Kroger Nixes Sprouts and 4 Stocks Riding 52-Week Highs

Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF):  According to Fitch Ratings, Capital One Financials third quarter earnings remained somewhat noisy in the wake of the company’s acquisitions this year, which included the ING Direct purchase closing in the beginning of 2012 and the purchase of HSBC’s domestic card business closing in mid-2012. Fitch believes that after sifting through the various merger related effects, one-time charges, and noisy sequential quarter comparisons, COF’s core earnings have modestly improved given that the third quarter, 2012, included a full quarter of the acquired HSBC receivables in the company’s overall results. COF’s Tier 1 common ratio improved to 10.7% in the third quarter, up from 9.9% in the second quarter. Fitch said, on balance, COF’s credit quality remains reasonably good, though both overall net charge offs and thirty day, plus delinquencies increased in COF’s domestic card portfolio and in their auto portfolio. COF’s Tier 1 common ratio improved to 10.7% in the third quarter, up from 9.9% in the second quarter, which was better than Fitch’s expectations. Fitch said that they would still expect COF to continue to build capital over the remainder of the year. COF disclosed that their Tier 1 common ratio, under proposed Basel 3 capital standards, would be in the high 7% range, which is on the lower side compared to some peer institutions. However, given COF’s strong capital generation Fitch said they would expect the company to be above their assumed Basel 3 target of 8% in the next year. Their shares closed at $60.75, up $3.45 or 6.02% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $39.30 to $60.05.

Fushi Copperweld (NASDAQ:FSIN):  Fushi Copperweld announced that that they have  filed their definitive proxy materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in connection with the Agreement and Plan of Merger between the company and entities affiliated with their chairman and co-Chief Executive Officer, Li Fu and Abax Global Capital. If the Merger Agreement is approved and it is completed, each share of the company’s common stock that is issued and outstanding, immediately prior to the effective time of the merger, will be converted into the right to receive $9.50 in cash, without interest, except for shares owned by Fu, Abax, and their respective affiliates, who currently, beneficially, own an aggregate of approximately 29.4% of the company’s outstanding shares. Their shares closed at $9.29, up $0.07 or 0.76% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $5.60 to $9.28.

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Honeywell International (NYSE:HON):  Honeywell International, sees their fourth quarter revenue of $9.4-$9.6 billion, and a consensus $9.78 billion. They view the fourth quarter of Aerospace sales to be between 0%-(2%), with ACS sales up by 1%-3%, PMT sales up by 4%-6%, and Transportation sales by (8%)-(12%). Their total sales are up by 1%-2%, excluding F/X’s comments from slides, that will be presented on their third quarter earnings conference call. Their shares closed at $62.49, up $1.07 or 1.74% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $48.82 to $62.00.

Kroger Company (NYSE:KR):  The Kroger Company announced their decision to no longer sell sprouts, due to their potential food safety risk. “After a thorough, science-based review, we have decided to voluntarily discontinue selling fresh sprouts. Testing and sanitizing by the growers and safe food handling by the consumer are the critical steps to protect against food-borne illness. Sprouts present a unique challenge because pathogens may reside inside of the seeds where they cannot be reached by the currently available processing interventions. Out of an abundance of caution, the Kroger Family of Stores will no longer sell fresh sprouts or procure other foods that are produced on the same equipment as sprouts,” the company said. Deliveries of sprouts into Kroger distribution centers and stores will be discontinued on October 22. Their shares closed at $25.13, down $0.07 or 0.28% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $20.98 to $25.25.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW):  According to the Wall Street Journal, Lowe’s Companies’s  board wants to hire a successor to Chief Executive Officer, Robert Niblock, even though they are not looking to replace him immediately. They would like to prepare a successor to step in within three years. The first task for the new executive, will be to fill the post of Chief Merchandising Officer that has been vacant since May. Their shares closed at $32.64, up $0.07 or 0.21% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $20.34 to $32.98.

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