BUZZ at Opening Bell: Cisco and NetApp CLIMB, Facebook TESTS All-Time Low
Shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) jumped more than 7 percent in early trading. The company yesterday announced that net income for its fourth quarter rose to $1.92 billion (36 cents per share), compared to $1.23 billion (23 cents per share) a year earlier. The company also raised its quarterly dividend 75 percent to 14 cents a share. “As a result of our strong performance, continued execution on our plan to deliver profitable growth, and commitment to shareholders, for the full fiscal year, we delivered revenue growth of 7 percent as well as a record year in revenue and earnings per share,” stated Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers.
Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD) shares fell 1.14 percent at the opening bell. The women’s apparel and beauty care company said second quarter net income dropped 37.9 percent to $143.6 million (49 cents per share), compared to $231.2 million (73 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue also declined 2.4 percent to $2.4 billion, but the company still beat top and bottom line estimates.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) shares fell 2.92 percent this morning after yesterday reporting financial results for the recent quarter. Net income plunged 54.2 percent to $218 million (17 cents per share), compared to $476 million (36 cents per share) last year. “We delivered solid financial performance in line with our outlook despite challenging industry conditions in semiconductor, display and solar,” said Mike Splinter, chairman and chief executive officer. “Economic uncertainty is weighing on top of a seasonal pullback to produce weaker near-term demand.”
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares are down 4.91 percent this morning and were 7 cents away from their all-time low. CNBC reports that the social media giant has scheduled a hearing on issuing stock without registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which should help speed up the Instagram acquisition. Also, the period for which insiders must hold there shares expires today, so expect insider selling to public investors. Will Facebook set new stock price lows today?
Shares of NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) are up 1.11 percent in early trading, despite reporting a 54.3 percent decline in earnings. For the first quarter, net income came in at $63.8 million, compared to $139.5 million a year earlier. “NetApp produced non-GAAP earnings per share above and revenue in line with our prior guidance. In Q1, we announced further innovations in Data ONTAP 8.1 that will enable customers to achieve an agile data infrastructure environment to cope with their dynamic business requirements,” said Tom Georgens, president and chief executive officer. “We continue to deliver on multiple fronts, advancing our technology and partnerships. With our best-of-breed partnering strategy and ongoing innovation-led solutions, we enable our customers to scale their business without limits.”
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Morning BUZZERS: Facebook FALLS on Lockup Expiration, Wal-Mart DISAPPOINTS
Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) declined 3.28 percent after reporting results for the second quarter. Net income rose 5.7 percent to $4.02 billion ($1.18 per share), compared to $3.8 billion ($1.09 per share) a year earlier. However, sales came in at $114.3 billion, below estimates of $115.8 billion. Target (NYSE:TGT) shares also fell in morning trading.
Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) jumped 4.59 percent this morning. The company reported that its second quarter loss narrowed to $132 million, compared to a $146 million loss a year earlier. Lou D’Ambrosio, Sears Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer and President, said, “We continue to make progress against the priorities we outlined in our fourth quarter earnings release and call. In particular, we have improved our profit position, as we reduced expenses and expanded margin rate through more effective promotional design. We have also successfully lowered inventory, reduced debt from year end, and enhanced our liquidity.”
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Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) shares surged more than 8 percent this morning. The company yesterday announced that net income for its fourth quarter rose to $1.92 billion (36 cents per share), compared to $1.23 billion (23 cents per share) a year earlier. The company also raised its quarterly dividend 75 percent to 14 cents a share. “As a result of our strong performance, continued execution on our plan to deliver profitable growth, and commitment to shareholders, for the full fiscal year, we delivered revenue growth of 7 percent as well as a record year in revenue and earnings per share,” stated Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares dropped 5.83 percent, as the company’s lockup on 271 million shares expires today. The lockup allows Facebook insiders to sell their shares, placing additional pressure on the struggling social media juggernaut.
Investor Insight: Is Facebook CHANGING Its Strips?
Cisco to Pay BIGGER Dividend and 4 Hot Stocks to Watch
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO): Continuing the networking equipment giant’s transformation from a fast-growing upstart to a more mature company, Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) has reported a jump in quarterly profit and said they would pay a bigger dividend. Shares climbed 7.2% to $18.62 in premarket trade. Shares of Cisco Systems, Inc. are trading at 8.36% higher today.
Investing Insights: EARNINGS: Cisco Systems’ Profit ROCKETS Higher for Third Straight Quarter.
Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE:CSC): Computer Sciences Corporation has been awarded a task by the U.S. Southern Command. They will plan, engineer, install, operate, sustain and protect all information technology and management requirements. This is part of the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions Services for an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract in the first quarter of CSC’s fiscal year 2013. The task order has a one year base period and two, one year options for a total value of $74 million. Shares of Computer Sciences Corporation are trading at 3.03% higher today.
Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS): On top of a restructuring already underway and other major changes in all of their businesses, Staples, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:SPLS) tough times are likely to last a while. Europe won’t rebound anytime soon and United States shoppers remain cost conscious. In addition to this, low-price rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT), Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) continue their relentless assault. Despite the fact that their shares are cheap, it doesn’t pay to chase this stock. Shares of Staples, Inc. are trading at 0.24% lower today.
Camelot Information Systems Inc (NYSE:CIS): Camelot Information Systems Inc.’s senior management will host a conference call at 8:00 a.m. (U.S. Eastern Daylight Time) / 5:00 a.m. (U.S. Pacific Daylight Time) / 8:00 p.m. (Beijing / Hong Kong time) on Monday, August 20, 2012. They will discuss the Company’s second quarter 2012 financial results. Shares of Camelot Inc. are trading at 0.52% higher today.
Markwest Energy Partners LP (NYSE:MWE): Markwest Energy Partners LP’s net operating margin is approximately 39% fee based. They are relatively immune to commodity price changes. However, the remainder of the business is exposed to varying degrees of commodity prices. In 2012 approximately 65% of commodity exposure was hedged. Currently for fiscal year 2013, only about 55% is hedged. That percentage goes down to less than 30% for fiscal year 2014. In lieu of this, the outlook for MWE, in the near future, is worrisome. There may be no near term chance to acquire more hedges for commodities at relatively high prices. Shares of Markwest Energy Partners LP are trading at 1.48% higher today.
Investing Insights: Is Chevron’s Stock a BUY Today?
Apple in NEGOTIATIONS With Cable Operators and 4 Hot Stocks Sparking Chatter
Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) stated that it has not yet refinanced a significant number of loans as part of the industry’s $25 billion settlement concerning foreclosure abuses, and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) stated that it finished a large portion of its $500 million program, and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) claimed that it expects to complete its $900 million requirement two years before a 2015 deadline, Bloomberg reports. Shares of Bank of America Corporation are trading 0.95% higher today.
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AT&T (NYSE:T): Twenty-six large U.S. companies paid their CEOs more last year than they gave the federal government in tax money, states a study released Thursday by a liberal-leaning think tank. The study, by the Institute for Policy Studies, claimed that the companies, including AT&T, Boeing, and Citigroup, paid their CEOs $20.4 million on average last year while they paid little or no federal tax on ample profits, according to regulatory filings.
Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM): Ford’s new hybrids and EVs intention are to directly compete with Toyota, who is the electric and hybrid vehicle leader of the market. One example is the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which is to come to market during the fall, and it has a projected electric-mode miles per gallon equivalent that is over three times more than that of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid per EPA testing methods, according to Ford. Shares of Toyota Motor Corporation are trading 2.19% higher today.
GMAC LLC (NYSE:GOM): Today, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services withdrew its AVERAGE servicer rankings on Proyectos Adamantine, S.A. de C.V., SOFOM, E.N.R., which was formerly called GMAC Financiera, S.A. DE C.V., SOFOM, E.N.R.) as a residential mortgage master servicer and a construction loan servicer at the company’s request. Before the withdrawals, there were negative outlooks for both rankings, and it was deemed that the company’s financial position is insufficient. Shares of GMAC LLC are trading 0.04% higher today.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is currently communicating with some large U.S. cable operators regarding the allowance of Apple consumers to use an Apple device as a set-top box for live TV along with other content, sources say and the Wall Street Journal reports. Shares of Apple Inc. are trading 0.84% higher today.
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Wave Systems LAUNCHES Cloud-Based Service and 4 Hot Stocks Trading Mid-Week
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) reports that its Q2 Walmart International net sales totaled $32 billion. On a constant currency basis, net sales would seen a 7.2 percent increase to $32.3 billion. Additionally, net sales for Sam’s Club, excluding fuel, totaled $12.5 billion, which is a 4.6 percent increase from last year’s Q2 results. Sam’s membership along with other income for Q2 rose 4.6 percent higher than last year. Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. are trading 3.17% lower today.
Wave Systems Corp. (NASDAQ:WAVX), launched Wave Cloud on Wednesday. Wave cloud is a cloud-based service used for enterprise-wide management of self-encrypting drives (SEDs). The new subscription-based service of the company introduces a game-changing platform for enterprises wishing for rapid deploment of centrally-managed hardware-based data encryption on laptops, without the complexity and cost that is often associated with maintaining on-premise servers. Shares of Wave Systems Corp. are trading 6.15% higher today.
Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS): At minimum of five Swiss banks are turning over thousands of employee names to the U.S. Justice Department as they attempt to gain leniency for their alleged role in assisting American clients in evading taxes, according to lawyers who are representing banking staff, reports Bloomberg. However, this data handover is illegal, according to Alec Reymond, who is a former president of the Geneva Bar Association. The banks are now burning their own people as an attempt to cut deals with the DOJ, he adds. This personal privacy violation is unprecedented in the Swiss banking industry. Shares of Credit Suisse Group AG are trading 2.93% higher today.
Waste Management, Inc.’s (NYSE:WM) Issuer Default Rating (IDR) has been affirmed at ‘BBB’, according to Fitch Ratings, and the Rating Outlook remains Stable. The ratings apply to WM’s $2 billion unsecured credit facility as well as approximately $6.2 billion of senior unsecured notes. The ratings are supported by the strong free cash flow of the company, the predictable nature of the industry, and WM’s position as the leading integrated waste services company in the U.S. WM keeps maintaining good financial flexibility, with adequate cash and revolver availability along with a manageable debt maturity schedule. As of June 30, 2012, leverage was 2.9x, which is a slight rise from 2.7x a the previous year, but it is still considered appropriate for the rating due to WM’s steady cash flow generation. Shares of Waste Management, Inc. are trading 0.76% higher today.
General Electric (NYSE:GE): On Tuesday, The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. held its monthly board meeting privately in Washington, and the following day, no news has been heard indicating whether or not the board discussed the sale of MetLife’s bank deposits to General Electric Co. FDIC approval of GE’s proposed purchase of MetLife’s U.S. retail-deposit business is imperative in MetLife’s bid to increase its stock dividend and buy back shares, which is something MetLife shareholders have anticipated for months. Originally, the two companies believed that GE could win the necessary approvals by June, but MetLife executives refuse to speculate on a timeline in more-recent comments regarding the transaction. Shares of Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. are trading 0.62% higher today.
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Radar Stocks: Aeropostale and Facebook SINK, Apple Hits New Closing High
Shares of Gap (NYSE:GPS) jumped 1.3 percent in late afternoon hours. The clothing retailer reported that net income for the second quarter rose 28.6 percent to $243 million (49 cents per share), compared to $189 million (35 cents per share) a year earlier. The company beat the mean analyst estimate of 37 cents per share. “Customers responded well to our product offerings across our brands, driving a healthy increase in sales and earnings per share during the quarter,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our continued focus on product and store execution are helping to drive positive momentum and we’re committed to sustaining solid performance for the remainder of the year.”
Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO) shares plunged more than 8 percent in late afternoon trading. The company said net income in the second quarter crashed 97.6 percent to $71,000, compared to $2.9 million a year earlier. Revenue edged 3.7 percent higher to $485.3 million in the same time period. It was a miss on the top and bottom line for the company. Thomas P. Johnson, chief executive officer, commented, “While we were encouraged by the customer response to our fashion offering, we were disappointed by our overall financial performance for the second quarter.”
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After falling 6.27 percent and hitting a new intra-day low of $19.69, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares continued to decline in late trading. Thursday marked the first post-initial public offering lockup expiration, bringing 271.1 million new shares to the market and boosting the number available for trade by 60 percent.
Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) increased nearly 1 percent during regular hours to reach a new all-time closing high of $636.34. According to the WSJ, the tech giant is holding talks with Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and other leading cable operators about creating a set-top box that will enable viewers to watch live TV and other content.
Investor Insight: Facebook FAILS to Earn Investor Confidence