A V-shaped global recovery is clearly under way. The U.S.
economy grew by almost 3% in the third quarter, and many economists
are expecting double that growth in the upcoming fourth-quarter
numbers. Also, the job market is firming up, and a clear business
recovery is under way.
As positive headlines have continued to roll out, many stocks
have been soaring. That's why it's more important than ever before
to make sure we are in the very best stocks in the very best
) is one of the top producers of contact lens solution, but ACL
does far more than this, focusing on eye care products of all kinds
that include high-tech surgical devices and blockbuster
pharmaceuticals. Alcon is also the largest maker of equipment for
cataract removal and laser vision correction.
But the real potential of ACL lies in the treatment of
age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of
vision loss in people over 50. About 1.75 million Americans live
with advanced macular degeneration, and the number is expected to
grow to three million by 2020.
Alcon is really doing well right now, but I expect numbers to
pick up even more with the addition of macular degeneration
treatments to its bottom line. In the third quarter, sales rose
5.9% to $1.614 billion. During the same period, earnings declined
to $1.71 per share, compared with $2.07 per share, when it included
an extraordinary tax gain. The analysts were expecting
earnings of $1.45 per share and $1.54 billion in sales, so Alcon
posted an 11% earnings surprise and a 4.8% sales
Alcon raised its forecast for its full year, which excludes
one-time costs and benefits, to a range of $6.60 to $6.70 per
share, up from its previous forecast three months earlier of $6.25
to $6.40 per share.
) allows buyers to name their own price for everything from airline
tickets to rental cars to cruises. With its patented business
model, the company generates virtually all of its sales from
travel-related services. Priceline.com keeps the difference between
the price paid by the individual and what Priceline.com paid for
the ticket or hotel room.
Value-conscious consumers really love Priceline's ability to
"haggle" on prices. This has allowed the website to become an oasis
for cash-strapped consumers and generate huge numbers even during
The company announced that its third-quarter earnings rose 98.3%
to $3.45 per share, compared with $1.74 per share in the same
quarter a year ago. During the same period, Priceline.com's
sales rose 30% to $730.7 million. Analysts expected
third-quarter earnings of $2.92 per share, so the company posted an
18.2% earnings surprise.
Priceline.com expects full-year earnings of $1.52 to $1.62 per
share, which is better than analysts' consensus estimate of $1.49