Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) CEO announced on the corporate blog his retirement. Bill Marriott will be replaced by insider Arne Sorenson as chief executive, but will stay on as executive chairman.
Stein Mart (NASDAQ:SMRT) acknowledges it received a non-compliance notice from NASDAQ due to its delayed filing of Q3 earnings with the SEC. Form 10-Q was held up due to an information technology system issue that understated permanent markdowns.
Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) is decreased to a $29 price target by JPMorgan. JPMorgan is saying that recent initiatives by management tip off their belief that the company is on the “slippery slope” of losing dominant electronics market share to nonspecialty rivals.
Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) bursts 10% higher when announcing it would search for a new chief executive to replace Andrea Jung. Citigroup hails the move and thinks the beauty products firm can perform better, but “there is no easy fix,” and change takes time. So far today, Caris and BMO Capital have upgraded the stock.
Delta (NYSE:DAL) says it expects to earn a larger-than-expected 2011 adjusted profit of $1.1B, vs. $977M consensus. Airlines stocks soar after this announcement. Delta forecasts “solid” earnings growth for 2012 and continued free cash flow generation with the help of additional seat capacity cuts and greater corporate travel demand.
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ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) announces a $750M increase to its share repurchasement plan, with no expiration date lined up. CAG will also make a $0.24/share dividend payment to shareholders on March 1, 2012.
Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) pulled its advertising from a reality show about Muslim families due to protests from a conservative group. Politicians have noticed the issue to rail against the company from the House floor while celebs take on the media to call for boycotts of the company’s stores.
J.M Smucker (NYSE:SJM) owner of Folgers, trades higher as Bloomberg notes dire predictions of a 2012 increased demand for robusta coffee beans. Macquarie predicts robusta prices will fall 9% in 2012, on top of an 8% decline this year, thanks to a combo of weak macro conditions and rising production. However, prices for the arabica beans that Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) relies upon are expected to remain strong.
Investing Insights: SmartMoney’s Top 10 Stocks for 2012.