Rob Black's "Winners & Losers" May 2 Facebook Road Show, Visa Rocks Earnings, Whole Food Whole Profit

By: Rob Black - Wed, 02 May 2012 16:53:24 -0800

Loser: Market Retreats on Jobs Data Worry

U.S. stocks fell, dragging the Dow Jones Industrial Average down from the highest level since 2007, as data showed companies added fewer jobs than economists projected.

The labor market is weak at best.  While we thought that we were gaining some momentum, more recent data suggest that things are sluggish.

 Equities fell as American companies added 119,000 workers in April, the fewest in seven months.
The euro-region unemployment rose to a 15-year high.

Chesapeake Energy tumbled 15 percent after reporting an unexpected loss and saying it may run out of money next year under the weight of the lowest natural-gas prices in a decade.

Winner: Visa  Profit Climbs on Card Spending

Visa, the biggest payments network, said profit surged 47 percent to $1.29 billion as customer spending on credit and debit cards rose.

The company boosted its profit outlook.

The strong financial performance this quarter was fueled by continued growth of U.S. credit products, strong cross-border spending and expansion of Visa’s core business in international markets.

Visa’s business continues to expand at a healthy pace.

Visa and MasterCard, the No. 2 network, are boosting profits amid a shift by consumers worldwide from cash and checks to electronic payments.

The limits on debit-card transaction fees and processing, mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, may have helped MasterCard wrest market share from Visa, which handled more than triple the amount of such purchases than its smaller rival in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

Winner: Whole Foods Profit Up on Demand for Organics

Whole Foods, the largest U.S. natural-goods grocer, posted profit that topped analysts’ estimates on increased demand for organic foods.

Income  climbed 31 percent to $117.7 million.

Co-Chief Executive Officers Walter Robb and John Mackey have pushed the company’s 365 Everyday Value brand to attract shoppers looking for more affordable choices.

The chain of more than 300 stores is opening more locations in urban areas to expand sales.
Sales trends remain strong as it appears that the growth of the natural and organic industry has accelerated.

Winner: Facebook to Begin IPO Road Show Next Week

Facebook, owner of the world’s most popular social-networking service, expects to begin marketing its initial public offering to investors as soon as next week

 Facebook executives will use the so-called road show to outline their business to prospective investors, a process that typically ends within about two weeks.

That timing indicates that Facebook could complete the sale before the end of the month, after updating its IPO filing with regulators by the end of this week.

Facebook will debut with it a value of $75 billion to $100 billion, people with knowledge of the plans have said.

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