Toyota Wins in Consumer Reports Survey and 4 Hot Stocks Trading Today

Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE): Current Price $14.94

Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE) upstages Microsoft on the announcement of the next generation home video game console. Sony has set February 20 for a “see the future” PlayStation-themed event that will probably showcase the new avatar in the PlayStation series. According to sources, Sony’s gaming device will reach users later this year, will feature social gaming, and will reflect Sony’s focus on the improvement in the way users interact with the device. In a departure from previous practice, the device will include chips designed by Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD), instead of the cell chips that are being used in PlayStation3, which were developed by IBM and Toshiba Corp.

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Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL): Current Price $13.76

According to Reuters, Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL) is close to sealing a deal whereby Founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners would acquire the company and take it private. The deal, which could be announced as early as Monday, would see Michael Dell holding a majority of the firm’s shares while Silver Lake and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) would be minority investors. Four investment banks, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital, have agreed to provide up to $15 billion in debt financing to the bidding group. Another report in the New York Post says the deal is expected to be in the range of $15-$16 a share, and that Microsoft would chip in with $2 billion capital to fund the LBO.

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Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT): Current Price $46.65

Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT) has gone to court over a move by restaurant and store chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc (CRBL) to sell products carrying the Cracker Barrel brand in new retail channels besides its own restaurants. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store signed a marketing license agreement last November with John Morrell Food, a unit of Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) in this regard. According to Kraft, this would encroach on its market share. In its suit, Kraft asks the court to cancel this agreement, saying, “The parties’ market separation that has existed for decades will be eliminated.”

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Toyota (NYSE:TM): Current Price $97.95

The annual car brand perception survey conducted annually by Consumer Reports, which took the views of more than 2000 Americans on categories such as quality, safety, performance and design, saw Toyota (NYSE:TM) at #1. In fact, the top six brands remained the same as in 2012, but Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) made an appearance at #10.

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MetLife Inc (NYSE:MET): Current Price $38.03

MetLife Inc (NYSE:MET) has clinched a $2 billion deal to acquire Chilean pension manager AFP Provida from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (NYSE:BBVA). The latter’s 64.3% stake would transfer to MetLife who would make a tender offer for the other outstanding shares of Provida. The acquisition is expected to boost MetLife’s fee income as well as help it expand into fast-growing emerging markets.

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Don’t Miss: Here’s What to Expect From These Gaming Bigwigs.