Alcoa Stock Up on Cautious Buy Rating, Ford Motor Trades Flat, Google and Apple Battle

Shares are down almost 25%  for Health Management Associates, Inc. (NYSE:HMA) extending losses tipped off in AH trading Monday. Investors’ worries  concerning the implications of a lawsuit filed by one if its ex-auditors was cited as the reason.

Despite the missed earnings opportunity on its Q4 report, Alcoa  Inc. (NYSE:AA) expects positive momentum building. Citing higher expected aluminum prices, analysts forecast a cautious-sounding buy rating and $12 price target on AA.

Although Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) had been expected to earn $0.26 in Q4, an incorrect wire report had CFO Lewis Booth expecting the company to post a Q4 loss due to the Thailand floods. A late morning update by CNBC’s Phil Lebeau clarified the situation, stating that Ford will post a loss for the Asia-Pacific region, but  its Q4 profit outlook is unchanged. The shares had fallen about 2.5% on the news, but remained +0.5% on the day, prior to the correction.

Android’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) share of the U.S. smartphone market slipped in Q4 from 60% to 47%, allowing Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) share to rise from 26% to 43%. Meanwhile, Blackberry (NASDAQ:RIMM) continues its fall, hitting 6% compared to 8% in Q3 and 19% a year earlier.

Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) and Cypress (NASDAQ:CY), whose controller chips go with their ultrabooks, could see their sales boosted by Nomura’s Romit Shah, who maintains his Reduce rating on Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC).  Shah purtains to be impressed by the ultrabooks he has seen at CES and cites ultrabook proliferation as reason that touch controller chips sales could increase as well. Shah also expects that the addressable market for the touch controllers could grow by $300 to $500M if ultrabook sales reach 40% of laptop sales, as Intel hopes.

Further Reading: 7 Late Movers: Microsoft Falls 1.3%, Urban Outfitters Plummets 15% and Kodak Sues Apple>>

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

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