Liz Claiborne (NYSE:LIZ) is ripping 40% higher in early trading after the company announced it is selling several brands including its namesake label for $328 million in cash. J.C. Penny (NYSE:JCP) will buy the Liz Claiborne and Monet brands while Bluestar Alliance will acquire the Kensie brand. Liz Claiborne has also sold its Dana Buchman label to Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS).
Shares of Pepsico, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) are bubbling nearly 2% higher before the opening the bell. The drink and snack company reported that its third-quarter profit climbed to $2 billion ($1.25 per share), compared to $1.92 billion ($1.19 per share) last year. Competitors to watch in today’s trading include Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS), and Hansen Natural Corp (NASDAQ:HANS).
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Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) is climbing 1% higher after the company said it is pairing up with Conde Naste to offer on-demand magazines such as Allure, Gold Digest, Wired, and Allure to internet-connected printers. Meg Whitman, the new CEO, is also reconsidering spinning off the company’s personal PC business.
Shares of Alcoa (NYSE:AA) are taking a 4% hit in early trading after the company missed Q3 estimates. For the third quarter, the aluminum company posted a profit of $172 million (15 cents per share), but analysts were expecting the company to earn 22 cents per share. Other aluminum companies such as Century Aluminum (NASDAQ:CENX) and Noranda Aluminum(NYSE:NOR) are also trading lower on the news.
Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is 1% lower after as its BlackBerry service experiences technical difficulties Wednesday morning. The company said the problem has been fixed but it could take some time for the network to work through the backlog of data.