Microsoft’s Xbox Plans, Shell’s HQ Overhaul, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): Microsoft’s Xbox One will be dropping in stores November 22, one week after Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4. However, European markets will reportedly have access to the device a week before that date. Xbox exec Yusuf Mehdi says most of Microsoft’s pre-order supply has been sold out, and the PlayStation 4 has apparently surpassed 1 million preorders. Early preorder demand was dented by game resale and Internet verification policies, which Microsoft has since reversed its position on.


Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA): One of London’s largest regeneration projects, Shell’s 1.5 billion-pound headquarters makeover, may have hit headwinds after government ministers called for a last-minute review of the plans. Though the project was approved by local authorities, it could put an end to Shell’s efforts to reestablish its U.K. base and force it to relocate elsewhere. 


Communications Systems (NASDAQ:JCS): Communications Systems will be restructuring its operations, giving the Suttle, Tennessee, and JDL divisions a higher degree of autonomy. Certain positions in the parent company will be eliminated with business functions pushed downstream, Seeking Alpha reports, as indirect costs will be more fully allocated to individual divisions to increase transparency and accountability.


Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT): ”We look for materially higher EPS than consensus over our forecast period due to higher revenue and margins versus consensus,” Jefferies analyst Jeffrey Holford said, adding that the firm sees “scope for more shareholder friendly capital allocation toward debt repayments, share repurchases and dividends.” The firm keeps a Buy rating but cuts its price target and earnings per share numbers slightly.


Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS): Barnes & Noble, along with its ever-struggling Nook division, has cut prices on the devices sold in the U.K., with the tablet starting at 79 pounds (about $123) and the HD+ tablet now down to 129 pounds. Seeking Alpha points out that the company is owing the action to the back-to-school season, though weak demand could be a driving factor.


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