J.C. Penney Shows Signs of Life, Aviva’s Strong Year So Far, and 3 More Hot Stocks

J.C. Penney & Co. (NYSE:JCP): Shares are up as J.C. Penney reports that same-store sales increased by 0.9 percent in October, putting to rest the trend of declines in sales for the company. Internet sales surged 37.6 percent year-over-year as home merchandise helped and “improved” inventory levels factored in. However, although J.C. Penney margins were dented by a higher percentage of clearance items sold and promotional activity, they are showing more promise now than before.

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Aviva PLC (NYSE:AV): New business for Aviva grew 14 percent to 571 million pounds during the first nine months of the year, driven by strong performances in France and emerging markets. Operating capital generation remained flat at 1.3 billion pounds; operating expenses fell by 7 percent to 2.28 billion. However, the company warned that it anticipates new business growth to be somewhat moderate in the fourth quarter following the strong performance from a year earlier.

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ArcelorMittal SA (NYSE:MT): ArcelorMittal is reportedly still interested in the steel rolling mill in Alabama that firm ThyssenKrupp is putting on the block. ”Clearly we have said in the past and we can reaffirm the same, we remain interested in Alabama because of our positioning in North America. We have a strong automotive franchise there,” ArcelorMittal CFO Aditya Mittal said during a conference call. ”At the same time, we maintain our net debt target… and to the extent that we are successful with this transaction we do not expect the transaction to materially impact our net debt level.”

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Siemens AG (NYSE:SI): Siemens has reported that its fourth-quarter income from continuing operations fell 13 percent to 1.08 billion euros but topped forecasts calling for 997 million euros. Net profit fell 10.1 percent to 1.07 billion; fiscal-year earnings per share rose 7.2 percent, to 5.08 euros. With currency fluctuations left out, incoming orders rose 3 percent; operating profit from Siemens’s four core businesses dropped 17 percent.

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AMC Networks Inc. (NYSE:AMCX): AMC Networks reported that its National Networks segment revenue grew 20.2 percent in the third quarter to $367.9 million, driven largely by its original programming like The Walking Dead. SG&A expenditures rose 9 percent to $105.95 million, as technical and operating costs also saw increases, up 21.2 percent to $157.05 million.

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