Ultimate Market Recap: Disney Rated Outperform, Diamond Food Drops 43%
Wall Street Watch: Yahoo’s Board Continues to Shuffle, Amazon’s Big Deal
The European Central Bank will make major concessions for Greece through an agreement to exchange its government bonds, previously purchased in the secondary market, at a price below face value as opposed to the full amount, according to The Wall Street Journal. This may decrease Greece’s debt by up to EUR 11 billion, even though EU central banks will not participate. Meanwhile, Greece’s private creditors will take large haircuts on their holdings.
Germany reported its December exports dove 4.3 percent after seeing a 2.6 percent increase in November. This was far worse than the -1 percent estimate. December’s decline is the greatest drop since January 2009. With the country’s recent declining industrial output numbers, it is a looking like a recession at the euro zone core.
Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will cut an additional 4,000 jobs at its Finland, Hungary and Mexico plants as it moves its smartphone assembly work to Asia. The company said the cuts will occur in phases throughout the year. Under Nokia Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, he has cut more than 30,000 jobs.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) could announce a Web video deal with Viacom Inc (NYSE:VIA) this week, according to Reuters. This could serve as an independent subscription service that would compete with Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). Neither company has commented on it but last week, Viacom’s Chief Executive Philippe Dauman hinted to analysts about the online video deal but declined to name the partner.
Boardroom changes continue at Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO). Chairman Roy Bostock and three other directors will step down as two new directors have been elected. The changes come after Yahoo’s board has faced criticisms for falling behind Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook and the naming of the company’s new CEO, Scott Thompson.
13 Blazing Hot Stocks: Ralph Lauren Surges 9%, Time Warner Gains 2.3% and Gamestop Issues First Dividend
McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD) shares edged .43 percent in early trading. The fast-food giant reported that global same-store sales jumped 6.7 percent, bigger-than-expected. Same-store sales in the U.S. increased 7.8 percent. Shares of Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE:YUM) also gained .80 percent.
Despite reporting a fourth quarter loss, Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) shares increased .20 percent. The carrier reported a loss of $1.3 billion (43 cents per share), compared to a loss of $929 million (31 cents per share). Sprint continues to lag behind Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) in iPhone sales.
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Shares of Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE:RL) surged nearly 9 percent after reporting fiscal second-quarter results. The retailer earned $169 million ($1.78 per share), compared to $168.4 million ($1.72 per share) a year earlier. Other luxury retailers performing well include Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN) and Saks Inc. (NYSE:SKS).
Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) shares jumped 2.3 percent after reporting fourth quarter earnings. The media company earned $773 million (76 cents per share), compared to $769 million (68 cents per share) in the previous year.
Shares of Gamestop Corp. (NYSE:GME) increased 1.9 percent in morning trading. The video-game retailer declared its first ever cash dividend. The company’s board approved a 15 cent dividend that will be paid on March 12, with a February 21 record date.
CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE:CVS) shares edged .19 percent higher. The company raised its full-year earnings guidance by 3 cents per share, as it stands to benefit from the Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG) and Express Scripts Inc. (NASDAQ:ESRX) dispute.
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Disney, CVS, Silicon Graphics, Cognizant Tech Among Hot Stock Movers Feb. 8th
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS): Credit Suisse said Disney’s networks have industry leading affiliate pricing power and the Park’s recovery is on track. The firm maintains its Outperform rating. Shares of The Walt Disney Company are trading 1.51% higher today.
CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS): The company raised its earnings guidance for Q1 and FY12 to reflect the anticipated benefit to first quarter results of approximately $0.03 per share from the impasse between Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) and Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX). The guidance adjustment only reflects the potential estimated benefit if the stalemate continues through the end of the first quarter, and does not contemplate any potential benefit beyond Q1. Shares of CVS Caremark Corporation are trading 1% higher today.
Silicon Graphics International Corp (NASDAQ:SGI): FBN Securities downgraded Silicon Graphics following the company’s Q2 results and lowered its price target for shares to $12 from $18. Shares of Silicon Graphics International Corp are trading 22.76% lower today.
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH): Cognizant Technology Solutions announced the expansion of its executive management team to support the ongoing growth of the business. The following promotions have been approved by Cognizant’s Board of Directors and are effective immediately: Gordon Coburn has been promoted to President. Rajeev Mehta has been promoted to Group Chief Executive Industries and Markets. Chandra Sekaran has been promoted to Group Chief Executive Technology and Operations. Karen McLoughlin has been promoted to CFO. Malcolm Frank has been promoted to EVP, Strategy and Marketing. Shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp are trading 0.08% higher today.
Ralph Lauren, Time Warner, Sprint, Computer Sciences Attracting Trader Attention Feb. 8th
Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL): The company said, “Due to the stronger-than-expected third quarter performance, the Company now expects consolidated revenues for Fiscal 2012 to increase by approximately 20%, which compares to a prior expectation of high-teens-to-low 20% growth. The Company has also raised its operating margin outlook for Fiscal 2012. The full year operating margin from continuing operations is now estimated to be approximately equivalent to or only slightly below the prior year period, which compares to a prior expectation of a 50 basis point decline. The full year Fiscal 2012 tax rate is currently estimated to be 34%.” Consensus for FY12 revenue is $6.8B. Shares of Ralph Lauren Corp are trading 11.48% higher today.
Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX): Time Warner announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase in the Company’s regular quarterly cash dividend of 11%. On an annual basis, Time Warner’s regular cash dividend on its Common Stock will grow from 94c per share to $1.04 per share. The Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.26 per share of Common Stock, payable in cash on March 15, 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on February 29, 2012. Shares of Time Warner Inc. are trading 2.28% higher today.
Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD): Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) is launching a second phase of a pilot program which gives customers access to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPads, after working out technical issues at one of its Toronto restaurants, reported Computerworld, citing the company’s director of international business. Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings are trading 13.71% higher today.
Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S): Wireless startup LightSquared asked the FCC to set tough standards for the design of GPS devices, according to The Hill. The company is developing a wireless broadband service and tests showed that the service could interfere with GPS devices, but LightSquared counters that the GPS devices are receiving signals from outside their designated frequency bands, the publication reported. Shares of Sprint Nextel Corporation are trading 5.71% lower today.
Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE:CSC): Reports Q3 revenue $3.76B, consensus $3.98B. Revenue was $3.76B net of a $204M reduction relating to the U.K. National Health Service contract; excluding the NHS reduction, revenue was $3.97B. EPS from continuing operations was ($8.97) and included two significant non-cash charges: a material impairment of the company’s net investment in the NHS contract, a charge of $1.49B, reducing EPS from continuing operations by $9.93, and a further goodwill impairment review for the BSS-Health reporting unit that resulted in a net goodwill impairment charge of $60M, which reduced EPS from continuing operations by 39c. Shares of Computer Sciences Corporation are trading 24.36% higher today.
Active Stock Alerts: Google Inc, Oracle, Netflix, Research in Motion
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG): Google plans to send a letter to standards organizations reassuring them that it will license Motorola Mobility Holdings (NYSE:MMI) patents on a fair and reasonable basis, sources say, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM): Research in Motion says BlackBerry users have embraced smartphone apps, downloading 6M apps from BlackBerry’s App World daily, or nearly 150M a month, reported CNET, quoting the company’s statements at its DevCon Europe event.
Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL): Oracle Corp. rejected a $272M award in its intellectual-property theft case against SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) which sets the stage for a new trial between the software rivals, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX): “Lilyhammer,” a fish-out- of-water story set in Norway and starring “The Sopranos” mainstay Steven Van Zandt, is a new Original Series premiering on Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to watch instantly beginning today, February 6, 2012, in the USA, Canada and Latin America, the video streaming company said. “Lilyhammer,” follows New York mobster Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano as he enters the federal witness protection program after ratting on his boss. All eight first season episodes of “Lilyhammer” are available beginning today for Netflix members to instantly watch by streaming over the Internet to connected TVs, tablets, game consoles, computers and mobile phones, Netflix announced.
Market Recap: Stocks Slightly Up as Greece Again Steals Headlines
Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +0.04%, S&P +0.22%, Nasdaq +0.41%, Oil +0.68%, Gold -0.71%.
Today’s markets were up because:
1) Greece. It seems almost redundant to mention Greece at all. You’re probably all growing sick of hearing the same news day after day — progress has been made in negotiations, but with a deadline fast approaching, leaders have yet to make a deal — and yet the little Mediterranean country continues to make more headlines than the Kardashians. Unfortunately, investors continue to monitor developments in Greece rather closely, and as a result, small advances or hiccups are usually felt in the markets. Today was no different. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is meeting with political party leaders to discuss a draft of proposed spending cuts, including layoffs and pension reforms, that are a precondition for Greece to receive more bailout money from international lenders, the so-called troika consisting of the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund. And if you’ve kept up with the headlines, you’ll know how important it is that Greece receive those rescue funds.
2) Earnings. News of Greece was even less substantial today than it has been in the preceding weeks. Markets seem to have begun to discount the fact that Greece is headed for an orderly default, instead focusing on more substantial facts and figures, namely earnings. Scores of U.S. companies have reported quarterly results over the past few weeks, some of which have been poor, but many of which have been better than expected. Today the trend continued, with Sprint (NYSE:S) trading lower as the expense of launching the iPhone took a bite out of fourth-quarter profits, while Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS), and Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) all reported steep increases in quarterly revenue that had shares trading higher today.
3) Rally. Oftentimes a rally can be self-perpetuating. Yes, earnings have been more optimistic than in quarters passed, but also Americans are ready for the economy to get back on track. It helps that most major economic reports have been relatively positive this last month. Unemployment fell another two-tenths of a percent, while service and manufacturing sector gauges have demonstrated improvement, but ultimately investors are choosing to take risks, choosing to believe that the European debt crisis will eventually be worked out and that the economy will continue to create more jobs. Faith in the recovery may be what finally effects a recovery, as Americans respond to positive data by putting more money into the markets and by increasing spending.
12 Booming Companies: Cisco Beats Estimates, Diamond Foods Crushed 43% and EA Loses CFO to Polycom
Shares of Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) fell more than 11 percent after the closing bell. The internet coupon company reported a fourth quarter loss of $42.7 million (8 cents per share). Analysts were expecting positive earnings of 3 cents per share.
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) shares edged slightly lower in extended trading. The networking giant reported earnings of 47 cents per share, compared to 37 cents per share a year earlier. Analysts only expected earnings of 43 cents per share. “It’s a nice upside surprise,” said Joanna Makris, an analyst at Mizuho Securities. “Broadly speaking, people expected a good quarter. Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) also edged lower, while Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) shares gained .07 percent.
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Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND) shares were crushed more than 43 percent in late trading. The audit committee of its board of directors has concluded that the company will need to restate its financial results for fiscal 2010 and 2011, due to improper accounting methods on payments made to walnut growers. The news has also caused Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) to reconsider its Pringles sale to Diamond Foods.
Shares of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) dropped almost 5 percent after saying its chief financial officer Eric Brown has left the video game company. Brown accepted a position at Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM), a maker of video conferencing products.
Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) edged .54 percent lower, despite raising its 2012 profit outlook. For the fiscal first-quarter, the company earned $118.3 million (65 cents per share), compared to $88.7 million (51 cents per share) a year earlier.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE:DPS) edged .50 percent higher after announcing a 6.3 percent quarterly dividend hike. The company will pay a 34 cents dividend on April 6 to shareholders of record as of March 19. Shares of PepsiCo. Inc. (NYSE:PEP) and Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) also edged higher in late trading.
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