12 Super Hot Stocks: Kellogg Buys Pringles, Dell Downgraded and Zynga Drops 10%

Shares of Kellogg Co. (NYSE:K) jumped 3.3 percent in morning trading.  Due to accounting investigations at Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) will be selling its Pringles potato chip business to Kellogg for about $2.7 billion in cash.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) shares surged 6.5 percent after reporting a fourth quarter profit of $19.6 million (22 cents per share).  Sales in the quarter also increased 16 percent to $1.33 billion.

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Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE:HIG) jumped 6.2 percent after replying back to John Paulson’s proposal to spin off its property and casualty business from its life insurance business.  The company replied, “We recognize there are potential benefits to a separation of the P&C and life companies. … While there are challenges to successfully executing a separation, we welcome Paulson’s views and look forward to continued dialogue with him and other shareholders,”  Shares of Metlife Inc. (NYSE:MET) also increased 2.6 percent this morning.

Shares of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) fell more than 1 percent after being downgraded from neutral to underperform at Sterne Agee, with a price target of $15 per share.  The majority of Dell’s business still comes from personal computers.  “We do not find the risk reward compelling,” analysts from Sterne Agee said.  Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) climbed higher in early trading.

Despite reporting a decrease in fourth quarter profits, shares of Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE:DVN) climbed nearly 3 percent higher.  The company earned $507 million ($1.25 per share), compared to $562 million ($1.29 per share) a year earlier.

Dean Foods Co. (NYSE:DF) shares surged 9.4 percent after reporting better than expected fourth quarter earnings.  The company also said its earnings outlook for the year is inline with analyst estimates.  The company said, “After two years of significant pressure on the fluid-milk business, our continued efforts to reduce costs and the stabilization of milk costs led to growth.”

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Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) shares dropped almost 10 percent this morning.  Late Tuesday, the social gaming company reported a net loss of $435 million ($1.22 per share) for the fourth quarter.  Revenues increased 59 percent to $311.2 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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