Shares of rare earth-mining firm Molycorp have finally landed on Terra Firma, rallying more than 7% this morning. That's cold comfort to investors who have seen the stock plunge from $70 in the spring of 2011 to below $10 in recent sessions.
This miner has been beset by a litany of woes, from missed production targets to higher-than-expected mine development costs. Management miscalculated the burn rates and waited too long to shore up a flagging balance sheet, so the company is currently seeking to raise $480 million in fresh capital.
While the company lines up fresh investors, it was at least able to deliver some good news: Molycorp just announced that a key mine in northern California is expected to come on line before the end of the year, which should help to start to bring in some cash.
Trading at less than 20% off its 52-week high, shares may eventually have robust rebound potential. Yet it's unwise to buy into a stock while a company is still seeking to raise funds, so this is a good opportunity to research this stock and make a decision once the financing efforts are completed.
One way to top estimates
If a company delivers quarterly revenues, expenses and profit margins right in line with estimates, then how can it deliver better-than-expected bottom-line results? By shrinking the share count even faster than analysts had expected. That helps explain why apparel vendor PVH Corp. (formerly known as Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.) was able to beat the $1.20 earnings-per-share (EPS) consensus by a nickel.
Shares are rallying -- to a 25-year high -- on management's decision to raise fiscal (January) 2013 EPS guidance to around $6.25-6.30 a share, from a previous estimate of $6.15-$6.25. That would represent a solid 17% jump over fiscal 2012 levels. PVH is benefiting from strong global demand for licensed apparel by designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. Stunningly, European sales were up 15% from a year ago. As we saw on Monday, Aug. 27, with Tiffany & CO. (NYSE: TIF), European consumer spending -- at least among well-heeled consumers -- appears far more resilient than many would have expected. "The team continues to deliver the right product at the right time and is elevating the brand and price points," notes Lazard's Diana Katz, who sees shares moving up to $97.
Shares of watch maker Movado are up even more sharply -- nearly 20% -- though sales growth wasn't quite as impressive as that seen by PVH. Instead, a very tight lid on costs led to excellent bottom-line results. Movado earned $0.32 a share, well ahead of the $0.18 a share consensus forecast, and raised EPS guidance for the full fiscal year by a commensurate amount. Investors shouldn't be too surprised: Movado exceeded EPS forecasts by at least 50% in three of the past four quarters.
Still, the stunning rally may be partially due to a short squeeze as investors have been betting against retail names. And with this stock shooting sharply past its 52-week high this morning, investors may want to wait to see if a market-induced pullback brings this stock back to earth.
Action to Take --> Among these three, Molycorp appears to be the most intriguing stock for major upside. Demand for rare-earth minerals is likely to keep growing at a solid clip, and as long as China maintains a lid on rare-earth exports, Molycorp could line up solid demand for all of its output. Still, waiting for the current round of capital raising to be completed appears prudent.