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The company faces a slew of legal and commercial repercussions in the wake of a report alleging that its Mexican unit paid $24 million in bribes to local officials.

By TheWeek.com Apr 24, 2012 5:18PM
Walmart © Bloomberg/Getty ImagesWal-Mart (WMT) is reeling from a New York Times report outlining a massive bribery scheme that allegedly allowed the company to grease its way to the top spot in Mexico's retail industry.

Worse still, the report alleges that top executives in the U.S. covered up the bribes when a whistleblower brought them to light in 2005, instead of coming clean to U.S. and Mexican authorities. Some of the executives involved have since risen to the top of the Wal-Mart ladder, including CEO Michael Duke, who in 2005 was named the head of Wal-Mart's international divisions.

Here, a look at what Wal-Mart faces in the future: 
Tags: WMT

The telecom giant faces a tough slog.

By Jonathan Berr Apr 24, 2012 4:15PM

Has AT&T (T) hit a wall?

Though its first-quarter results were better than expected, the Associated Press noted that the the Dallas company only added 736,000 new wireless subscribers in the quarter, the lowest rate in eight years. The growth in average revenue per monthly user slowed 1.7% to $64.46 from a year earlier.
 
AT&T and other wireless companies are in a pickle. Everyone in the U.S. who wants a wireless device has one. Many have two or three. As the service becomes more commoditized, wireless carriers will be forced to compete more aggressively on price. It's hardly a shock that AT&T's shares have barely budged this year.

 
Tags: TVZ

The company has been losing market share in the country since 2005. Its latest acquisition changes that.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 24, 2012 4:09PM
Image: Family (© Rubber Ball/Getty Images)The news Monday that Nestlé (NSRGY) would buy Pfizer's (PFE) infant nutrition business for $11.9 billion has completely overshadowed last week's stronger than expected earnings report.

For the first quarter, Nestlé reported organic sales growth of 7.2%. For the full year, Nestlé kept its projections for organic growth at 5% to 6%. In the first quarter, growth broke down as 3.1% growth in developed country economies and 13% in developing economies.

Which also tells you what you need to know about Nestlé's acquisition. About 85% of sales for Pfizer's business came from developing economies and about one-third of the Pfizer unit's revenue is from China.
 
Tags: PFE

With the tech giant's earnings report on deck, Wall Street experts weigh in.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Apr 24, 2012 2:41PM

Apple (AAPL) stock has taken investors on a roller coaster ride recently, in contrast to the otherwise continuous upward trend of the last few months.


With the company set to report second-quarter earnings on Tuesday after the market close, analysts' predictions and experts' commentary range from gung-ho to doomsday.

 

3 of them are in the health-care sector, which is entering its strong seasonal period.

By MoneyShow.com Apr 24, 2012 2:13PM

By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


While the Nasdaq 100 is down over 5% from the early-April highs, my weekly scan revealed that ten stocks are still within 6% of their weekly Starc+ bands.


Stocks that are able to hold near their highs during a market correction are likely to be market leaders once the correction is over.

 

Better-than-expected earnings from 3 more Dow components give stocks a boost.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 24, 2012 1:56PM
Information provided by TheFlyonthewall.com

AT&T
(T) led all Dow advancers Tuesday, rising 3.5% following its better-than-expected earnings report. Shares of United Technologies (UTX) and 3M (MMM) also rose after both reported earnings that beat consensus.

IBM (IBM) was another source of Dow strength after the company increased its dividend and share repurchase authorization. Fitch restored its credit ratings on Ford Motor (F) to investment grade for the first time since 2005. 

In the U.S., workers have less protection and hence more insecurity than in Europe, where protection is more prevalent. In return for giving up security, there are two promised benefits – economic growth and a more stable economy.

By The Fiscal Times Apr 24, 2012 1:34PM
By Mark ThomaThe Fiscal Times

Those who favor a free market approach to managing the economy often compare the U.S. to Europe. Europe, it is argued, is much less flexible and dynamic than the U.S. because of its heavier reliance on social insurance, worker protections, and the high tax rates needed to support these programs. Nobel Prize winning economist Edmund Phelps has argued, for example, that “the free enterprise system is structured in such a way that it facilitates and stimulates dynamism while the Continental system impedes and discourages it.” According to Phelps and others, the greater reliance on the free market system in the U.S. results in faster and more robust economic growth.

There is an implied tradeoff here. In the U.S. system, workers have less protection and hence more insecurity than in countries where protection is more prevalent. In return for giving up security, there are two promised benefits. First, it is argued, economic growth will be higher. With less government interference, lower taxes, and unions all but absent, the economy will be free to reach its growth potential. 

Last quarter, the tech giant exceeded forecasts by a simply ridiculous margin -- that's not likely to happen again this quarter.

By Minyanville Apr 24, 2012 1:24PM
Apple logo copyright BECK DIEFENBACH/Reuters
UPDATED All the concerns stated below have been rendered absolutely meaningless as Apple (AAPL) knocked the cover off the ball with its fiscal second-quarter earnings report, sending the stock back up above the $600 mark. The company reported a profit of $12.26 per share, smashing the consensus estimate of $10.06 per share. Sales were also very strong at $39.2 billion, easily surpassing Wall Street's expectations for $36.8 billion in revenue. iPad sales were slightly weaker-than-expected at 11.8 million. However, the company shipped a whopping 35 million iPhones, surpassing the Street's estimates and quelling a major investor concern.

After the close Tuesday, Apple (AAPL) will deliver, as it does every three months, the most eagerly anticipated earnings report on the planet.

But in contrast with last quarter, the road to glory doesn't appear to be quite so smooth.
 

Despite its decision to lower exposure to risky assets, the bank gave a strong Q1 performance.

By Trefis Apr 24, 2012 12:32PM
Image: Arrow Up (© Image Source/Photolibrary)Goldman Sachs' (GS) better-than-expected earnings show that the business environment for major banks has improved significantly since the beginning of the year.

The strong performance is despite the global investment bank's plans to lower its exposure to risky assets over the period. The bank roped in just under $10 billion in quarterly revenues, which is 64% more compared to the dismal fourth-quarter 2011. This translated to a net income of $2.1 billion. 
Tags: CGSMS

But the company still hopes to use its drilling technology in international markets where gas prices are higher.

By Trefis Apr 24, 2012 11:33AM
Image: Natural gas plant (© Kevin Burke/Corbis)Plans to begin shale exploration in Romania are facing opposition from local groups worried about the negative effects of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) technology.

Chevron
(CVX) has been aggressively pursuing shale exploration prospects in Europe, targeting countries like Poland and Romania. In Romania, the company has obtained concessions to explore more than 2.2 million acres for shale gas. In neighboring Bulgaria, where Chevron also held exploration permits, authorities banned the process of fracking last January.  
Tags: CVXXOM

Tyson Foods is upgraded to 'outperform,' and LinkedIn is initiated with an 'overweight.'

By MSN Money Partner Apr 24, 2012 11:03AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Tuesday's noteworthy upgrades include:  
  • AutoZone (AZO) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
  • O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
  • Canadian National (CNI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord
  • Tyson Foods (TSN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
  • Netflix (NFLX) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest
  • Brinker (EAT) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee
 

Brian Rogers picks out some low-PE, high-dividend industry leaders.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 24, 2012 10:32AM

By GuruFocus

Brian Rogers, the chairman and chief investment officer overseeing $500 billion at T. Rowe Price, found six new opportunities in the first quarter that met his investing criteria. Price has a positive outlook for the markets right now, seeing healthy corporate earnings, eurozone risk receding and low price-to-earnings multiples with room for expansion.


As always, regardless of his broad view of economic conditions, his first priority is seeking "established companies exhibiting attractive stock valuations and reasonable dividend yield," as he says in his first-quarter letter.

 

Even Chrysler is making moves to get a piece of China's market.

By InvestorPlace Apr 24, 2012 9:52AM

By Jim Woods

 

A decade ago, nobody paid much attention to the notion of an automobile trade show taking place in China, but oh, have times changed.


Last Friday marked the start of the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, and nearly every major automaker is displaying its latest models at the event in an effort to capture a share of the world's largest auto market. Nearly 1,000 models will be on display at the show, with 89 making their global debut.

 

The social network's furious growth and second-nature status among a coveted demographic make its IPO worth buying.

By Jim Cramer Apr 24, 2012 8:56AM

You don't go up to a group of college kids and ask, "How many of you use Facebook?" You don't, because that's like asking, "How many of you brush your teeth in the morning?"

 

That was my experience in returning to my alma mater, Harvard, this weekend, and I don't believe Facebook's penetration at the campus where it was born is any greater than it is anywhere else. Facebook has insinuated itself into every particle of peoples' existence in a very fast way, but particularly in the people who are trying to figure out their preferences.

 

That, alone, makes the initial public offering worth participating in.

 

The country's increasing Internet and smartphone penetration is attracting big retailers.

By Trefis Apr 24, 2012 8:32AM
Wal-Mart (WMT) seems keen to grab a share of the growing e-commerce market in India, the world's second most populous nation. It is in talks with leading e-commerce companies for a potential strategic partnership.

With increasing penetration of Internet and smart phones, the e-commerce market in India has gained momentum, and big e-commerce companies such as Amazon (AMZN) have shown interest in it. For instance, in February of this year, Amazon launched junglee.com, which offers 12 million products across 25 categories. 
Tags: AMZNWMT

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


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