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Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Illusion of Choice and Monopolies in a “Capitalistic” System


“A chart we found on Reddit.com today shows that most products we buy are controlled by just a few companies. It’s called “The Illusion of Choice.”

Ever wonder why you can’t get a Coke at Taco Bell? It’s because Yum! Brands was created as a spin-off of Pepsi–and has a lifetime contract with the soda-maker.

Unilever produces everything from Dove soap to Klondike bars. Nestle has a big stake in L’Oreal, which features everything from cosmetics to Diesel designer jeans.

Despite a wide array of brands to choose from, it all comes back to the big guys.

Click this image to see full size:



See Also”

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Groupon CEO Chugs Beer; Media Throws Hissy Fit

Andrew Mason, CEO of GRPN, “chugged” a beer during a serious company meeting, which has drawn out the prohibition crowd at CNBC to ridicule him as being “immature.”

Mason delivered this message, reports Shira Ovide of the Wall Street Journal, after chugging beer from a company fridge. At one point during his presentation, his “voice broke and he said ‘Sorry, too much beer.'”

Sorry, but this is the very definition of making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Full Article

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Gapping Up and Down This Morning

Gapping up

SKX +16.9%, LOGI +11.7%, STMP +11.3%, CYTK +10%, EA +9.9%, GPRC +9%, EQIX +8.7%,

ARRS +8.5%, CRUS +7.8%, ACOM +7.6%, CTXS +7%, XLNX +6.4%, WPI +6.2%, NTGR +4.8%,

MX +3.9%, RDS.A +3.1%, UL +3%, LSI +2.6%, AOSL +1.8%, BP +1.4%, EBAY +1.4%, NVS +0.6%

Gapping down

HURN -14.2%, ALU -13.8%, TSPT -13.6%, TQNT -13%, HRB -10.4%, CROX -9.3%,

LEAP -7.9%, MKSI -5.9%, DB -5.9%, SYNC -5.1%, AKAM -4.9%, IDCC -4.5%, CS -3.8%,

VAR -3.3%, BVSN -2.4%, EXPD -1.8%, CLF -1.7%, KBR -1.4%,


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U.S. Equity Preview: $WPI, $VAR, $TQNT, $SKX, $NTGR, $LVS, $HRB, $CROX, $CTXS, $CRUS, $CVX, $CELG, $CDNS, $ELX, $ARRS, $ACOM, $AKAM, & $AET


Aetna Inc. (AET) fell 9.8 percent to $44.50. The third- largest U.S. health insurer reported first-quarter earnings excluding some items of $1.34 a share, falling short of the average analyst estimate of $1.40.

Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM) declined 4 percent to $37.20. The operator of a server network said Chief Executive Officer Paul Sagan will leave by the end of 2013.

Ancestry.com Inc. (ACOM) : The world’s largest online provider of family histories reported first-quarter earnings of 30 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate of 23 cents.

Arris Group Inc. (ARRS) : The maker of Internet equipment forecast second-quarter revenue of at least $330 million, exceeding the average analyst estimate of $313.6 million.

Cadence Design Systems Inc. (CDNS) : The provider of software for creating computer chips reported first-quarter sales were $315.8 million, topping the average analyst estimate of $309.7 million.

Celgene Corp. (CELG) dropped 3.7 percent to $75. The biopharmaceutical company reported first-quarter earnings excluding some items of $1.08 a share, missing the average analyst estimate of $1.13.

Chevron Corp. (CVX) : The second-largest U.S. energy company boosted its quarterly dividend to 90 cents a share from 81 cents.

Cirrus Logic Inc. (CRUS) : The supplier of parts for Apple’s iPhone and iPad posted fourth-quarter profit of 36 cents a share, beating the 34-cent earnings estimate by analysts on average.

Citrix Systems Inc. (CTXS) surged 9.4 percent to $84.39. The software maker forecast earnings in 2012 will be at least $2.75 a share, topping the average analyst estimate of $2.72.

Crocs Inc. (CROX) fell 7.7 percent to $20.35. The plastic-clogs maker projected second-quarter adjusted earnings of no more than 63 cents a share, falling short of the 65-cent profit estimated by analysts on average.

Emulex Corp. (ELX) : The chipmaker forecast fourth- quarter earnings of at least 21 cents a share, exceeding the average analyst estimate by 1 cent.

H&R Block Inc. (HRB) plunged 16 percent to $14.02. The biggest U.S. tax preparer plans to cut 350 jobs and close about 200 company-owned offices as part of a realignment. The Kansas City, Missouri-based company also forecast sales in 2012 will be about $2.9 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $3.11 billion.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) decreased 1.3 percent to $58. The U.S. casino company posted a first-quarter profit of 70 cents a share, exceeding the average analyst estimate by 10 cents.

Netgear Inc. (NTGR) : The maker of modems and routers posted first-quarter sales of $325.6 million compared with the average analyst estimate of $317.3 million.

Skechers U.S.A. Inc. (SKX) gained 11 percent to $16.51. The maker of Shape-ups toning shoes reported a first-quarter loss of 7 cents a share, narrower than the 27-cent loss predicted by analysts on average.

TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. (TQNT) plunged 12 percent to $4.85. The chipmaker forecast a second-quarter loss of at least 10 cents a share, compared with the 4-cent profit estimated by analysts on average.

Varian Medical Systems Inc. (VAR) : The maker of radiation equipment forecast third-quarter profit of no more than 95 cents a share, missing the average analyst estimate of $1.02.

Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (WPI) increased 6.9 percent to $74.50. The Parsippany, New Jersey-based generic-drug maker said it will acquire closely held Actavis Group HF for 4.25 billion euros ($5.62 billion).”

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Upgrades and Downgrades This Morning


“ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB) Cut to Neutral at JPMorgan.

Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD) Raised to Equal-weight at Morgan Stanley.

Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) Raised to Buy on weakness at UBS.

ConcoPhillips (NYSE: COP) Raised to Neutral at Macquarie.

General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) Cut to Equal-weight at Morgan Stanley.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) Raised to Overweight at Barclays.

Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) Cut to Neutral at JPMorgan; Cut to Equal-weight at Barclays; Cut to Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Infosys Ltd. (NASDAQ: INFY) Raised to Buy at Citigroup.

ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) named Bull of the Day at Zacks.

Marriott International (NYSE: MAR) Raised to Buy at Argus.

SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) Cut to Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE: S) maintained Hold at Argus.

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) Raised to Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: WPI) Raised to Buy at Citigroup.”

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