J.C. Penney Rallies Despite Weak Quarter, GE Boosts Loans Biz, and 3 More Hot Stocks

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP): Shares are up almost 10 percent despite a quarterly report that shows J.C. Penney posting a wider loss than was expected due to a higher percentage of inventory being moved out at clearance rates. The retailer reported a 4.8 percent drop in comparable store sales, lower than the 4.2 percent loss that analysts forecast. However, the conference call told investors what they wanted to here, as J.C. Penney executives flat out promised that a turnaround of the retailer is underway.

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General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE): GE Capital will be buying commercial mortgages worth 1.4 billion pounds (about $2.3 billion) from Deutsche Postbank AG to jumpstart an expansion of its refinancing and new loans operations. The purchase implies that General Electric’s real estate business should grow at more than double last year’s rate despite total assets still accounting for around half of what they were at the height of the financial crisis.

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Deere & Co. (NYSE:DE): Shares are up as Deere reports earnings per share of $2.11, which beat by 22 cents; revenue of $9.45 billion also beat, by $0.77 billion. Net profits grew to $806.8 million from $687.6 million, though net sales of equipment operations fell to $8.62 billion from $9.05 billion. Although Deere’s fiscal 2014 profit estimates of $3.3 billion are below the $3.54 billion in 2013, it’s still ahead of the consensus projection of $3 billion.

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Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS): EPS of 42 cents fell in line with expectations, though revenue of $6.11 billion fell shy, by $0.07 billion. Comparable-store sales fell 3 percent for the third quarter, as sales were hindered by 1 percent due to a strong U.S. dollar. On a positive note, Staples’s goal of cutting costs by $150 million in 2013 was met ahead of schedule.

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Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN): Shares of Priceline are up almost 4 percent as Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry puts the company on Goldman’s Conviction Buy list with a price target of $1,500. Terry says that Priceline is ”one of the most compelling risk/reward scenarios in our internet coverage,” pointing out that it trades at a discount to its sector on a relative growth basis. “We see increasing upside potential to our already above consensus estimates as [Priceline benefits] from a European recovery, mobile traffic growth, and increasing economies of scale, particularly in customer acquisition,” Terry said.

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