U.S. markets rose modestly this morning, only to reverse and tumble through the afternoon as traders moved to defensive positions ahead of further earnings results. The dollar’s rise and uncertainty about oil prices had traders afraid to dip their toes in the water before more is known about the effects, if any, on Q1 earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 0.4%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite was off 0.2%. All sectors were firmly in negative territory today, with financials being the closest to break even.
Stock splits, earnings and acquisitions continue to send stock prices to new highs. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (ADR) (NYSE:PBR) and Builders FirstSource, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLDR) are proof of that, and are three of today’s best stocks.
Netflix, Inc. (NFLX)
Talk of an impending stock split and an analyst’s upgrade sent shares of NFLX stock more than 4% higher today. In a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission on Friday, Netflix announced it will seek permission from shareholders in June to raise its share authorization from 170 million to 5 billion shares. This is often done when a company is planning a stock split.
This morning, UBS analyst Doug Mitchelson upgraded NFLX stock from “neutral” to “buy” and increased his 12-month price target from $370 to $565.
Netflix will announce first-quarter earnings after the close of trading on Wednesday. Analysts are expecting EPS of 69 cents a share on sales of $1.6 billion.
Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (ADR) (PBR)
PBR stock left investors gushing amid speculation that the Brazilian oil producer will finally release some long-delayed earnings that investors have been waiting on for five months.
Folha de S.Paulo, the Brazilian newspaper, reported Friday that the results should be reported April 17. The stock rose over 3% on 93.7 million shares as a result.
In addition, there was a report in Broadcast, the news service of of Estado de S. Paulo, that PBR will sell a stake in Braskem SA, a petrochemical firm, for approximately $2.8 billion reais ($903 million). Details on the sale were limited, but it is speculated that PBR will be selling oilfields in its fastest-growing deep water oil region.
Builders FirstSource, Inc. (BLDR)
BLDR stock was the biggest gainer on Wall Street today, skyrocketing nearly 68% on 16.9 million shares after announcing the $1.6 billion purchase of ProBuild Holdings Inc., a Denver-based building materials supplier.
ProBuild had $4.5 billion in revenue in 2014, and together with BLDR will create a company with combined revenues of $6.1 billion. It is expected to generate $100 million to $200 million in annual cost savings by 2017.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2015.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.