Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS): Auto Hop, a new feature developed by Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) for its digital-video recorders, allows commercials to be bypassed from recorded shows on NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Fox (NASDAQ:NWSA), ABC (NYSE:DIS) and CBS (NYSE:CBS). However, Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Dish CEO Joseph Clayton says that his company ‘has respect for the networks and for the advertising model’, as he was questioned concerning Dish’s motive for letting subscribers automatically skip ads.
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General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) reports that it is seeking to purchase two underground mining equipment manufacturers in support of the global expansion of its mining business. To that effect the company will acquire 100 percent of Australia’s Industrea Ltd., which supplies safety and productivity-enhancing mining equipment and services. The deal’s value amounts to around A$ 700 million, which represents a sum that is 5.5 times earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization, based on full-year financial data as of Dec. 31, 2011. In addition, GE has signed a Letter of Intent to purchase Fairchild International, an independently owned and operated underground mining equipment producer in Glen Lyn, Virginia. Financials of that agreement were undisclosed, and in combination the two acquisitions expands GE’s product offering to address approximately 35 percent of the underground mining value chain.
The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) might have difficulty moving higher following its 32 percent climb in 2011, and its lackluster first quarter sales and guidance, says a Barron’s report. Further, HD’s shares are priced at 16.7 times the projected fiscal year 2013 earnings per share estimates, and analysts say that the company might not be able to deliver such growth, thus the stock seems to be overvalued despite even the company’s critics commending its management, balance sheet and performance over the last few quarters.
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) says that it has delivered an HP AppSystem for the SAP HANA database and related services to T-Mobile USA, Inc., the wireless division of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGY), which will assist the wireless provider in reducing the time required to analyze information from more than one week, down to less than a day.
JPMorgan Chase’s (NYSE:JPM) individual trades that led to the now famous $2 billion loss were not monitored by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which said that it would not expect to be notified about the positions, says a Bloomberg report.
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Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE:KFT) sees Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square reducing its positions in the food giant, and Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) experiences the same, according to a SEC filing. Specifically, the hedge fund shrank its Kraft position 21.2 million shares to 15.5 million; and its stake in FDO from 8.4 million shares to 2.6 million.
McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD) predicts that it will nearly double its workforce in China by the end of the current year, says a report in China Daily. The fast food major expects to employ 70,000 more workers there, to operate the 225 to 250 new stores that are planned to be opened.
American Express Company (NYSE:AXP): Several top officers of three major U.S. companies are said to be potential witnesses in the insider trading case of Rajat Gupta. The Wall Street Journal reports that the names include: Goldman’s (NYSE:GS) Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein; Procter & Gamble’s (NYSE:PG) former chairman, president and CEO A.G. Lafley; and American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth I. Chenault.
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Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA): CEO Gary Kelly of Southwest (NYSE:LUV) announced at the annual shareholders meeting that his company will put off taking delivery of 30 Boeing 737s, in a cost saving move that could amount to more than $1 billion through 2014, says a report by The Associated Press. Kelly also explained that the deliveries might be pushed back to 2017 and 2018, as his company will not be entering the petroleum business anytime soon.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) announces that its retail sales of machines for the 3-month rolling period that ended in April was up 12 percent worldwide, up 32 percent in North America, and 5 percent in the Asia/Pacific region.
AT&T, Inc.’s (NYSE:T) deal may be opposed by U.S. regulators, but Sprint Nextel’s (NYSE:S) CEO Dan Hesse believes that they might be amenable to other major telecom agreements, noting that his company will attempt to avoid participating in a large deal until 2014.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) will make an effort to end unlimited data plans, and also will disallow customers keeping those plans upon upgrading to its 4G LTE high-speed mobile network, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has revealed improvements to its SmartCloud Services, and reported new customers and partners which exhibit IBM SmartCloud’s position as a leading enterprise cloud platform for business. This comes as companies accept and integrate the transformative power of cloud computing in order to obtain significant advantages.
Intel Corporation’s (NASDAQ:INTC) Itanium chips are the central focus of documents released by Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), in relation to its lawsuit with Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL). H-P’s move is aimed at demonstrating that Oracle, which is the new owner of Sun Microsystems, intends to damage the former’s Business Critical Server division, says AllThingsD.
3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) is concentrating on cutting costs in its huge, complex manufacturing business, after posting disappointing first quarter sales that rose a meager 2.4 percent, reports the Wall Street Journal. 3M produces an estimated number of 65,000 products that are manufactured in 214 plants in 41 countries.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is among the drug majors upon which BMO begins coverage Friday (Market Perform), along with Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) at the same rating. Bristol-Myers (NYSE:BMY) begins with Outperform.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) reported the results of studies on Lyrica capsules CV presented at the American Pain Society Annual Meeting in Honolulu. Exploratory research was included in the trials to provide new insights into how Lyrica works in the brains of patients with fibromyalgia; in all, Lyrica abstracts were presented. In this exploratory reserch, Lyrica reduced connectivity between various parts of the brain involved in pain processing, an important effect since fibromyalgia patients have elevated intrinsic connectivity. In an additional fMRI analysis, Lyrica was found to affect density in parts of the brain that are known to process pain. In this study, the most common side effect in Lyrica-treated patients was dizziness when compared with those given a placebo.
Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): If the economy seems to be weakening further, or if risks increase, policy makers in the Federal Reserve might opt for another round of Operation Twist over resorting an outright asset-purchase program, says Bloomberg. The former option consists of the purchase of longer-term government debt, which is offset by the sale of shorter term debt, in effect keeping the Fed’s balance sheet unchanged from the aspect of magnitude, and at the same time reducing borrowing costs.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) announces that private equity company BlackArrow, which it backs, has been chosen by Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) to power a system-wide deployment of real-time, dynamic ad insertion within on-demand content.
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