Wall St. Brief: Microsoft Gets KUDOS, Bed Bath & Beyond EARNINGS, American Airlines’ DISPUTE
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) received broad industry support and won good reviews in Wednesday’s introduction of its Windows Phone 8. AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and T-Mobile (DTEGF.PK) will support the new OS, while Samsung (SSNLF.PK), HTC, Huawei and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) are its hardware partners. While the WP8’s features and Windows 8 code compatibility have received compliments, reviewers have expressed disappointed that the WP7 devices cannot be upgraded.
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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is nearing a settlement in a Department of Justice review of the off-label marketing for its antipsychotic medication Risperdal. With the deal, it will represent one of the biggest ones for a drug-marketing case with Johnson&Johnson paying $1.5 billion to $2 billion–or possibly higher.
The American Airlines (AAMRQ.PK) pilots union have rejected the company’s last contract proposal and now the dispute will move to bankruptcy court New York. Judge Sean Lane is expected to decide on Friday on the airline’s motion to dismiss its existing contract and terms. Look for possible suitor US Airways (NYSE:LCC) to keep its eyes on the proceeding.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s (NASDAQ:BBBY) first quarter earnings per share increased 24 percent to $0.89, surpassing expectations, while revenue was inline with its 5 percent rise to $2.22 billion. Shares were got slammed 10.6 percent in after-market trading thanks to its second quarter guidance that came in under consensus. This drop came after the stock reached an all-time high on Tuesday.
A Closer Look: Bed Bath & Beyond Earnings Cheat Sheet>>
American Tower (NYSE:AMT), Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI) and private firms have entered a second round of bids for T-Mobile USA’s (DTEGF.PK) cellular towers, reported Bloomberg. Macquarie analyst Kevin Smithen has estimated the assets could grab a $2 billion purchase price and said, “I expect they will announce a winner in July and probably close the deal by September.”
Early Buzzers: Red Hat and Bed Bath & Beyond PLUMMET, Rite Aid SURGES
Red Hat Inc. (NYSE:RHT) shares dropped more than 4 percent after the opening bell. The company reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $37.5 million (19 cents per share), compared to $32.5 million (17 cents per share) a year earlier. However, Red Hat reported billings of $310 million for the quarter, below estimates of $319 million.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares edged slightly gained by 0.06 percent in start of the trading session. Samsung has won a 3G patent dispute against Apple in the Netherlands and is reportedly planning to seek compensation from the California company. Apple’s iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, the first-generation iPad, and iPad 2 were found to be infringing on Samsung’s European-held patent. The Korean company said in a statement that it would “recover adequate damages” from Apple and that the decision proves “that Apple makes free use of our technological innovations.”
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) shares plummeted 14.59 percent after the opening bell. The company reported first-quarter net income of $206.8 million (89 cents per share), compared to $180.6 million (72 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue increased 5.1 percent to $2.22 billion. However, analysts were expecting revenue of $2.25 billion.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) shares fell 2.52 percent on Thursday morning. The natural gas giant announced the appointment of five new independent directors to its reconstituted nine-member Board of Directors. Business Wire reports, “These five new directors replace Richard K. Davidson, Kathleen M. Eisbrenner, Frank Keating and Don Nickles who have resigned and Charles T. Maxwell who retired at the annual meeting on June 8, 2012. Following the annual meeting, Mr. Davidson and V. Burns Hargis submitted their resignations when they did not receive support of a majority of the shares voted.”
Shares of Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE:RAD) jumped nearly 8.55 percent this morning. The company’s first-quarter net loss narrowed to $28.1 million, compared to a loss of $63.1 million a year earlier. Revenue also increased 1.2 percent to $6.47, beating analysts estimates of $6.43 billion. “Our turnaround efforts continue to be successful as demonstrated by our sixth consecutive quarter of increased same store sales and Adjusted EBITDA,” said Rite Aid Chairman, President and CEO John Standley. “During the quarter, we saw strong growth in same-store prescription counts while key initiatives like our popular wellness+ customer loyalty program, enhanced Rite Aid brand offerings and ground-breaking Wellness store format continued to gain traction.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares popped 1.3 percent this morning. Both Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) and Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) separately said they found value in Facebook advertising, giving the social networking site a big vote of confidence as it struggles to recover from a disastrous IPO.
Investor Insight: What is Microsoft’s REAL Motive Below the SURFACE?
Apple RAISES Pay for Store Employees and 4 More Hot Stocks to Watch
Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) merrill Lynch unit has been fined $2.8M by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, FINRA, because of supervisory failures resulting in overcharging customers with $32M in fees, as well as failing to provide specific required trade notices. Merrill Lynch has presented the $32M in remediation, plus interest, to all customers affected. Shares of Bank of America are trading 1.72% lower today.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) intends to increase hourly pay for its U.S. retail employees by as much as 25% after an internal review, according to the Wall Street Journal. Apple has nearly 36,000 full-time staffers at over 350 retail stores globally, but nearly two-thirds are in the U.S. At the sales level, the company’s employees earn around $9 to $15 per hour, and up to nearly $30 per hour for its “Genius” tech support teams. Shares of Apple Inc. are trading 0.28% lower today.
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Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB): As a result of concerns regarding last month’s Facebook stock sales showing the way the current system can unfairly harm small investors, a bipartisan group of lawmakers called on regulators to change the manner in which IPOs are conducted. Shares of Facebook, Inc. are trading 0.82% higher today.
AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T): Samsung’s (SSNLF) Galaxy S II has officially launched int he U.S. and is available on T-Mobile’s (DTEGY) Web site and in select retail stores. AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S), Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) (NASDAQ:VOD) and U.S. Cellular will stock the smartphone in-store and online within the next few weeks, Samsung claims. Shares of AT&T, Inc. are trading 0.06% lower today.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) considers retooling its U.S. operations and has set up shop in Silicon Valley, where many believed it already should be, says the Wall Street Journal. The company wishes to created the same type of underdog culture which has led many to success. Shares of Nokia Corporation are trading 2.40% lower today.
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Burger King ANNOUNCES New China Venture and 4 More Hot Stocks to Watch
Burger King Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:BKW) announced a new joint venture in China centered on assertively growing its brand presence there. Burger King is now in a deal with members of the Kurdoglu family, an established Burger King master franchisee, and Cartesian Capital Group, a worldwide private equity firm. This joint venture plans to open 1,000 restaurants in China in the coming 5-7 years. Burger King Worldwide shares are trading 6.53% higher today.
Investing Insights: ConAgra Foods Earnings: Tops Estimates, Shares Tick Upward.
Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) shares have fallen hard following EU regulators asking for more data regarding widening authorization of the company’s multiple myeloma treatment Revlimid to treat newly diagnosed patients and as a maintenance therapy. Celgene is withdrawing its submission and plans to resubmit with new data, and is “re-evaluating” a comparable FDA application. Celgene shares are trading 11.19% lower today.
Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONXX): The FDA panel vote came back in favor of Onyx’s Kyprolis drug for multiple myeloma, with a final FDA approval decision planned for July 27. Shares of Onyx are upped from Neutral to Outperform at Baird, initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank, and raised to Buy at Brean Murray. Onyx shares are trading 43.24% higher today.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY): Following the company’s announcement of higher than planned EPS but lower than hoped comparative sales, Bernstein believes the company’s results might beat expectations in the future. Bernstein thinks the stock will be attractive during a shaky economic environment and sticks to an Outperform rating. Shares are trading 15.71% lower today.
CarMax, Inc (NYSE:KMX) reports that its historic “sweet spot” has been used cars between one and three years old, and supply of that range is still depressed. This low supply has made prices go up, but CarMax’s margins “haven’t really moved that much,” according to a company executive. The company reports seeing this supply trend continuing until the SAR are again at historical levels. Reports in Q1 sales of five-year and older cars as a percentage of total sales stayed at historic highs over 25%. These comments came from a Q1 earning conference call. Shares of CarMax are trading 6.85% lower today.
Sun Healthcare to be ACQUIRED by Genesis Healthcare and 2 Hot Stocks to Watch
Sun Healthcare Group Inc (NASDAQ:SUNH) has signed a definitive agreement in which it will be acquired by Genesis Healthcare. Sabre explains, “We view the proposed acquisition of Sun by Genesis as a positive. Given the size of Genesis and its overall financial strength, we believe that the credit profile of our tenant base is improved. We expect to obtain a parent guaranty from Genesis to replace the existing Sun guaranty. Additionally, we expect the guaranty to include a tangible net worth covenant and expect to obtain an amendment to our master lease agreement with Sun to improve the annual rent escalators to a fixed 2.5% increase and to include cross-default provisions with Genesis’ term loan, all of which should improve the overall quality of our leases.” Shares of Sun Healthcare Group Inc are trading 36.16% higher today.
ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) states that its Q4 Commercial Foods segment sales growth reflects raised volumes for Lamb Weston’s potato operation, as well as improved flour milling operations, and price increases spanning the segment is made necessary by input cost inflation. The firm believes these factors will also assist in good profit growth. Shares of ConAgra Foods, Inc. are trading 3.5% higher today.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND): Onyx Pharmaceuticals’ potential blood cancer treatment has been endorsed by a panel of cancer specialists. Wednesday, with only one abstention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel voted 11-0 in favor of the use of carfilzomib as treatment for patients suffering from advanced forms of multiple myeloma and have seen no response to other drugs. The FDA should make its decision about the drug by July 27, and though it is not forced to follow the panel’s advice, it usually does. Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. are trading 9.43% higher today.