Friday, October 27, 2006

Halloween and Earnings

Well, I spent a fair amount of time last night making my Halloween costume. It's about 90% done... I'll put up pictures later. Man, I really hope it doesn't fall apart either, it's kind of fragile. I now have proof that I possess zero sewing skills, and I really suck at crafts.

Anyway, I just have to get it in wearable condition before the parties this weekend. Tonight, QB and I are heading out with some friends to what I believe is a private party over at the Blue Chalk Cafe in Palo Alto. I've never been there, so I have no idea what to expect.

Okay, onto the good stuff... all of you non-stock peeps can tune out now.

So, today the GDP number came in pretty low at 1.6%. Economists had forcasted a more robust 2.1%. Not good, but we'll see how the talking heads spin it.

Two holdings in the long-term portfolio released earnings this morning... Fortune Brands (FO) and Chevron (CVX). I wasn't too worried about Chevron's earnings after the strong showing by Exxon (XOM) yesterday. However, I was a bit worried about Fortune, especially since Constellation didn't have a strong showing in the alcohol department, and potential problems in their home and hardware brands due to housing slowdown related issues.

Anyway, let's get to the results... Chevron came in stronger than expected. Fortune missed their estimates by 3 cents, but they did manage to come in ahead of expectations on revenues. Their wine and spirits business did very well, which offset some of the weakness in the home brands department. I don't expect the miss to hurt them too much, and I still see a lot of potential in the company. If it does dip on this report, and it continues lower I will consider adding to the position.

Akamai (AKAM) got a few target price increases today... Piper boosted its target from $45 to $48. Merriman gave a $56-62 target price range. Deutsche Bank raised their target from $55 to $58. But, the stock is trading lower today, so I should be able to exit this short-side gamble profitably. Hopefully soon, maybe even in the pre-market. Market opens in about 20 minutes, and I think the sentiment is negative today due to the GDP figure. So, I'll probably just dump it during the normal trading session.

*** Edit ***

Covered AKAM short at 48.53. Small profit, but enough to pay for dinner for a week or so.

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