J.C. Penney Comes Out Swinging, Rumors Boost Alcatel-Lucent, and 3 More Hot Stocks

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP): Despite a hefty pre-market plunge, J.C. Penney shares have recovered and then some, now up more than 5 percent as the retailer venomously defends itself and its turnaround efforts. Penney maintains that it’s pleased with the progress so far in new initiatives, and is seeing predictability in performance in different areas; J.C. Penney’s website sales are trending at a double-digit rate over last year, though 2012′s results were notably abysmal.

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Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU): Reuters sources say that  Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is “discussing internally” the possibility of approaching Alcatel-Lucent about a potential tie-up, though Reuters isn’t sure whether Nokia is interested in a full-blown merger, as the sources warn that there are no formal talks currently on the table. However, there is speculation that Nokia will be taking the cash gained from its sale of the device unit to finance M&A activity; Alcatel shares have been rising since then.

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Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO): Statoil has found up to 600 million barrels of recoverable oil at its Bay du Nord prospect off Canada, making for its third discovery in a potential new core production area. Though the initial discovery in the Flemish Pass Basin off Newfoundland was first announced in August, Statoil said a sidetrack well drilled this week confirmed the significance of the find.

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Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR): An offering of 10 million new shares has pushed Caesars’s stock down more than 6.5 percent. The casino operator adds that the underwriter will have the option to purchase up to 1.5 million additional shares.

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Walter Energy Inc. (NYSE:WLT): Walter Energy shares are surging as Morgan Stanley raises its long-term met coal target price to $180 per ton, a number that analyst Evan Kurtz thinks implies a 140 percent upside for Walter’s shares based on the company’s high sensitivity to met coal prices. Ultimately, Morgan Stanley lands on a $33 base case and $49 bull case valuation for Walter — some 256 percent potential upside.

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