turned out to be a bit deeper than previously reported.
The latest snapshot of the nationwide employment conditions -- while clearly still weak -- was better than many economists were anticipating. They were bracing for job cuts of 75,000 and for the unemployment rate to climb to 5.2 percent.
The unemployment rate, derived from a different statistical survey than the payroll figures, fell to 5 percent from 5.1 percent in March. That survey showed more people finding employment than those who didn't.
Businesses are handing out pink slips as they cope with an economy that is teetering on the edge of a recession, or possibly in one already. A severe housing slump, harder-to-get credit and financial turmoil have forced people and businesses to be more cautious in their spending. And that has hurt the economy.
To help relieve credit problems, the Federal Reserve announced Friday that it would boost the availability of short-term loans to commercial banks to $150 billion in May from the $100 billion supplied in April. The goal is to supply a source of cash to squeezed banks so that they'll keep lending to customers.
The Fed took the action and several other moves to boost credit in coordination with the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank.
On the jobs front, construction companies slashed 61,000 positions in April. Manufacturers cut 46,000 and retailers got rid of 27,000. Those losses were eclipsed by job gains in education and health care, professional and business services, the government and elsewhere.
The job losses came in areas hardest hit by the housing and credit debacles. The fact that fewer job cuts were ordered in April raised hopes that damages could be limited.
Voters are keenly worried about the country's economic problems and so are politicians -- in Congress, in the White House and on the campaign trail.
Workers with jobs saw scant wage gains.
Average hourly earnings for jobholders rose to $17.88 in April, a tiny 0.1 percent rise from the previous month. That was less than the 0.3 percent rise economists were forecasting. Over the last 12 months, wages have grown by 3.4 percent.
The weak labor market is making employers feel less generous with compensation.
Meanwhile, zooming energy and food prices are taking a bite out of paychecks. If the job market continues to falter, wage growth probably will slow, too, making people even less inclined to spend. That would spell further trouble for the economy.
The payrolls figure and the unemployment rate come from two different statistical surveys, which can provide -- as in Friday's case -- a somewhat conflicting picture of what is happening in the labor market.
The seasonally adjusted overall civilian unemployment rate -- 5 percent in April -- is based on a survey of 60,000 households. It showed that 362,000 people said they found employment last month, outpacing the number of people who couldn't find work.
Economists tend to put more stock, however, in the much broader business survey of 400,000 work sites that is used to calculate the payroll figures.
To limit the damage, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates on Wednesday, but signaled that its rate-cutting campaign could be drawing to a close.
Fed officials and the Bush administration are hoping that the Fed's aggressive rate cuts since September plus the government's $168 billion stimulus package -- including tax rebates that started hitting bank accounts this week -- will lift the country out of its slump in the second half of this year.
Even if that happens, economists predict the unemployment rate will climb higher, hitting 6 percent early next year.
Employers often are reluctant to beef up hiring until they feel certain that any such recovery has staying power.
Democrats in Congress insist more relief needs to be provided, including additional unemployment benefits to cushion the pain of joblessness. The administration has resisted, saying the rebates and other stimulative efforts should be sufficient once they fully kick in.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues acknowledged Wednesday the fragile state of the economy, saying hiring conditions "have softened further."
The economy advanced at a snail's pace of just 0.6 percent in the first three months of this year as people and businesses clamped down on their spending. It marked the second quarter in a row of such feeble growth.
A growing number of economists believe the economy is in a recession and is indeed contracting now.
Under one rough rule, if the economy contracts for six straight months it is considered to be in a recession. That didn't happen in the last recession -- in 2001-- though. A panel of experts at the National Bureau of Economic Research that determines when U.S. recessions begin and end uses a broader definition, taking into account income, employment and other barometers. That finding is usually made well after the fact. [more]
$1,800 is rebate for an average American family of four. [more]
Very interesting article thanks James Early it was good reading. [more]
MICC headed to $120 again
S&P raises debt rating to investment grade, a big gain for booming nation
The Associated Press
May 1, 2008
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - Brazil celebrated a landmark improvement in its debt rating Wednesday, as Standard & Poor's Ratings Services issued a long-awaited upgrade that sent Brazilian stocks soaring.
The move to investment grade status represents a key benchmark in the booming nation's economic transformation, signaling that Brazil is now officially recognized as a safe place for investors to park money. Strong foreign investment could increase even more as a result, even as the rest of the world suffers financial jitters.
"Brazil is entering into the club of the most respected nations," said a beaming Guido Mantega, Brazil's finance minister.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called it "a conquest by the Brazilian people they've been waiting for for many, many years."
S&P's announcement comes just two months after Latin America's largest country emerged as a net foreign creditor, prompting the Central Bank to declare Brazil's debt crisis over.
"The upgrades reflect the maturation of Brazil's institutions and policy framework, as evidenced by the easing of fiscal and external debt burdens and improved trend growth prospects," S&P credit analyst Lisa Schineller said in a statement announcing the rating boost.
Brazil's benchmark Ibovespa stock market index jumped 6.3 percentage points on the news, closing at a new record. The Brazilian real also rose sharply against the U.S. dollar.
Central Bank president Henrique Meirelles said it illustrates the newfound stability of Brazil's once notoriously volatile economy. Brazil defaulted on its debt and declared a moratorium on debt payments in the 1980s, but predictable monetary policy and steady growth in recent years have most experts calling the boom-and-bust economic cycles a thing of the past.
Brazil also is riding a boom in demand for beef, iron ore, soy and other key exports.
Brazil had a $40 billion trade surplus last year, and international reserves nearly tripled to $188.2 billion in February, the Central Bank said.
Coupled with rising foreign investment and high domestic interest rates, net currency inflows reached a record US$87.5 billion (euro58.8 billion) in 2007.
Brazilian companies are also raking in record profits as businesses take out loans to expand and droves of consumers buy new cars and homes on credit.
While Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings still rate Brazilian debt at one notch below investment grade, the S&P upgrade is a huge victory for Silva. When he was elected in 2002, some investors predicted the once-radical union leader would wreck the economy.
Instead, Silva surprised financial players and angered his leftist base by sticking to an orthodox monetary policy. This brought bigger corporate profits but also has helped the poor by reducing inflation and creating more jobs in the nation of nearly 190 million.
Brazil now appears on track for sustained economic growth of between 4 percent and 4.5 percent, following gains of 5.7 percent last year, Schineller said.
since this Monday's high but I believe this stock should restart an uptrend now as those who get the earnings jitters have already sold off their shares.
LL should make it to IBD 100 list pretty soon
Here is why:
Last qtr they reported .11 EPS
This qtr they reported .16 EPS
Next qtr the earnings est. is for .22 EPS
Do you see the trend? Its up by .05 - .06 EPS per qtr.
LL should easily be over $16 by next qtr's earnings, placing it on the IBD 100 list.
Lumber Liquidators Announces First Quarter 2008 Financial Results and Reiterates Full Year Outlook
Tuesday April 29, 7:30 am ET
~ First Quarter Net Sales Increased 24.5% to $114.5 Million ~
~ Comparable Store Net Sales Increased 7.0% for the First Quarter ~
~ First Quarter Net Income Nearly Doubled to $4.3 Million, or $0.16 Per Diluted Share ~
TOANO, Va., April 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lumber Liquidators, Inc., (NYSE: LL - News) the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in the U.S., today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008.
First Quarter Results
Net sales increased 24.5% to $114.5 million in the first quarter of 2008 from $92.0 million in the first quarter of 2007. Comparable store net sales increased 7.0% for the quarter on top of an increase of 8.5% for the first quarter of the prior year. Non-comparable store net sales increased $16.1 million, and represented 71.3% of the total increase in the Company's net sales. The Company opened nine new stores during the first quarter.
Gross margin increased to 35.0% in the first quarter of 2008 compared to 33.2% in the same period of 2007. The improvement in gross margin reflects an increase in sales of higher-margin, premium products and strong sell-through of opportunistic liquidation purchases completed during the quarter.
Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $32.3 million, or 28.2% of net sales, for the first quarter of 2008 compared to $26.8 million, or 29.1% of net sales, for the first quarter of 2007. The improvement in SG&A as a percentage of net sales was due to the Company's strong sales growth and ability to leverage expenses as well as a shift in timing of certain advertising programs.
Net income nearly doubled to $4.3 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2008 compared to $2.2 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, in the first quarter of the prior year.
The Company's first quarter 2008 net income reflects an effective tax rate of 46.2% compared to 38.6% in the first quarter of 2007. The higher effective tax rate is due to approximately $0.7 million of additional income tax expense that was recorded in the first quarter of 2008 related to the non-deductable portion of the Variable Plan's cumulative compensation cost.
Jeffrey W. Griffiths, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are very pleased with our strong results in the first quarter and our ability to maintain the positive momentum we experienced in the second half of last year. While our gross margin expansion reflects opportunistic liquidation buys, we believe much of the improvement is sustainable as a result of our enhanced merchandise selection and retail pricing discipline. As planned, we are also beginning to more fully achieve the benefits of increased operational efficiencies as evidenced by our ability to leverage expenses. Additionally, we are pleased with the strong contributions of new stores that we have opened in the last year as their results are exceeding our expectations. Overall, our performance in the first quarter demonstrates the continuing appeal of our value proposition of price, selection, quality, and availability and our ability to bring that proposition to an expanding base of customers."
Based upon first quarter results and current trends, the Company reiterated its fiscal 2008 guidance. The Company continues to anticipate fiscal 2008 net sales in the range of $475 million to $490 million and expects comparable store net sales will increase in the mid-single digit range. The Company expects earnings per diluted share in 2008 will be in the range of $0.70 to $0.78. The Company also anticipates that its tax rate for the full year of 2008 will be approximately 38.5% to 39.5%. Actual results may vary significantly from current expectations.
Additionally, the Company is maintaining its plans to open approximately 30 to 40 stores in 2008. To date in 2008, Lumber Liquidators has opened fifteen stores comprised of one each in Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas and two each in Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Griffiths concluded, "As we drive top line growth and extend our footprint, we are confident that we will be able to further leverage the solid foundation we have established for our business. Further, despite challenges in the macroeconomic environment, we continue to believe that we are poised for continued strong growth as we gain additional benefits from our improved operating structure." [more]