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A flurry of economic data is due today (Thursday), but earnings are the key driver of today's top stocks to watch, including Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY), Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), and Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD).
Before the open, we got durable orders for November, the third revision to Q3 2016 GDP, and initial jobless claims. Durable orders declined 4.6% last month, missing consensus estimates of -4.5%. GDP was revised up to 3.5%, ahead of the expected 3.3%. Initial claims for the week ending Dec. 17 increased 21,000 to 275,000.
Still, earnings are moving today's top stocks to watch.
Here are the three top stocks to watch today...
Stocks to Watch No. 3: Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY)
Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond were lower by 5% this morning after the home goods retailer reported a disappointing Q3. BBBY reported Q3 earnings per share (EPS) of $0.85, missing analysts' estimates of $0.99 by $0.14. Revenue for the quarter came in at $3 billion, just shy of the $3.01 billion expected.
Comparable sales in Q3 decreased by approximately 1.4%. That compares with a decrease of approximately 0.4% in last year's fiscal third quarter.
For FY2016, BBBY sees EPS at the low end of its $4.50 to $5.00 range. Consensus estimates had called for $4.74.
Following the results, Raymond James downgraded BBBY to "Market Perform" from "Strong Buy." Telsey Advisory lowered its BBBY price target to $43 from $45. Wedbush maintained its "Neutral."
At $43.29, BBBY shares are off 10.28% year to date.
Stocks to Watch No. 2: Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU)
Micron shares surged 13.17% intraday today after the memory chipmaker posted strong fiscal Q1 results after Wednesday's close.
Micron earned $0.32 a share, up 10% year over year (YOY). Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 1 came in at $3.97 billion, up 18.5%. Analysts were looking for EPS of $0.28 on revenue of $3.98 billion.
Before yesterday's Q1 report, Micron had logged six consecutive quarters of sales declines on a YOY basis and seven straight quarters of EPS declines.
The Boise, Idaho-based company also gave upbeat guidance for Q2. Micron sees Q2 revenue in the range of $4.35 billion to 4.70 billion, ahead of Capital IQ consensus $4.026 billion. The company projects Q2 EPS in the range of $0.58 to $0.68, well above Capital IQ consensus of $0.43.
A burst of upgrade and price target hikes followed MU's Q1 report.
Needham upgraded MU to "Buy" from "Underperform" with a $33 price target. Mizuho hiked its price target to $27 from $22. Cross Research upgraded MU to "Buy" from "Hold" with a $30 price target.
At $24.06, MU shares are up $62% year to date.
Stock to Watch No. 1: Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD)
Shares of Rite Aid were off 0.47% in morning trading after the sputtering pharmacy chain reported uninspiring Q3 results.
EPS came in at $0.02. That was $0.03 worse that the $0.05 expected. Revenue fell 0.8% YOY to $8.09 billion, short of the $8.23 billion expected.
Same-store sales for the quarter decreased 3.4% YOY, thanks to a 4.7% decrease in pharmacy sales and a 0.4% decrease in front-end sales. The total of prescriptions filled in same stores dipped 2.4% YOY. Prescription sales accounted for 68.9% of total drugstore sales, and third-party prescription revenue was 98.2% of pharmacy sales.
Earlier this week, Rite Aid sold 865 stores to Fred's Inc. (Nasdaq: FRED) for $950 million in cash so that it can proceed with its $17.2 billion merger with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA).
At $8.42, RAD shares are up 7.40% year to date.