Wal-Mart EXPANDS Into Chinese e-Commerce and 4 HOT Stocks Turning Heads

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) reports a strong second quarter as net earnings rise 12 percent to $1.53 billion, with same-store sales in the U.S. up 2.6 percent. Transaction volumes are up 0.6 percent and average ticket volume rises 1.8 percent. EPS guidance for the full year is revised upwards by $0.05 to $2.95, while the street expected $2.92.

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Agrium (NYSE:AGU), the largest U.S. farm retailer, has nixed ideas that it would have to hive off its retail operations as demanded by activist investor Jana, who is reported by the WSJ to have accumulated a stake just below 5 percent in the company. The move would entail “substantial risk with no sustainable benefit,” says Agrium.

Bankrupt chipmaker Elpida Memory’s bond-holders have proposed an alternative restructuring plan, offering to lend it ¥30B ($383 million) in a bid to get Micron (NASDAQ:MU) to up its bid for Elpida. Micron’s package comprises a ¥60B payment for equity and ¥140B to the creditors, much lower than the creditors’ ¥300 billion valuation.

RIM (NASDAQ:RIMM) CEO Thorstein Heins proposes to license the new Blackberry 10 OS to other phone makers and to expand the company’s operations from phones and tablets to other options in mobile computing. Rumors that Samsung may license the OS lit a fire under the stock last week.

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) finally received its much-awaited approval, albeit restricted, from Chinese regulators to hike its stake in e-commerce company Yihaodian to 51 percent from the current holding of 18 percent. This provides a leg-up to Wal-Mart to expand its presence in the fast-growing Chinese e-commerce market, expected to grow five times in the next two years.

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