Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Trend This Earnings Season: If You're Breathing, We'll Bid Up Your Shares

There's a trend emerging this earnings season -- especially for small- and mid-caps -- if you still have a pulse and can hold an earnings call, the market will take that as upside.

Several names pulled that off this morning. Fifth Third (FITB), the Midwest regional bank, saw shares trade up 8% this morning as losses were less than feared. International Game Technology (IGT), the casino gaming supplier we mentioned yesterday, saw its profit fall 44% in first quarter, but that was better than expected and the stock is up 6%. Royal Caribbean (RCL), the smaller of the two main cruise lines -- and a company I'm bearish on due to continued consumers pullback from discretionary spending but, as I said last week is one likely to go higher before it goes lower -- saw shares jump 16% this morning. Even as it lowered revenue numbers for the year, it was able to show it was keeping costs under control (important with its debt load).

What's the lesson here? It doesn't take much in this environment to spark a relief rally coming out of earnings. Keep that in mind, especially in the smaller names.

Originally published in RealMoney.com on 4/23/2009 10:24 AM EDT

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