, last night's after-hours star, continues to shine brightly as dawn comes to Wall Street.
The e-commerce giant was up 8 to 77 3/8 in early trading on
, roughly in line with its gains from last night. As noted below, Amazon countered disappointingly wide fourth-quarter losses with strong revenue and a positive outlook.
Other stocks in the morning news weren't moving yet.
VA Linux Systems
agreed to acquire fellow Linux play
, exchanging 0.425 of a VA Linux share for each Andover share. Neither stock had traded yet.
Action also was lacking in the big drug merger dance, with
reportedly agreeing to acquire
American Home Products
weighs its next move.
futures were saying little about the open, with the
futures up 0.5 to 1416, right around fair value. The thinly traded
futures were up 11 to 3745.
Stocks were mixed in midday European trading, with the French
up 1.2%, the U.K.'s
down 0.2% and the German
Last Night's After-Hours Trading
Lions? We don't need no stinkin' lions!
Amazon.com was the king of the jungle. Post-bell, the company announced fourth-quarter losses of 55 cents a share, worse than last year's 7 cents and the
First Call/Thomson Financial
estimate of a 48-cent loss.
Expectations? We don't need no stinkin' expectations!
Investors didn't freak because results missed predictions. The company rose 9 3/8 to 78 3/4 on 1.8 million shares on
Amazon.com: Join the discussion on our
One possible reason for the blase attitude is the plethora of positive announcements that Amazon.com made about the company's quarter and upcoming fiscal year. Many investors were pleased with the e-tailer's fourth-quarter revenues of $676 million, which easily doubled last year's $253 million.
In addition, customer accounts reached 16.9 million in the fourth quarter, a gain of 170% from the previous year. Repeat customers accounted for 73% of all fourth-quarter orders.
Then, Amazon talked about fiscal 2000.
The company said overall operating losses will decrease as a percentage of its sales. After announcing that the book business posted a profit in the fourth quarter, Amazon said it would remain that way in 2000. The first-quarter gross margin was reported at 20% with Amazon saying further improvement would come in the upcoming year.
Amazon was flat before the earnings release, trading on a moderate number of shares. After the announcement at 4:32 p.m. EST, Amazon quickly rose 2. By 5 p.m., it was already pushing a gain of 6 points as trading intensified, driving it to the top of Island's most-active chart.
Other net stocks walked with the king.
On the heels of Amazon's release,
rose 4 13/16 to 332 7/8 on 40,000 shares on Island.
rose 1/2 to 120 1/16 on 48,000 shares.
Rising Sun Blitz on two! Break!
cribbed a move from the
play book. Today, the development stage company, which makes pharmaceutical versions of herbal remedies, announced the completion of a binding legal agreement with
China New Industries Investment
During the day session, Pharmaprint rose 15/32 to 1 7/16, which in the land of microcaps is a gain of 48.4%. Oh, yeah. And that move came on volume of
4.4 million shares.
Usually, volume for the herbalist is low six-figures.
Tonight, that volume has spilled over into the night session, along with some momentum. It was last up 3/16 to 1 21/32 on 1.4 million shares on Island.
The deal, which hasn't been formally signed yet, creates a joint venture to promote Pharmaprint's products across the Pacific. China New Industries will put $6 million in cash into the new venture over the next two years, with an initial stake of $1.5 million. In exchange, it gets a 49% stake. Pharmaprint will own the other 51% in exchange for providing exclusive rights to its products.
Company CEO Richard Piazza said that China New Industries approached Pharmaprint with the funding.
"Let me explain the transaction," he said. "We were approached by China New Industries. It's a venture fund, depending on the money conversion, in the range of $150 million, which is run by the Chinese government. A lot of the money in the fund goes to support capitalist ventures. Their goal is to create business in China that will create a business investment."
Piazza said that Chinese culture is more open to the concept of herbal medicine, with a predilection towards self-directed healthcare. He said that Chinese herbal market is $20 billion strong, opposed to in America, where the herbal market is only $5 billion.
"Chinese people have a great interest in self-directed healthcare," Piazza said. He then refuted the stereotype that Chinese dabble in strange forms of herbal medicine, using ingredients that are strange to Western thought. "The more-focused people are spending their money on packaged herbals. It's (China New Industries') belief that we can capitalize on this and build a nice business in China."
Per the terms of the deal, Piazza will remain CEO of the joint venture, but management will be local. The first part of the deal focuses on marketing and promoting Pharmaprint as a brand name and quality seal. He said the new venture in the Far East wouldn't distract the company from its efforts domestically.
"I would not suggest the future of Pharmaprint is China, it is a component of it," he said. "We look for modest gains in the next two to three years."
"I'm focused on building this company," he said. "And I think the stock price will follow the performance of the company. Honestly, I don't follow the stock price."
announced a second-quarter pro forma loss of 6 cents a share, beating last year's pro forma quarter, which was a 13 cent loss. There was no First Call estimate on the company.
The company rose 1/4 to 5 3/8 on 120,000 shares on Island, capping a day session gain of 3/8, or 8%, to 5 3/32.
Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Online, Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services and clients of Salomon Smith Barney. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.
explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.