Vodafone Reports Losses and 4 Hot Stocks Trading Today

Steven Sinofsky, Windows and Windows Live President, has departed from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rather abruptly. In a memo to all employees he says, “… this was a personal and private choice that in no way reflects any speculation or theories one might read – about me, opportunity, the company or its leadership.” Microsoft, however, claims the decision behind his departure was “mutual.” What’s the reality? According to The Verge, Sinofsky probably had to leave because his tendency to protect his fiefdom, along with an abrasive and off-putting attitude, made him unsuitable in Microsoft’s future ecosystem, which requires extensive teamwork and collaboration between the company’s various divisions.

Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD) reports a first half loss of £1.98 billion compared to a profit of £6.68 billion last year, with the main reason being a huge write-down of £5.9 billion on its Spanish and Italian operations, which faced falling revenues and heavy discounting. Revenue was down 7.4% to £21.78 billion versus £23.52 billion and missed expectations of £21.82 billion by a whisker. Notwithstanding these results, the company proposes to return £1.5 billion to shareholders through a share buyback, most of that coming from the £2.4 billion dividend it would receive on its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. The company also declared an interim dividend of 3.27 pence, higher by 7.2% compared to the previous year.

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Xerox (NYSE:XRX) provides a forward outlook at its annual investor conference today. For 2013 it expects adjusted earnings per share in the range $1.09-$1.15 on revenues which could range from flat to +2%, while operating cash flow is expected in the range $2.1 billion-$2.4 billion. Dividend is planned to be hiked by 35% to 5.75 cents per quarter, effective the April 30, 2013 payout. For the fourth quarter of 2012, the company revises its outlook on an adjusted earning per share to $.28-$.30.

Facing an industry-wide advertising slowdown, Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal unit is reported to be cutting around 450 jobs at various divisions. Most of the cuts come at California operations and the reduction amounts to about 1.5% of NBC’s approximately 30,000 sized workforce.

Michael Kors Holdings (NYSE:KORS) reports FQ2 EPS of $0.49  on revenue of $532.9 million which beat by $0.09 and $13 million respectively. Overall revenues are up 74% year-on-year, with retail net sales up strongly by 82% to $242.3 million. Same-store sales are higher by 45%. Gross profit as a percentage of sales improved to 59.3% compared to 57.3%. Outlook for fiscal 2013: total revenue in the range $1.86 billion-$1.96 billion and earnings per share in the range $1.4 to $1.50. For third quarter of fiscal 2013, revenue is expected in the range $525 million-$535 million, with EPS likely in the range $0.37-$0.39.

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