Ready To Take Money Off The Table – CAT, ILMN, EL & MAT

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Feb 02 2007
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I’m getting ready to take money off the tables on some other option positions previously opened. Not that I’m greedy, but my profit target has not been reached on these fundamental stocks. Let’s begin with Caterpillar Inc.
I mentioned I was still researching Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT, stock) when I published the “Will Illumina Continues Its’ 45 Degrees Uptrend?” which was expected to announce its’ earning the same day as Illumina, Inc. (Nasdaq: ILMN, stock). During the announcement Caterpillar said higher operating costs trimmed fourth-quarter profit growth to 4 percent, but predicted strong results for 2007 despite an expected slowdown in U.S. machine and engine sales. This forecast is enough to send the stock price up despite earnings fell short of Wall Street’s expectations as higher production costs offset strong sales. However, net income for the fourth quarter grew to $882 million, or $1.32 per share, up from $846 million, or $1.20 per share, a year ago.
Next, Illumina, Inc. (Nasdaq: ILMN, stock) said yesterday its fourth-quarter profit skyrocketed, but shares fell in after-hours trading on guidance that included a sharp rise in expenses. Quarterly earnings soared to $17.1 million, or 34 cents per share, from $326,000, or 1 cent per share, during the same period last year. Revenue on the other hand more than doubled to $60.4 million from $23 million in the year-ago quarter. Shares of Illumina sank $1.49, or 3.6 percent, to $40.07 in after-hours electronic trading – just what are analysts thinking? They’re not happy with the expenses increase expectation – what a hard-to-please bunch of clowns.
Probably the best stock which deserves my praise is Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL, stock), first highlighted at my website during my Gamble On SanDisk Stocks Option – simply because it makes me lots of money this round (what other reason do you expect?). Estee Lauder on Wednesday said fiscal second-quarter profit more than doubled on higher sales and lower costs, prompting it to lift its full-year outlook – and the analysts just love it. Quarterly earnings rose to $208.4 million, or 99 cents per share, trouncing analyst expectations for earnings of 76 cents per share and sending the stock up all the way. But I expect some profit takings to start today.
Toy maker Mattel Inc. (NYSE: MAT, stock)reported net income of $286.4 million, or 75 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to $279.2 million, or 69 cents per share, a year ago – easily beat estimates from analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who had expected earnings of 67 cents per share. But surprisingly the stock didn’t shoot up as what I expect. It instead chose to crawl like a turtle. Since I’ve tons of time-value (expiry on April), I’ll leave it do whatever it wish to do.
So, I really hope my internet line is up and running when I go back later (I’m still stuck in Starbucks) to continue my trading and blogging.
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