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Ticker Shock: Wal-Mart, Intel Show No One is Invincible


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


Let's hope for a better day today.

The Hang Seng and the Nikkei were both off more than 5% as we slumbered. Europe is a bit of a mixed bag. And so far, at least, the Dow is slightly lower.

Crocs (CROX)
The one-time, high-flying footwear company reported its third-quarter numbers after the close on Wednesday.

Cutting right to the chase, it put up a nearly $148 million loss. Enough said.

Making matters potentially worse, the company is looking for a $0.50 to $0.65 per share loss in the fourth quarter, and revenues of $100 to $120 million. The Street had been looking for the company to post a $0.06 per share loss on more than $185 million in revenue.

I have no plans to buy this stock. I just can't think of why I should pony up at this point, even though the stock is under $2.

Applied Materials (AMAT)
After the close on Wednesday, the California-based company disseminated its fourth-quarter numbers.

Net income fell to $231.1 million, or $0.17 a share, from $421.8 million, or $0.30, in the same period last year. Sales fell 14%, to $2.04 billion, the company said. Analysts had been at $0.14.

But it wasn't so much the most recent results I was interested in, but its guidance going forward. Applied is looking for earnings to be between break-even and $0.04 in the first quarter. The same Reuters piece indicates that the estimate was 14 cents a share excluding items.

My take: The shares open higher. However, I have no plans to jump in. I just don't see a near-term catalyst on the horizon, and feel there are better opportunities out there.

Incidentally, with the stock trading near its lows, where are the insiders?
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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