Ultimate Market Recap: Staples Sinks, Target’s on Target

BUZZ Before the Bell: Facebook Falls Despite Soros Stake, JDS Uniphase Jumps 5%

On Tuesday, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) closed 5.65 percent in the red, and this morning shares are even lower another 0.64% to $20.25 per share. It was recently noted that well-known hedge fund Tiger Management purchased 2 million shares of the social-media giant. Furthermore, a 13-F filing showed billionaire investor George Soros’s Soros Fund Management LLC acquired 314,000 Facebook shares during the second quarter.

After crashing 27 percent on Tuesday, shares of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) ticked another 1 cent lower in pre-market trading. The daily deals company recently reported dismal financial results for the second quarter. Net income came in at $28.4 million, compared to a net loss of $107.4 million a year earlier. It was Groupon’s first-ever quarterly profit as a public company, but not enough to dampen slowing growth fears. The company reported that revenue grew 45 percent from last year to $568 million, falling short of the average estimate of $578 million.

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JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ:JDSU) shares jumped 5.62 percent in pre-market trading hours. The company reported a loss of $24.3 million (10 cents per share), compared to a net gain of $9.3 million (4 cents per share) a year earlier. However, revenue came in at $439.3 million, above estimates of $420 million. “JDSU’s execution on its strategic priorities is leading to market share gains and financial leverage despite challenging economic conditions,” said Tom Waechter, president and chief executive officer. “Our focus on innovation and operational excellence accelerated in fiscal 2012 and we look forward to advancing our target business model in fiscal 2013.”

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are slightly higher 0.23% in early morning pre-market trading. Eastman Kodak extended its patent auction on Monday to continue discussions with bidders. Kodak began an auction of 1,100 digital patents last Wednesday, and had been scheduled to designate a winner on Monday ahead of a Manhattan Federal Bankruptcy court hearing on August 20. The money from the auction would be used to pay back investors, though it is still unclear how much the sale will raise. The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that Apple, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) made bids, but that they were significantly below Kodak’s estimates for the patents’ value.

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Angie’s List Sees 25M Lock-Up EXPIRATION Shares on Market and 4 Hot Stocks Demanding Investor Attention

Angie’s List Inc. (NASDAQ:ANGI):  The sell off on Groupon spread to other public firms in the social-media space.  Angie’s List (US:ANGI) lost 16% and closed at $11.17.  More than 25 million shares of the local business review service emerged from lock-up expirations.  Shares of Angie’s List Inc. are trading at 0.72% higher today.

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Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS):  The company said, “Our second quarter results fell short of our expectations due to softer than expected sales trends in North America and ongoing weakness in Europe and Australia. We continue to build momentum in categories beyond office supplies, but these improvements were more than offset by weaknesses in computers and core office supplies during the second quarter.” Shares of Staples, Inc. are trading at 17.48% lower today.

JDS Uniphase Corporation (NASDAQ:JDSU):  JDS Uniphase Corporation (NASDAQ:JDSU) had a fiscal fourth quarter loss. This was partly due to the resignation of their chief financial officer and declining revenue from their core business segments.  However, adjusted profits beat analyst estimates as revenue topped the company’s expectations.  Shares rose 5.1% to $11.21 pre-market. Shares of JDS  are trading at 8.90% higher today.

National-Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV):  As billionaire Chairman Warren Buffett pared investments in consumer products stocks that include Procter & Gamble Co., Berkshire Hathaway Inc., in the second quarter, added a stake in National-Oilwell Varco Inc.  According to his Omaha, Nebraska based company, Buffett’s firm, as of June 30, held 2.84 million shares of the oilfield equipment maker.  Berkshire’s P&G holding declined 19 percent to 59.6 million shares in the period.  National-Oilwell stocks are trading at 1.36% higher today.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN):  Groupon Inc. slid to a record low on Tuesday. This led to a sharp sell-off in the social media space and weighed down the rest of the tech sector. As investors reacted to Groupon’s disappointing financial results,  the company (US:GRPN) plunged 27% and closed at $5.51  At least two brokerages downgraded Groupon to hold, including Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney, who warned that, “the core daily deal business is sharply slowing.” Shares of Groupon Inc are trading at 0.82% lower today.

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Wall Street Brief: Nokia CHALLENGES Apple, Berkshire Hathaway Has an ACTIVE Quarter

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) reported is second quarter adjusted earnings per share dropped 18 percent to $0.22, falling in line with estimates. Revenue also declined 6 percent to $5.5 billion, missing consensus. The company attributed the earnings decline on softer-than-expected sales in North America along with Europe and Australia’s continuous weakness. Staples took a conservative fiscal year outlook and now sees sales growth as flat with earnings per share rising in the low single-digits.

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Carlyle Group (NYSE:CG) partnered with Getty Images’ management and bought the company for $3.3 billion from Hellman & Friedman. The deal will probably close this year and it comes in lower than the initial $4 billion price.

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) CEO Stephen Elop said the company will introduce a Windows 8 smartphone in the “relatively near term” possibly as soon as Sept. 5-6 its Helsinki trade show. Interesting timing as that comes a week ahead of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Sept. 12 event when it may unveil its new iPhone. In other news, Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) CEO Thorsten Heins said the firm’s data network, which is target of IBM (NYSE:IBM) buyout rumors, a “key strategic asset,” reported AllThingsD.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) had an active second quarter with the sale of its 7.7 million Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) shares nine months after purchasing them. The company also cut its Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Kraft (NYSE:KFT) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) holdings while purchasing Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) and National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV).

Standard Chartered (SCBFF.PK) shares increased almost 5 percent in London after Tuesday’s $340 million settlement with New York’s Department of Financial Services for its Iran dealings. The company could see more fines from additional U.S. regulators, such as the Treasury and Justice Departments; its senior management jobs could also come under fire.

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Mid-Day BUZZERS: Deere and Staples SINK, Target Hits the Mark

Shares of Deere (NYSE:DE) fell more than 6 percent as of mid-day. The company reported a rise in net income and revenue for its third quarter, but still missed expectations. Net income gained 10.6 percent to $788 million, compared to $712.3 million a year earlier. Revenue increased 15.3 percent to $9.06 billion. “John Deere delivered record third quarter performance in both sales and income,” said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. “Although a strong quarter, we are not satisfied that sales fell short of our expectations due to weakening in certain international markets and short-term manufacturing inefficiencies resulting from the introduction of a record number of new products.”

Target (NYSE:TGT) shares jumped 2.26 percent after reporting financial results for the second quarter. Net income remained steady at $704 million, while revenue edged 3.3 percent higher to $16.78 billion. It was a beat on the top and bottom line for the retailer. “We’re pleased with Target’s strong second quarter financial performance, which reflects a continued focus on delivering an outstanding experience for our guests and disciplined execution of our strategy,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Target Corporation. Competitor Walmart (NYSE:WMT) edged slightly up on the news.

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Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) shares crashed more than 17 percent this morning. The company reported that second quarter net income dropped 31.7 percent to $120.4 million (18 cents per share), compared to $176.4 million (25 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue also declined 5.5 percent to $5.5 billion in the same period. “Our second quarter results fell short of our expectations due to softer than expected sales trends in North America and ongoing weakness in Europe and Australia,” said Ron Sargent, chairman and chief executive officer.

Despite reporting dismal results for the second quarter, shares of Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) surged 8.01 percent. Net income declined 51.6 percent to $15.5 million (19 cents per share), compared to $32 million (35 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue increased 3.8 percent to $951.4 million. Analysts had expected earnings of about 17 cents per share.

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Target Set to ANNOUNCE Plans for Mobile Payment Network and 4 HOT Stocks Making Headlines

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd’s (NYSE:KORS) fiscal Q1 earnings almost tripled, while the fast-growing fashion company experienced double-digit same-store sales gains in both North America and Europe. The company also recorded an increase in licensing revenue. Shares of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd are trading 0.85% higher today.

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Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT): Over a dozen large merchants, including Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target, are expected to use today to announce plans to jointly develop a mobile-payments network named Merchants Customer Exchange which would combat similar services from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) as well as other companies, the Wall Street Journal reports citing sources. Shares of Target Corporation are trading 1.81% higher today.

Cleantech Solutions International Inc (NASDAQ:CLNT) reports a Q2 revenue pf $12.8 million compared to $12.6 million a year ago. The company stated, “Due to challenges faced by the wind power industry, we foresee the demand for our products supplied to the wind power industry to remain soft in the near term…We have seen a modest but steady growth in demand for our products sold to the solar industry and will continue to work with our customers to expand our product offering.” The results were reported last night. Shares of Cleantech Solutions International Inc are trading 13.01% lower today.

Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (NYSE:PNY): In trading on Tuesday, shares of Piedmont Natural Gas Co., Inc. exceeded their 200 day moving average of $31.84, changing hands as high as $31.85 per share. Currently, Piedmont Natural Gas Co., Inc. shares are trading up about 0.3 percent on the day. Shares of Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. are trading 0.47% higher today.

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): NY Fed President Dudley states that new rules are necessary for the protection of the financial system from a run on money-market mutual funds, as he lends his support to a regulatory overhaul proposed by SEC Chairman Schapiro, according to Bloomberg. Shares of Bank of America Corporation are trading 0.39% higher today.

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Arena Pharma’s NEW Diet Drug and 4 High Demand Stocks Driving Interest

Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA): As the first company to receive FDA approval, all attention will be directed to Arena and its marketing partner Eisai as they launch the new drug, BELVIQ (lorcaserin HCl). BELVIQ is a new chemical entity (NCE) and is a selective serotonin 2C receptor agonist used for chronic weight management in adult patients with an initial body mass index of 30 or more, or 27 or more in the presence of at least 1 weight related co-morbid indication (e.g. hypertension, dyslipidemia, or type 2 diabetes) paired with diet and exercise. It is believed to raise satiety and lower food consumption. Although it is similar to fenfluramine (the “fen” in fen-phen), which also targeted 2C receptors, off-target effects on the serotonin 2b receptors was the reason the weight loss drug was pulled from the market in 1997;  it caused heart-valve problems (valvulopathy). Arena designed a selective 2C receptor agonist intended to overcome this issue, and in clinical trials of 1-year duration, 2.4 percent of patients who received BELVIQ and 2.0 percent of patients who received a placebo developed echocardiographic criteria for valvular regurgitation at one year, but they were not symptomatic. The drug was not tested in combination with phentermine, which is currently also approved as a short-term treatment of obesity.

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Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM): A revamped Camry sedan sells quickly, and attracts a much younger buyer than Toyota predicted, a top executive stated on Tuesday. The top-selling car in the U.S. has been reworked for the 2012 model year making it more stylish, luxurious, and fun to drive, Bob Carter, who is Toyota’s senior vice president of automotive operations in the U.S., informed analysts and investors at the J.P. Morgan Auto Conference located in New York. Sales have increased nearly 40 percent this year to approximately 244,000 cars. This is 60,000 more than the Camry’s two closest competitors, the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. Shares of Toyota Motor Corporation are trading 0.11% lower today.

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO): Following a 9.2 percent drop in its stock this week, from rising to $16.30 per share last Wednesday to sliding to $14.73 at close Tuesday, the negative reaction to the Silicon Valley Internet giant’s announcement that it may possibly not return a $4 billion-plus windfall from the sale of a section of its stake in China’s Alibaba to shareholders through a stock buyback or dividend was pronounced. “Marissery (like Misery) is what Yahoo shareholders are experiencing,” one institutional shareholder joked to me in an email, referring to the new CEO Marissa Mayer, whose decision appears to be a reevaluation of Yahoo’s payout promise.

Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming iPad mini seems to look like a large iPod touch, according to 9to5mac.com, citing purported schematics. The main design differentiator from the iPad is the skinnier bezel on the sides of the iPad which should make the iPad mini easier to hold. Shares of Apple Inc. are trading 0.01% higher today.

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) director Peter Thiel, who sold over 16 million shares in the company’s IPO, allowed himself additional flexibility to sell more holdings, according to an SEC filing, according to Bloomberg. Thiel, a venture capitalist and hedge-fund manager, had proceeds from the IPO more than $630 million, and holds a stake worth over $550 million. Shares of Facebook, Inc. are trading 2.28% higher today.

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Market Recap: Oil Jumps, Staples Shares Tank, Abercrombie & Fitch Loves the Summer

Markets closed mixed on Wall Street today: Dow -0.06%, S&P +0.11%, Nasdaq +0.46%, Oil +0.84%, Gold +0.26%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) rose to $94.21 a barrel. Precious metals also increased, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) rising to $1,606 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) rose 0.04% to settle at $27.81.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:

JDS Uniphase Corporation’s (NASDAQ:JDSU) shares jumped 10 percent after reporting its quarterly results on Tuesday. Even with the company’s loss, numbers were better than expected. JDS spurred some optimism for improved network demand.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s (NYSE:ANF) shares increased 9 percent after the company announced an increase in its existing share buyback plan by 10 million shares. It also said to investors that its inventory position improved a lot by the second quarter’s end.

On the down side, Deere & Co. (NYSE:DE) shares dropped 6.3 percent after the company reported an 11 percent rise in third-quarter earnings to a record high $788 million ($1.98 a share) up from the previous year’s $712.3 million ($1.69 a share). Quarterly revenue rose 15 percent to $9.59 billion. But this came in below analysts estimates of $2.31 earnings per share on $9.614 billion in revenues.

Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) shares tanked 15 percent after the company reported its second quarter results. Earnings dropped 32 percent from the previous year thanks to a tax refund as an international sales decline contributed to a bigger-than-expected sales drop off. The company cut its full-year forecast and now sees flat sales with the previous year and per-share earnings to rise in the low single-digits percentage.

Canadian Solar Inc.’s (NASDAQ:CSIQ) shares dropped 11 percent after the company announced a second-quarter loss on Wednesday. It also said that discounted selling prices affected the company even with higher sales volumes in its solar equipment and panels.

Radar Movers: Cisco and NetApp SURGE, Applied Materials FALLS 2.5%

Shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) jumped more than 4 percent in late afternoon hours. The company 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 edged lower in late afternoon trading. 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 2.5 percent late Wednesday after 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.”

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares ticked higher after closing the day 4 percent in the green. 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.

Shares of NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) increased almost 5 percent in late afternoon hours, 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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