Heavy Hitters: Groupon and Tesla Surge Higher, Apple ‘Not in the Junk Business’

Despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) and S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) snapping their four-day winning streaks, several stocks climbed higher on Thursday:

Shares of Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) gained 23 percent on Thursday. The firm elevated its profit forecast due to increasing sales at remodeled stores. In a statement, Rite Aid said that net income in the year through February will be up to 27 cents per share, versus a prior estimate of a maximum of 16 cents. The average of three analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg came to 13 cents.

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Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) shares jumped almost 9 percent higher on Thursday and continued to increase in late afternoon trading. Analyst Jordan E. Rohan at Stifel Nicolaus indicated that the online deals firm still has opportunities for growth, and upgraded Groupon from Hold to Buy. Rohan published a note praising Groupon’s move away from depending on email and centering upon mobile and app-based commerce, along with its endeavors to streamline operations.

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Shares of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) surged 7 percent on Thursday and continued to edge higher in late afternoon hours. Deutsche Bank said that “based on conversations with [management] and monitoring information available on Tesla owners’ blogs, we believe that the company is on-track to modestly outperform Q3 margin expectations, that demand has continued to grow in the US and Europe.” Recent price hikes on options have also had little to no effect on Model S demand, while 22 percent of the company’s float remains shorted. The bank has a $200 price target on Tesla shares.

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares increased 1.6 percent on Thursday. Tim Cook weighed in to defend the iPhone 5C’s higher-than-anticipated pricing scheme, noting that, “We never had an objective to sell a low-cost phone,” he told Bloomberg Businessweek. ”There’s always a large junk part of the market. We’re not in the junk business.” Although some analysts thought that the iPhone 5C might be Apple’s first foray into the low-end smartphone market, the colorful iPhone’s $550 unsubsidized price leaves it squarely in the mid to high-end segment of the market.

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