by Kyle Woodley | December 1, 2011 5:03 pm
Thursday saw a pair of contrasting stocks — old bricks-and-mortar bookseller Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) and cult retail stock Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), the maker of fashionable yoga clothing — suffer similar fates on earnings reports.
BKS was nowhere near Wall Street earnings expectations of 3 cents per share when it reported fiscal second-quarter earnings Thursday, instead announcing a loss of $6.6 million, or 17 cents per share. However, the result was five cents per share better than the year-ago period.
Barnes & Noble has found itself in a costly battle to keep its Nook e-reader competitive with Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle line. While Nook sales, which include content, were up 85% from last year, the company bemoaned costs associated with advertising the product.
Further exacerbating the problem was Amazon’s recent step up from a plain e-reader Kindle to the Kindle Fire, a more functional tablet closer to par with Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. In early November, Barnes & Noble joined the fray by announcing its own Nook tablet, which runs about $50 more than Amazon’s device and is slightly improved in some technical respects. That update also weighed on BKS’s profitability.
That news, as well as forecasts of full-year earnings hitting the lower end of Barnes & Noble’s previous $210 million-$250 million range, sent BKS tumbling as much as 25% before recovering to $14.59, or about 16% down from Wednesday’s close.
Lululemon Athletica, which has gripped investor interest with 1,000% gains in less than two years, had a decent earnings report but watched its shares plunge after missing lofty expectations. Wall Street analysts expected 34% year-over-year sales growth, but the company announced 31%, sending the stock down more than 5% to $47.17 by the end of Thursday’s trading.
The selloff seemed overdone considering the company announced a 50% gain in EPS, a 31% increase in revenue and 16% same-store sales growth. But hits like these aren’t uncommon among momentum stocks — just look at Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR).
Also Thursday, the airline industry continued to rebound from AMR Corp.’s (NYSE:AMR) bankruptcy announcement, with big carriers like United Continental (NYSE:UAL, +6.4%, $19.12), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL, +4.93%, $8.52) and US Airways (NYSE:LCC, +4.66%, $4.94) picking up ground.
As of this writing, Kyle Woodley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. Check out our list of previous IP Market Recaps.
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