Sony Blows Off Divestment Speculation and 3 Morning Hot Stocks Trading Today

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (NYSE:TSM): Current Price $18.03

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (NYSE:TSM) reported a 32% jump in fourth-quarter profit driven by increased demand for semiconductors used in mobile devices from Apple and Samsung Electronics. Net income rose to $41.6 billion, in line with consensus, while revenue was up 25% to $131 billion. Gross margin was 47.2% and operating margin 35.2%. For Q1, the company has forecast sales in the range of $127 billion-$129 billion on which it expects gross margin in the range 43.5%-45.5%.

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Nokia (NYSE:NOK): Current Price $4.59

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is taking its cost-cutting drive further by announcing it would cut 300 jobs in Finland and shift about 800 employees to Indian suppliers. The move is part of its plan to remove 10,000 jobs in its mobile business by the end of this year. The company reported excellent sales of its new Lumia smartphone and a good performance from its wireless network venture, but continues to make headway on its cost-cutting plans as it faces relentless competition from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung.

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General Motors Co (NYSE:GM): Current Price $29.45

General Motors Co (NYSE:GM) announced its plans to invest $1.5 billion in its North American plants this year in an effort to save manufacturing costs and achieve on its target to revamp 70% of its US vehicle models during 2012 and 2013. GM North America chief Mark Reuss said the industry would be undergoing a massive transformation and that an investment of this kind generally pays off. The amount proposed to be spent is a part of an annual $8 billion budget which the automaker plans to invest on its global operations.

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Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE): Current Price $11.62

Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE) CEO Kazuo Hirai dismisses speculation on the company’s divestment of its Sony Pictures unit, saying it was a profitable business “and I like to have profitable businesses in my portfolio.” Hirai clarified this with reference to 4K, the new generation of television technology, where a consumer buying a Sony 4K TV would also gain access to Sony’s movie content, allowing Sony to leverage its movie studio ownership to benefit its electronics business. In addition to the entertainment assets, Sony also owns a substantial financial services business in Japan, both of which have proved profitable during the times when the electronics division has been making huge losses.

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