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Ticker Shock: Bullish on Tyco Long-Term; Starbucks, Toll Brothers Hard to Bear


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


It was blood red in Asia overnight. The Hang Seng was off more than 4%, while the Nikkei was down 3%. Unfortunately, Europe is showing me some red this morning as well.

Here in the States we're also off to a lower open.

Toll Brothers (TOL)
Early this morning, the well-known high-end homebuilder reported some preliminary fourth-quarter data.

Toll's homebuilding revenue came in at about $691 million, a roughly 41% drop from the more than $1.1 billion it turned in during the comparable period last year. Also, its net signed contracts took a beating as well.

But the real kicker came in the form of 2 sentences in the release. The first, from CEO Robert Toll, was as follows: "Unfortunately, the preliminary signs of stability we had discussed in early September, during our 2008 third-quarter earnings call, were upended by the past month's financial crisis."

The second, from Joel H. Rassman, Toll's CFO, was as follows: "Given the significant uncertainty surrounding sales paces, cancellation rates, market direction, unemployment trends and numerous other aspects of the overall economy, we are not comfortable offering delivery, revenue or earnings guidance for the coming year.''

Folks, I don't think there's too much I can add here, except to say it's a crying shame. I had this inkling of hope. But now, given these most recent comments, I can't help but see the glass as half empty – and these shares could, though I hate to say it, fall even further.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS)
Sands priced an offering of more than 180 million shares at $5.50 a shot. It's also selling warrants and preferred shares, which should give the company some breathing room.

According to the release: The company "intends to use the net proceeds from the offerings for general corporate purposes, which may include debt repayment and financing of construction and development projects."

Long story short, I think this is decent news. But I still think it'll be a while before the Street warms to the story again.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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