Facebook Wants the World Online and 2 Other Hot Stocks to Watch

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB): Current price $38.26

Facebook is partnering with a number of the biggest mobile tech companies on the planet in order to get most of the people on that planet online. On Wednesday, Facebook Inc. announced a partnership named Internet.org with a group that includes the Korean electronics major Samsung, Finnish handset manufacturer Nokia, and the wireless chip maker Qualcomm Inc., with an announced goal to “make Internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected,” which would come to some 5 billion persons.

The group’s plans include the development of less-expensive smartphones and tools that could reduce the amount of data needed to run apps. For Facebook, such a development would certainly add more users to its present 1.15 billion, or in other words — the entire world as a market, but Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg had this to say.

“For nine years, we’ve been on a mission to connect the world. We now connect more than 1 billion people, but to connect the next 5 billion we must solve a much bigger problem: the vast majority of people don’t have access to the internet,” writing on his Facebook page along with a paper titled Is Connectivity A Human Right?

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Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE:TSL): Current price $8.72

Shares of the Chinese solar firm Trina Solar are up more than 13 percent Wednesday after the company posted results that were stronger than expected and surpassed its prior shipping guidance by a meaningful amount. The firm’s second-quarter loss was significantly less than was anticipated, and its revenue surpassed expectations as well.

Trina shipped some 647 megawatts of solar modules, which were up by 64.6 percent quarter-over-quarter. The company’s solar module shipments also beat its previous guidance by over 100 megawatts and the solar firm forecast that its gross profit margin would be in the low double digit percentage range in the third quarter.

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American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE:AEO): Current price $14.83

On Wednesday, the retailer released a weak sales and profit forecast for the back-to-school quarter, and said that the promotional environment that forced it to cut prices this summer is still present. Analyst Jaime Katz at Morningstar said that, “What is most disconcerting is that the discounting is really aggressive. As back to school goes, so goes the holiday. This means we’ll probably see the same price competition out there in the fourth quarter.”

American Eagle said that its gross profit margin fell by 3.6 percent to 33.8 percent of sales in the fiscal second quarter, ended August 3, due to the discounting. It forecasts a profit for the third quarter that is under half of what analysts expect at between 14 and 16 cents a share compared to the expected 35 cents, said Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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