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Monthly Archives: November 2012

$WFM Declares a Special Dividend of $2 Per Share

“AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Whole Foods has declared a special dividend of $2 per share, a step that many companies are taking ahead of impending tax increases and government spending cuts at the start of 2013.

The White House and Republican congressional leaders are trying to strike a deal to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff, as the combination of simultaneous tax hikes and spending cuts has been dubbed.

Whole Foods Market Inc. is one of the latest companies to issue a special end-of-year payment to protect investors from potentially having to pay higher taxes on dividend income starting in January.

The natural grocery store chain said that the special dividend will be paid on Dec. 21 to shareholders of record on Dec. 10.

With almost 186 million shares outstanding, the special dividend would cost Whole Foods about $372 million.”

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Gaping Up and Down This Morning

Gapping up 

TLAB +39%, ENZN +21.2%, CBK +19.9%, MHH +12.7%, FIVE +9%, ULTA +5.2%,

ELRC +4.6%, SVU +4.4%, RGC +3.9%, SIGA +3.1%, HBI +3%, FIZZ +2.4%,

STJ +2.4%, SPLK +2.1%, HLF +2%, STX +1.3%,  ACTV +8.9%,  DUK +0.3%,  THRX +0.7%,

BUD +0.8%, KITD +13%, MHH +12.7%,  PWR +2.4%, EBR +10.4%, ELP +5.1%, CIG +2.4%, CPL +1.3%,

IOC +1.6%, BCRX +3.1%, WWAV +2.6%

Gapping down 

RIC -31.9%, ZNGA -11.1%, ZUMZ -8.4%, YUM -6.7%, YOKU -4.4%, GRPN -4.2%,

AVGO -3.7%, VRSN -3.4%, NXST -3.4%, EXEL -2.5%, PSUN -2.1%, BKS -1.1,

SWK -0.4%, NTLS -13.4%,

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$GS Puts Out a Report on the Top 10 Market Themes for 2013

“With 2012 wrapping up, investors are beginning to prepare themselves for 2013.

David Kostin, Goldman’s Chief U.S. Equity Strategist, has already called for the S&P 500 to end 2013 at 1,575.

Goldman Sachs’ Economics Research team led by Dominic Wilson just published their 18-page report on Top Ten Market Themes For 2013, the big stories that will dominate the markets.

Overall, the team expects global growth to pick up in the second half of the year aided by the U.S. energy boom.  Developed market economies have lots of room to grow. Emerging markets also have room to grow, but will have less flexibility as inflation risks intensify.

We distilled the report and pulled the key points and quotes.”

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France Gets Serious About Nationalization

“The nationalization debate has been sizzling on France’s front burner since last week when Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg lashed out at the world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal.

He threatened to nationalize its plant in Florange where some old blast furnaces had been shut down for a year-and-a-half. At stake were 2,500 jobs.

“We no longer want Mittal in France,” he told the Indian owners—though the company has 20,000 employees in France.

Breaking into a cold sweat, executives around France reevaluated their investment plans.

Just then, unemployment hit a 14-year high. Creating jobs was needed more than anything. Scaring off investment was not.

Whether his threat was a form of extortion or an announcement of a hostile takeover remains to be seen. But it opened the door for unions at another troubled company to demand nationalization, and the socialist government might not be able to resist.”

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Labor Talks Resume to End California Harbor Terminal Strikes

“LOS ANGELES (AP) — Labor talks are resuming in an effort to end a strike that shut down most of the terminals at the nation’s busiest port complex, the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors, officials say.

A strike launched by 70 clerical workers on Monday led to a massive backup on Thursday, after the strike expanded to shutter seven of eight Los Angeles terminals and three of six Long Beach terminals. Dockworkers from their union refused to cross their picket line.

The lead negotiator for the Los Angeles/Long Beach HarborEmployers Association Stephen Berry said he wrote a letter to the union president Thursday afternoon to invite him back to the negotiating table with no preconditions.”

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$TLAB Pops 17% as They Announce a Special Dividend

“NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Tellabs Inc.TLAB -1.01% shares jumped 17% in premarket trades on Friday after the company set plans to pay a special dividend of $1 a share. The dividend is payable on Dec. 21 to stockholders of record as Dec. 14.”

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Some Stocks in the News This Morning: $GRPN, $AAPL, $ZNGA, $FB, $YUM


“Shares of Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) dropped 7.49 percent in pre-market trading. The parent company of Pizza Hut and KFC confirmed its full-year 2012 guidance of at least $3.24 per share. However, same-store sales in China for the fourth quarter are expected to decline 4 percent, raising fears about long-term growth prospects.

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) shares plunged 8.78 percent today. Due to new agreements,Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) will no longer be prohibited from developing its own games, beginning March 31, 2013.

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares down 0.68  percent in pre-market trading today. The iPhone 5 has finally received a network access license in China, which will enable Apple to start selling its latest smartphone in its fastest growing market in December.

Shares of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) declined nearly 5.29 percent in early morning trading. According to Bloombergchief executive officer Andrew Mason will not be replaced in the near-term. Earlier this week, reports indicated that some company directors felt that a change in management may be needed at the daily deals firm.”

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$TEVA Sees Profits Below Estimates

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s (TEVA) sales and profit next year will miss analyst forecasts, the company said today as new Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Levin prepares to lay out his strategy for investors next month.

Revenue will be between $19.5 billion and $20.5 billion, and earnings excluding some costs will be between $4.85 and $5.15 a share, the Petach Tikva, Israel-based company said in a statement. Analysts predicted revenue of $20.8 billion and profit of $5.63 a share, based on theaverage estimates compiled by Bloomberg.”

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GDP Growth Slows to a Three Year Low in India

“Indian expansion slowed last quarter to match a three-year low as growth in domestic spending and exports moderated, adding pressure on the government to extend an economic-policy overhaul to spur investment.

Gross domestic product rose 5.3 percent in the three months to Sept. 30 from a year earlier, in line with the median of 42 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey and down from 5.5 percent in the previous quarter, data from the Central Statistical Office showed in New Delhi today.”

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Siemens Will Pink Slip 4,700 More Lighting Jobs to Save $1.3 Bln

Siemens AG (SIE) announced plans to eliminate an additional 4,700 jobs at its Osram lightingsubsidiary to reap 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in cost savings as the market for traditional light bulbs shrinks.

The job cuts, which are focused primarily outside Germany, come on top of 1,900 positions that Osram already reduced in fiscal 2012, the company said today in a statement. In total, the job losses at Osram will amount to about 7,300 positions. The measures will cost a “mid-three digit million figure” through 2014, with the savings realized in full a year later.”

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German Parliament Approves Revised Bill on Greece Aid

“German lawmakers approved Greece’s latest rescue package as Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned that a default in the country where the debt crisis began could trigger the collapse of the single currency.

The passage caps a year in which Chancellor Angela Merkel has had to tamp down criticism within her ranks over transfers to Greece and quell calls to expel the country from the euro. Legislators in Germany’s lower house of parliament, or Bundestag, voted 473 in favor; 100 voted no and 11 abstained.

“The potential effects of a Greek default on other euro states would be grave — in truth the consequences would be unpredictable,” Schaeuble said in a speech to the Bundestag in Berlin. “It could trigger a process at the end of which the entire euro area could break apart.”

Comparing Greece with eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Schaeuble said crisis-fighting efforts are working as European leaders shepherded through a new package designed to ease terms for bailout aid for Greece and help resolve the three-year-old debt crisis.

Lawmakers in Merkel’s coalition and opposition leaders this week lauded the agreement in Brussels to give Greece more time to meet budget targets. The accord met Germany’s condition on ruling out a debt write-off for Greece that would be felt by creditor countries’ taxpayers.”

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Global Poll Shows Sentiment Leans Towards Germany Falling Into Recession

GermanyEurope’s largest economy, will be tipped into recession as the sovereign debt crisis roiling its neighbors extends into the new year, according to the Bloomberg Global Poll.

Even as European leaders laud their latest fix for Greece’s debt woes, 53 percent of 862 investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers said this week they think Germany’s economy will drop into a recession for the first time in more than three years. Sixty-four percent expect Europe’s debt turmoil to deepen again despite recent signs of calming in its financial markets.

A slump in the German economy would remove a rare engine of demand for the rest of the continent, probably extending the euro-area-wide recession that was confirmed last quarter. A contraction would also pose a challenge for Chancellor Angela Merkel who is seeking a third term in elections next year amid domestic disquiet with three years of supporting Europe’s debt- lashed governments.

“Germany is starting to feel some pressure as sentiment in the euro-zone weighs on its economy,” said Chanoine Webb, a poll participant and global investment analyst at Close Brothers Asset Management Ltd. in London. “It won’t be able to decouple for much longer.” ”

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Cyprus and the Troika Agree on Bailout Terms


“Cyprus and international lenders have agreed on the terms of a bailout the eastern Mediterranean country needs to refinance its banks and pay bills, European Central Bankgoverning council member Panicos Demetriades said.

“The memorandum has been agreed and the only thing missing is the exact amount which will be discussed at a eurogroup meeting,” Demetriades told reporters in Nicosia today. “The main thing is that there is an agreement.”

Cyprus in June became the fourth euro-area nation to request a financial rescue since Greece’s 2010 bailout after Cypriot lenders including Bank of Cyprus Plc and Cyprus Popular Bank pcl were weakened by their exposure to the Greek economy. Cypriot banks lost more than 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in Greece’s debt restructuring.”

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China Stocks Rise Paring Monthly Losses

China’s stocks rose, paring the biggest monthly loss since July, after valuations fell to a record low. Developers rallied with building-material makers on optimism the government won’t add further property curbs.

gauge tracking property stocks on the Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) jumped 3 percent, the most in four weeks, following official comments on the country’s urbanization.China Vanke Co. (000002) and Poly Real Estate Group Co. gained more than 3 percent. Anhui Conch Cement Co., China’s biggest cement maker, jumped 4.9 percent. Sinolink Securities Co. fell 3.4 percent, extending yesterday’s slump, after the 21st Century Business Herald reported brokerages may cut commissions.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9 percent to close at 1,980.12, the first gain in five days. The measure lost 4.3 percent this month, the biggest drop since July. The CSI 300 Index (SHSZ300) added 1.1 percent to 2,139.66. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI)advanced 1.6 percent. The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index (CH55BN) added 0.4 percent in New York yesterday.”

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GDP Growth Slows More Than Estimated in Poland

Poland’s economy slowed more than economists forecast in the third quarter as export gains failed to offset weaker consumer spending, boosting expectations for an interest-rate cut next week.

Gross domestic product climbed 1.4 percent from a year earlier, which was the slowest pace since the second quarter of 2009 and compared with a 2.3 percent increase in the previous three months, the Warsaw-based Central Statistics Office said today. Economists expected a 1.8 percent increase, according to the median of 35 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. GDP rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent from the previous quarter.

Poland, the only economy in the 27-nation European Union to keep expanding through the global slump in 2009, is battling to avoid its first recession of the post-communist era. Prime Minister Donald Tusk has eased his deficit goals for this year and next to maintain growth, while the central bank reduced its main rate this month for the first time in three years.”

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The Aussie Dollar Slips Back Before Central Bank Meeting

Australia’s dollar declined against most of its major peers amid speculation the nation’s central bank will lower interest rates next week to shield the economy from a slowdown in mining.

The so-called Aussie was near a three-week low versus its New Zealand counterpart as traders added to bets the Reserve Bank of Australia will reduce interest rates after a report yesterday showed a lower mining investment projection. Australian bonds rose, with the 10-year yield touching the least in 10 days. Demand for the New Zealand dollar was limited after data showed building permits unexpectedly fell.

“It wouldn’t be overly surprising if the RBA cuts rates next week, given yesterday’s capital expenditure data, which was downgraded,” said Peter Dragicevich, a currency economist in Sydney at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. (CBA) “We don’t think an actual cut next week will put too much downward pressure on Aussie — a lot of the cuts are already factored into the market.” ”

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Vietnam Vows to Reign in Inflation and Boost Economy After Credit Bubble Destruction in the Banking Industry

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung pledged to bring inflation down to a decade low as the nation seeks to boost foreign investment and cope with the aftermath of a credit boom that’s hobbled the banking industry.

“Inflation in 2012 will be about 7 percent and next year we will have even better control of it, at about 6 percent,” Dung, 63, said in an interview in Hanoi on Nov. 28. He said overseas investment will rise “sharply” in the next two years as officials overhaul state enterprises and recapitalize banks.”

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South Africa Posts Record Trade Deficits Due to Strikes

“South Africa posted a record trade deficit in October as mining strikes cut output and machinery and chemical imports surged.

The shortfall widened to 21.2 billion rand ($2.4 billion) from 13.8 billion rand in September, the Pretoria-based South African Revenue Service said today in an e-mailed statement. Themedian estimate of seven economists in a Bloomberg survey was 15.5 billion rand.

South Africa’s trade gap of 104.6 billion rand in the first 10 months of this year is more than 10-times bigger than a year ago as a series of strikes since August shut mines owned by companies including Lonmin Plc (LMI) and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS) The labor turmoil will reduce this year’s economic growth rate by 0.5 percentage point and lower exports by more than 12.5 billion rand, according to the National Treasury.”

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