Chipotle FEELS Taco Bell Heat and 4 Hot Stocks Turning Heads

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG): Lagging sales at Chipotle in its second quarter prompted discussion among Wall Street analysts and watchers that Taco Bell’s new Doritos Locos Tacos may be the culprit. Taco Bell debuted the new line of tacos (featuring shells made with nacho cheese-flavored Doritos) in March, and has been quite successful with the new offer. Last week, parent company Yum! Brands Inc. credited the addition with a 13 percent rise in Taco Bell’s same-store sales in its second quarter. Chipotle shares are trading lower by 1.22 percent today.

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Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) guidance includes the $275 million final installment to settle its Brazilian collection dispute, $110 million for antitrust payments, pension contributions of as much as $250 million and restructuring cash outlays of up to $280 million. Jeff M. Fettig, CEO, noted, “Strong cash generation from our business is expected to more than offset these legacy liabilities, fund our cost and capacity-reduction initiatives and fuel new product innovation. Our expanding operating margins and the conclusion of payments for legacy liabilities position us well for generating strong cash flow in the second half of the year and into 2013.” Whirlpool shares are trading 6.49 percent lower today.

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII) reports a joint venture with Eicher Motors, a major Indian maker of commercial vehicles and motorcycles. The partnership will develop and market new products to meet the varied vehicle needs in India and other emerging markets. The joint venture makes for a new operation, in which Polaris and Eicher each maintain around 50 percent, with the overarching investment planned to be around $50 million, with shares divided equally between the partners over a period of three years. Polaris shares are trading lower by 0.95 percent today.

First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE:FHN) reported earnings at the end of last week that demonstrated operating earnings fell short of Wall Street’s consensus estimate. First Horizon also turned in lower capital market fee income and sluggish loan growth. Additionally, it reported an interest margin increase and better credit quality – two bullish indicators. First Horizon shares are trading 0.88 percent higher today.

Sothebys (NYSE:BID) has reported the seventh edition of its yearly exhibition “Beyond Limits,” which will be making monumental sculptures by artist Barry Flanagan for sale from September 7 through October 28, 2012. Sothebys shares are trading 2.81 percent lower today.

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