Top Consumer Stocks
Consumer stocks were producing moderate gains Wednesday afternoon with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 advancing about 0.1%. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were up 0.5%.
In company news, Netflix ( NFLX ) surged Wednesday following the streaming video service late yesterday issuing an upbeat earnings report, prompting a large batch of higher price targets for the stock at several research shops today.
Net income during the three months ended Dec. 31 rose to $83.4 million, or $1.35 per share, improving on a $48.4 million profit during the year-ago period. Excluding a $0.63 per share gain that followed resolution of a tax audit, the company earned $0.72 per share, topping the Capital IQ consensus by $0.28 per share.
Revenue rose 25.4% over the same quarter last year to $1.48 billion, matching estimates.
Following the Q4 results, Morgan Stanley raised its price target for NFLX shares by $25 to $450 each while Northland Capital also increased its price target by $25 to $390 a share. SunTrust bumped its price target by $35 to $410 and CRT Capital raised its price target by $50 to $425 million.
But Credit Suisse was the outlier today, maintaining a Neutral rating and cutting its price target by $25 to $417 a share, concluding "Street models could be wrong," given NFLX's aggressive international expansion plans.
NFLX shares were up more than 17% in late trade at $409.26 each, earlier topping out at $414.68 a share. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $299.50 to $489.29 a share, slipping about 10% over the past year prior to today's big price gain.
In other sector news,
(+) DECK, Promotes General Counsel David Lafitte to chief operating officer, effective Feb 2. He replaces Zohar Ziv, who retired from DECK on Jan. 16.
(-) SAIA, Reduced to Hold from Buy at BB&T Capital Markets. No price target information was available.
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