McGraw-Hill CONSIDERS Unit Sell-Off and 3 Hot Morning Stocks Making Market Waves

Low gas prices continue to affect asset valuations. BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) writes down U.S. shale gas assets purchased last year form Chesapeake by $2.84 billion, but leaves unchanged U.S. shale and oil gas assets bought from Petrohawk. BHP also wrote down Australian nickel assets by $450 million.

The relentless pressure on Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) stock is due to extensive shorting – according to FactSet, about 13.4 percent of the floating stock is now shorted. Not surprising, considering Facebook is currently trading at 26 times 2013 earnings. According to current prices the social network has a market cap of about $55 billion, on a fully diluted basis.

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Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM) improves its likely total group sales for the full year 2012 to 9.76 million vehicles from 9.58 million. Outlook for operating earnings for North America is now raised four-fold to 117.6 billion yen, Japan 107.1 billion yen and Asia (ex Japan) is 101.5 billion yen. Significantly, Europe is expected to swing to a profit of 3.4 billion yen compared to a loss of 7.55 billion yen last year.

As McGraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP) considers the sale option vs. the spin-off one for its education unit, Reuters reports offers have already been received from Bain, Thomas H. Lee Partners, Apollo Global Management (NASDAQ:APO) and Cengage Learning. The education unit may be valued as high as $3 billion, given its stature as the second-biggest education globally by sales.

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