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Ticker Shock: Apple Still Overpriced; Cautious Optimism for Adobe, Liz Claiborne


Wednesday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.


We could use a couple more days like yesterday, that's for sure.

Asian stocks headed north overnight. The Hang Seng was up just over 2% while the Nikkei was up under 1%. Europe, however, was a bit of a mixed bag earlier this morning.

Here's what I'm looking at today:

Adobe (ADBE)
After Tuesday's bell, the California-based company disseminated its fourth-quarter numbers.

Excluding items, it put up $0.60 per share. That's good, insofar as it's consistent with the $0.59 to $0.60 it said was expecting back on December 3rd in conjunction with its preliminary fourth-quarter results.

Incidentally, analysts were apparently at $0.58.

In the fourth-quarter release, it also said it's looking for -- or targeting as they put it -- $800 to $850 million in revenues during its first quarter. Given that that's consistent with its preliminary target, this is good news.

Finally, excluding items, it's looking for $0.43 to $0.47 per share for first quarter, which is essentially in line with the $0.45 per share estimate I'm seeing.

Overall, however, I didn't see anything earth-shattering.

My feelings regarding this company are simple: While I think the shares could ultimately make a comeback, and could even get a decent goose today, I'm not overly inspired to phone in a trade right now based on this announcement. Sorry, Adobe bulls, but nothing is really jumping out at me.

By the way - when are the insiders going to move on the stock?

Hovnanian (HOV)
The New Joisey-based homebuilder offered up its fourth-quarter results after the close last night.

I don't think there's too much to say here. The company lost $5.79 a share - better than the $7.42 a share it lost in the comparable period last year, but so what?

Two lines from the release:

"The cancellation rate, excluding unconsolidated joint ventures, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 was 42%, compared with the rate of 40% in the previous year's fourth quarter.

"The number of net contracts for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, excluding unconsolidated joint ventures, declined 56% to 1,225 homes compared with last year's fourth quarter."

On the flip side, cash flow was positive for the quarter.

Cutting right to the chase, am I jumping for joy and filling out a buy ticket right now? In a word, no.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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