Stocks BUZZING Before the Bell: Apple Receives a BUY Rating, J.C. Penney SINKS
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are trading slightly lower this morning despite receiving a Buy rating from UBS (NYSE:UBS). Analyst Steve Milunovich initiated coverage on the tech giant with a price target of $740, citing that “Apple is creating a tech empire that likely has not reached its zenith.”
Shares of Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) fell 4 percent on Tuesday and continues to fall in pre-market trading today. The aluminum producer recently announced second-quarter earnings that were less than stellar. It reported a loss of $2 million in the quarter, compared to a net gain of $322 million a year earlier. Revenue also declined 8.8 percent to $6.01 billion.
Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) shares are up after the company on Tuesday declared a quarterly dividend of $0.562 per share, or $2.248 annualized. The company has increased its dividend for the past 56 consecutive years.
J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP) shares dropped almost 6 percent on Tuesday and continue to struggle in pre-market trading. The retailer announced it is cutting 350 jobs at its home office in Texas, as part of a restructuring move announced previously. “We have simplified processes, removed unnecessary work and reduced layers to help us make better and faster decisions,” said Chief Executive Ron Johnson in a statement. “While difficult, these decisions are in the long-term interests of [the company] and our stakeholders.”
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Wall St. Brief: Amazon Preps for MASS Production of New Smartphone, JPMorgan Claws Back MILLIONS
The Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) smartphone rumors are on the rise, reported the Wall Street Journal, with the company supposedly testing a potential device with a four to five-inch inch screen through Asian component suppliers. Mass production could begin late this year.
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Barclays’ (NYSE:BCS) investors are looking for a change with three of its top 10 saying they’d like an external candidate appointed as chairman. This could conflict with the deputy chairman Sir Michael Rake’s potential to become Marcus Agius’ successor.
Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) gave Bill Johnson the boot after its merger with Progress Energy partially due to his alleged autocratic leadership style, said CEO Jim Rogers at a North Carolina Utilities Commission hearing on Tuesday. Concerns have been lingering about Progress’ nuclear assets and its weak performance since the deal’s announcement 18 months ago.
JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) will clawback millions of dollars in stock from the individuals associated with the infamous CIO trading loss, reported the Wall Street Journal. This will include former CIO boss Ina Drew and “London whale” Bruno Iksil. The clawback announcement could come on Friday, which is the same day the bank will report its earnings.
DirecTV’s (NASDAQ:DTV) almost 20 million subscribers lost access to 17 Viacom (NYSE:VIA) networks on Tuesday night due to a failure between the companies to reach a deal over carriage fees. Affected channels included Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central. This dispute comes after a June disagreement between Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and AMC Networks (AMCX).
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Mead Johnson RECEIVES Apology and 4 Hot Stocks to Watch
AerCap Holdings N.V. (NYSE:AER) reported the end of the following deals during Q2 of this year: signed new lease agreements for 20 aircraft, delivered 11 aircraft within contracted lease agreements, bought five new aircraft, completed the sale of six aircraft, and signed financing transactions for $340M. Shares of the company are trading higher by 4.49% today.
Coldwater Creek Inc. (NASDAQ:CWTR) shares shot up 48% to 77 cents a shares yesterday following the women’s clothing retailer’s receipt of a liquidity boost from Golden Gate Capital. Shares are trading lower by 1.46% today.
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Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG): In the realm of raising retirement savings (and, in the end, income), traditional face-to-face education makes a notable difference. This comes from new findings by Principal Financial Group, which demonstrated that employees who participate in personalized, one-on-one sessions at the worksite embark upon more positive actions, including participating and saving more. Shares of the company are trading higher today by 1.46%.
Mead Johnson Nutrition CO (NYSE:MJN) verified that the Hunan Provincial Credit Construction Promotion Council has apologized for wrong reports based on false testing related to the presence of Vanillin in infant formula products. The safety and quality of Mead Johnson’s products and regulatory compliance of its infant formula making means were separately corroborated by the local office of the China AQSIQ, or General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. Company shares are trading 3.45% higher today.
Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (NYSE:PNY) shares are trading up by 0.18% today.
MAKO PLUMMETS After Announcement to Sell Fewer Robots and 4 Hot Stocks Making the Rounds
Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI): William Blair reduced its estimates and price target for Cummins following the company’s slashed guidance, and maintains a Market Perform rating on shares. Among peers, William Blair thinks Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) will still stick to guidance for the year and that WABCO (NYSE:WBC) will elevate the lower end of its outlook. Shares of Cummins are trading 2.47% lower today.
magicJack VocalTec Ltd (NASDAQ:CALL) was flooded by Option traders on Tuesday following the firm’s raise of second-quarter and full-year guidance. When it was over, the stock was up 9.3% and around 4,100 puts and 5,600 calls had been exchanged, notably passing its average single-session volume of about 1,000 contracts on each side of the tape. Shares of the company are trading 3.62% lower today.
MAKO Surgical Corp. (NASDAQ:MAKO) shares fell notably following the company’s report that it thinks it will sell fewer surgical robots than first planned this year. A number of company officials have sold off millions in company stock lately. Its RIO System robot was created to carry out minimally invasive knee procedures; MAKO now thinks it will sell 42-48 systems, as opposed to its earlier prediction of 52-58 sales this year. MAKO shares are trading 3.63% higher today.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOR): Jefferies thinks Citron Research’s pessimistic blog post Tuesday about Questcor included some misleading and outdated arguments, and reports it still thinks the technical and commercial difficulties facing generic competition for Questcor’s Acthar are notable. Jefferies maintains a Buy rating on the stock and a price target of $60.
ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) announces a $0.09/share quarterly dividend, aligned with previous. Dividend yield 1.3%. For shareholders of record July 24, payable August 9, and ex-div date of july 20. ADRAN shares are trading 15.59% lower today.
Bank of America CUTTING Jobs and 3 Hot Stocks Driving the Market Mid-Week
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC): Reflecting their broader struggles to grow in a weak economy, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), in an attempt to increase business, has been cutting jobs in their commercial banking unit, as reported by Reuters. Shares of Bank of America are trading at 2.54% higher today.
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): European chipmaker ST Micro-electronics NV (NYSE:STM), has seen their shares decline over 70% since Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone began. Nokia Oyj’s (NYSE:NOK) decline, has caused them to turn to automobiles, reports Bloomberg. CEO Carlo Bozotti stated that Asian demand for luxury cars filled with semi-conductors will help to increase sales. In an interview, Bozotti mentioned, “Every new car produced last year contained at least 25 automotive chips, and some models carried over 100.” Shares of Apple Inc. are trading 0.66% lower today.
Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB): The latest power struggle, by founding entrepreneurs, in Silicon Valley, is for control of the company, reports the Wall Street Journal. In one of the most influential capital firms, Andreesen Horowitz, is telling entrepreneurs that they prefer companies where founders have controlling rights, as this allows them to resist outside distraction and develop better products. Horowitz’s firm controls a $2.7B war chest by investing in Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) and Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN), and have won support from entrepreneurs. Shares of Facebook, Inc. are trading 0.95% lower today.
AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T): Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has started pushing its new “Jelly Bean” Android operating system update to Galaxy Nexus devices which are running the phone’s HSPA+ version. Included in this update are phones that are on AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile (DTEGY) networks, but it does not apply to Sprint (NYSE:S) or Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD), according to AllThingsD. Shares of AT&T, Inc. are trading 0.25% lower today.
Afternoon BUZZERS: JPMorgan CLAWS Its Way Back, Pandora Sets Sail for Australia
Shares of JPMorgan Chase and Co. (NYSE:JPM) were up 1.46 percent Wednesday afternoon. Due to the London Whale Trader multi-billion loss, the bank is expected to claw back millions of dollars in stock from executives. The bank may disclose the plans as early as this Friday, when it announces earnings, according to the WSJ and people familiar with the matter.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were down 0.65 percent this afternoon, despite recently receiving a Buy rating from UBS (NYSE:UBS). Analyst Steve Milunovich initiated coverage on the tech giant with a price target of $740, citing that “Apple is creating a tech empire that likely has not reached its zenith.” Design changes are also attracting attention to the tech giant. According to Japanese blog Macotakara, the next iPod Nano will revert to its “oblong style” design, sport a dedicated home button, and run an iTunes application.
Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P) shares climbed 0.50 percent in afternoon trading. The online music service is beginning a trial run in Australia and New Zealand as a way to broaden its reach. “Our focus is to have conversations with those listeners to understand and get their feedback about the service, the music and great Australian bands that they’re not hearing that we need to add to the collection,” chief executive officer Joe Kennedy explained to Bloomberg. “We have had ongoing conversations in many parts of the world and reached agreements with rights-holder groups in these two countries.” Both countries currently have advertisement-free Web access to Pandora. However, they do not have access to Pandora on mobile devices.
VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE:PAY) shares jumped 11 percent on Wednesday afternoon. The company won a $35 million-plus contract for Washington’s taxi system. Business Wire explains, “The addition of 6,500 cabs in Washington, D.C., will increase VeriFone’s taxi media footprint by 23 percent to over 35,000 in the USA alone, delivering over 10 billion advertising impressions annually.”
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) shares surged over 5 percent this afternoon. The New York Post reported that the company plans a big shares buyback program and is also likely to reduce efforts on its European expansion plan.
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Radar Movers: Arena SHEDS 6%, Supervalu CRASHES 24% and Suspends Dividend
Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) shares closed nearly 6 percent lower on Wednesday, but edged higher in late afternoon trading. The company announced a filing with the Swiss health authority, Swissmedic. “This submission reflects our continued efforts to make lorcaserin available to physicians and patients beyond the United States,” said Jack Lief, Arena’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to Swissmedic’s review of our application and to the potential approval of lorcaserin in Switzerland for patients who are obese or overweight with comorbidities.”
Shares of Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR) dropped 1.42 percent in late afternoon hours. The lodging company reported second-quarter earnings of $143 million (42 cents per share), compared to $135 million (37 cents per share) a year earlier. However, revenue fell to $2.78 billion, compared to $2.97 billion. Arne M. Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said, “In the second quarter, our business performed well in most markets around the world. In North America, strengthening group business, more travel by our special corporate customers, especially in the technology and consulting industries, and the impact of modest supply growth, drove our occupancy and room rates higher.”
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares closed in the red on Wednesday and continue to attract attention in late trading. The company responded about pulling its products from the U.S. government-backed Electronic Production Environmental Tool, or EPEAT, the green standard for U.S. companies. “Apple takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our environmental impact and all of our products meet the strictest energy efficiency standards backed by the U.S. government, Energy Star 5.2,” Apple rep Kristin Huguet, told The Loop. “We also lead the industry by reporting each product’s greenhouse gas emissions on our website, and Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials.”
Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU) shares crashed 24 percent in late afternoon hours. The supermarket operator announced that it suspended its dividend and will review strategic alternatives going forward. First-quarter earnings also came in at $41 million (19 cents per share), compared to $74 million (35 cents per share) a year earlier. “These are bold but necessary moves,” CEO Craig Herkert said in the announcement, “which will position Supervalu for success in this increasingly competitive environment.”
Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) shares edged slightly higher in late hours after reporting that earnings for the second-quarter are expected to be higher than the first-quarter, when it earned $3.27 per share. The WSJ reports, “In the latest period, international downstream earnings are expected to include about $200 million in gains from asset sales. Chevron also said U.S. oil-equivalent production increased 14,000 barrels a day during the first two months of the second quarter, largely due to increased production in the Gulf of Mexico.”
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