Actionable insights straight to your inbox


Companies Experiencing Their Own Christmas Miracles

Whether it be Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, or It's a Wonderful Life, holiday films and stories are often times filled with people who, down on their luck, experience a miracle of

Whether it be Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, or It’s a Wonderful Life, holiday films and stories are often times filled with people who, down on their luck, experience a miracle of miracles around Christmas time. Well, in that spirit, here are four companies that have experienced their own Christmas miracles, posting big gains in December after struggling through a rough year.

The McClatchy Company (MNI)

The McClatchy Company is a newspaper company that’s been transitioning into digital advertising. The company had a year to forget in 2011, losing 75 percent of its share value heading into the final month of the year. However, McClatchy CEO and Chairman Gary Pruitt presented at the UBS conference in Sacramento, CA and revealed that the Sacramento-based company was showing significant improvement in advertising revenues that appeared to kick the year-long downward trend. The company’s stock responded, kicking up over 85 percent since.

JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU)

Discount airliner JetBlue watched shares in its company go for a discount over and over again over the course of 2011. From the new year to November 23 the company’s share price cratered, dropping nearly 50 percent. Since Thanksgiving, though? The stock’s jumped up over 5o percent. The reason why could be JetBlue successfully beating out other airline competitors to win flight auctions from LaGuardia and Reagan International Airports in late November.

Blue Coat Systems, Inc. (BCSI)

Blue Coat Systems designs and makes proxy and other appliances, and related software and services for securing business applications. Blue Coat Systems couldn’t wait for a visit from the Ghost of Christmas present for most of the year, hitting the dog days of August hard after issuing 2012 guidance that fell below analyst expectations and hitting a 52-week low. At that point, Blue Coat had lost nearly 60 percent on the year. However, December brought excellent news for Blue Coat’s shareholders when private equity firm Thoma Bravo, LLC agreed to purchase the company for $1.3 billion, a premium of 62 percent. In the month of December, Blue Coat has jumped over 40 percent as a result.

Jefferies Group, Inc. (JEF)

This has been the year of the European Debt Crisis, and Jefferies Group has gotten hit harder than most. The level of exposure to potentially toxic eurozone sovereign debt left shares in the the investment banking firm down over 55 percent on the year going into December 1st. However, the efforts of Mario Draghi, Angela Merkel, and Nicolas Sarkozy appear to have calmed markets some and Jefferies appears to be one of the bigger beneficiaries. As news of a new eurozone agreement on fiscal responsibility and the ECB lending program have helped push shares in Jefferies up over 20 percent in December.

With pandemic-induced supply chain bottlenecks receding, semiconductor stocks have been riding a bullish trend, making higher lows and higher highs.
To say the current situation isn’t pretty now seems an understatement, and it’s likely to remain chaotic for a while. Which is why it’s so important for leaders of all kinds not to fall prey to the very human tendency to go negative.
Bargain-hunting friends of mine have been asking: “Should I buy First Republic?” After all, First Republic is prestigious. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg got a mortgage there. Dozens of customer surveys rate its satisfaction scores higher than super-brands like Apple and Ritz-Carlton.
Many of us economy-watchers have been expecting recession, though with significant differences on odds and timing. Regardless, recent banking developments just made recession more likely and may have accelerated its onset.