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News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Consumer sentiment at nine-month low

One reason for optimism regarding corporate growth is the recent strength of economically sensitive stocks like Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) and Facebook Inc. (FB), both local corporate entities reaching all-time highs.

On a national level, there is overall concern because of a lack of excitement from the Dow Industrials, which have yet to close above their Sept. 18 all-time high of 15,676.94. A move above that level would confirm a bullish trend for investors.

The latest disappointing September jobs report and falling consumer sentiment for the future may help explain this hesitancy. The University of Michigan’s October consumer confidence rating fell 2 percent to 73.2, the lowest reading since December 2012.

One of the main reasons for the decline was the first federal government shutdown in 17 years, which undermined Americans’ outlook on the economy.

Sliding consumer confidence could affect holiday spending and the stock market, as the recent Congressional deal is only a temporary fix. Our federal government could provide us with renewed fiscal debates by the year’s end and into 2014.

Town Crier stocks of interest:

• Microsoft Corp. ($35.53; MSFT) surprised the market last Thursday with its quarterly profit and revenue forecasts. Revenue rose 16 percent to $18.5 billion while analysts had expected $17.8 billion.

First quarter sales posted a 17 percent increase in profit to $5.2 billion or 62 cents per share, up from $4.5 billion or 53 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Many analysts trimmed profit margins after Chief Executive Steve Ballmer announced his retirement and the company acquired Nokia’s handset business while the core computer business was decreasing.

Microsoft broke out sales of its Surface tablets for the first time, which doubled from the previous quarter. Surface tablet sales increased to $400 million due to rising interest in the smaller, discounted Surface RT model.

Chief financial officer Amy Hood said, “We look forward to our second quarter where our enterprise business will be strong and we are set for a fantastic holiday season with Surface, Xbox One and a host of devices from our partners.”

Recent upgrade and downgrade history has Microsoft in a downgrade phase from a buy to a hold. Mean target price is $35 and high target is $42.

• Cisco Systems Inc. ($22.51; CSCO) shares have dropped 14 percent since the company posted July quarter results in August and this recent drop disappointed cautious investors. Its share price remains nearly 75 per cent below its all-time high.

Price/earnings ratio, at about 15, is lower than the S&P 500 rating at 18 and this concerns investors. Cisco sells great routers, but is running into competition from cheap routers.

Last week Cisco announced its next “vision for collaboration,” which focuses on a modern workspace that enables workers to work smarter and allows teams to instantly connect and communicate.

Cisco suffers from weak trends in profit estimates and share-price action and has recently been downgraded by numerous analysts. For example, MKM Partners LLC downgraded the stock from a buy to neutral Oct. 16. Other analysts consider Cisco a buy and a long-term buy. High target price is $32.

Clyde Noel is a Los Altos Hills resident and a longtime stock investor.

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