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Comerica is downgraded to 'sell' at Citigroup, and Pandora is initiated with an 'underweight' at Barclays.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 5, 2012 11:06AM

Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

 

Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:

  • Cenovus Energy (CVE) upgraded to Sector Outperformer from Sector Performer at CIBC
  • KeyCorp (KEY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
  • VeriFone (PAY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Western Union (WU) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
  • Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) upgraded to Buy from Accumulate at Tudor Pickering
 

The entertainment company finds new ways to market its movies and other products.

By Trefis Apr 5, 2012 10:08AM

Disney (DIS) plans to develop social games for the mobile platform in partnership with Japan's DeNA Co. Ltd. Japan is a substantial market for social gaming, with total sales in 2010 near $1.5 billion. Disney and DeNA plan to launch two games based on the Disney characters in Japan and the U.S.


Social gaming has significantly picked up with the success of social networking platforms such as Facebook and social game developers such as Zynga (ZNGA). This development gives Disney an opportunity to leverage its brand and successful characters to create games that can attract millions of users.

 
Tags: DISZNGA

Hint: Don't bet against John Malone.

By InvestorPlace Apr 5, 2012 9:42AM

By Lawrence Meyers

 

I love it when moguls spat. In this case, the moguls are the brilliant investors John Malone of Liberty Media (LMCA) and Mel Karmazin of Sirius XM (SIRI).

 

To understand exactly what's going on, you first must remember that Liberty saved Sirius in 2009 by providing it a half-billion-dollar loan. In exchange, Liberty got preferred shares that gave it a 40% stake in the company.

 

It's hard to give up on household names like Yahoo and RIM, but consider their competition and remember that Kodak was once a great company, too.

By Jim Cramer Apr 5, 2012 9:26AM

People want to continue to call the bottom in terrible stocks of terrible companies. It is like some curious addiction that we can't shake.

 

The two stocks people can't seem to stay away from right now, the ones that constantly percolate as takeover targets and turnarounds, are Research In Motion (RIMM) and Yahoo (YHOO).

 

Nike wins its suit against Reebok over the sale of Tim Tebow jerseys in New York. The airline considers buying a ConocoPhillips refinery to manage fuel costs.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 5, 2012 9:19AM

the street logoBy Joseph Woelfel

 

Updated at 10:29 a.m. ET

 

Nike (NKE) scored when a judge rejected Reebok's bid to overturn his ban on Reebok's sale of New York Jets Tim Tebow jerseys. The federal judge in New York on Wednesday permanently halted Reebok, a unit of Germany's Adidas, from selling Tebow's No. 15. Nike sued Reebok on March 27, saying it was authorized and licensed to use Tebow's name on football apparel and merchandise.

 

Delta Airlines (DAL) is considering a bid for ConocoPhillips' (COP) idled 185,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Trainer, Penn., Reuters reported. The board of Delta has met twice to discuss a potential bid, Reuters said. The second-largest U.S. air carrier aims to hedge fuel costs.

 

Failing the Fed's 'stress test' has created a buying opportunity in this insurance outfit.

By TheStockAdvisors Apr 5, 2012 9:06AM
By J. Royden Ward, Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Letter

MetLife (MET) failed its Federal Reserve stress test. The Fed stated that the minimum total risk-based capital ratio should be 8% to withstand the two-year stress scenario, but MetLife's ratio would be 6%.

But in my view, the Fed did not consider several important factors when evaluating MetLife. As a result, we think the recent weakness in the stock had made the shares a buy. 
Tags: GEMET

The BlackBerry maker taps into one of its remaining strengths.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Apr 4, 2012 5:05PM

By Evan Niu

 

It's a rare sight indeed: a good idea from Research In Motion (RIMM). The BlackBerry maker doesn't have very much to brag about these days, as it continues to report disappointing earnings amid an exec exodus.

 

One of the few bright spots to come out of Waterloo recently was its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion mobile device management, or MDM, enterprise service. Mobile Fusion is geared toward corporate IT departments looking to manage a slew of various devices, notably including competing smartphone and tablet offerings from Google (GOOG) Android and Apple (AAPL) iOS.

 

The company unveils its take on the NFL uniform as it begins a 5-year contract.

By Kim Peterson Apr 4, 2012 4:15PM
No one knew what the result would be when Nike (NKE) took over the license to create on-field apparel for the National Football League.

We saw what Nike did with the Oregon Ducks' uniforms. As it turns out, the company was far more restrained with the NFL and unveiled its new uniforms for the league's 32 teams Wednesday. 

The online retailer is just too competitive on price, leaving the big box searching for a new strategy.

By Kim Peterson Apr 4, 2012 3:25PM
Image: Amazon.com logo © EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty ImagesBest Buy (BBY) is desperate to turn itself around, terrified of joining Circuit City and CompUSA in the electronics retailing graveyard.

But the company can't compete in one key area: price.

A new study by Barclays analysts shows that Best Buy's online prices are 4.2% higher than Amazon's (AMZN), on average. The analysts compared prices on a shopping cart with 100 items sold on both companies' websites and found that Best Buy's prices are higher -- before tax and shipping. 
Tags: AMZNBBY

Groupon's implosion is following a very familiar pattern, and it's not the only company doing so.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 4, 2012 2:21PM

By Gary Weiss

 

It basically goes like this: First you get investor cash. Then you screw something up. Then you get your accountants to make it seem that you haven't screwed up. Then it's all over.

 

I call it the "screw-up-lie-die" template. It's been seen in big companies and small, from Enron to penny stocks. It is so old, it creaks. But fear not. It is alive and vibrant, and is currently being played out in real time at Groupon (GRPN), the coupon-deal company whose IPO turned sour in recent days, ever since it disclosed on Friday that its losses were much worse than previously reported.

 

The struggling Internet company still looks bloated, and rival AOL could use a trim, too.

By InvestorPlace Apr 4, 2012 2:17PM

By Jonathan Berr


Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Scott Thompson's plan to slash about 2,000 employees -- or 14% of the Internet media company's work force -- doesn't go far enough. But it will ratchet up the pressure on AOL (AOL) CEO Tim Armstrong, whose company is also struggling, to do the same.


Thompson, who joined Yahoo in January after heading eBay's (EBAY) PayPal unit, needs to fundamentally restructure Yahoo, which in its current configuration makes no sense. Nothing should be off the table, including selling Web properties and patents. The company also needs to finally unload its 35% stake in Yahoo Japan and its 40% interest in Alibaba.

 

The company significantly lowered guidance, likely as a result of insufficient exposure to Apple and Samsung.

By Minyanville Apr 4, 2012 1:48PM
Shares of SanDisk (SNDK) are getting smacked down by over 10% Wednesday after the flash-memory giant pre-announced lousy first-quarter results.

SanDisk now expects to report first-quarter revenue of $1.2 billion versus prior guidance of $1.3 to $1.35 billion, and consensus of $1.3 billion. Additionally, the company lowered its gross margin guidance from an earlier range of 39% to 42%.  

The fertilizer company stands to benefit as US farmers add to corn stocks.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 4, 2012 1:36PM
Image: Combines in field (© Mark Karrass/Corbis/Corbis)In my April 2 post on the great first quarter turned in by cyclical stocks -- and the lousy March -- I said that in general, I don't see much to tempt me into putting money into cyclical stocks before first-quarter earnings season (which starts on April 10) and before we get some resolution of big macroeconomic questions on growth from Europe and China.

In general.

But I also said that I'd make an exception for fertilizer producer Potash of Saskatchewan (POT) and I promised to explain why.
 
Tags: POT

The prime minister warns of 'extreme difficulty' after the country fails to find enough bond buyers.

By Jim J. Jubak Apr 4, 2012 1:26PM
Image: Europe (© Photodisc/SuperStock)Well, that's helpful -- if you were worried that a bad Spanish bond auction might not spook global financial markets.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Wednesday morning that Spain is "facing an economic situation of extreme difficulty -- I repeat, of extreme difficulty."

That's just in case anyone missed the disastrous results of Wednesday's Spanish bond auction. Spain managed to sell 2.59 billion euros in bonds. That was just above the minimum target for the auction and well below the hoped-for maximum of 3.5 billion euros.
 

Stocks fall after Fed dashes hope for further stimulus.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 4, 2012 1:05PM
Information provided by theflyonthewall.com.

Stocks on Wall Street were sharply lower midday Wednesday, as the slide that began after Tuesday's release of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes deepened. The comments that sank the market revolved around the lack of additional stimulus, ruling out at least for the time being any semblance of further quantitative easing. Though Fed Chairman Bernanke said as much last month, the market reacted strongly late yesterday and again today after digesting the implications further.

The economic data released Wednesday was generally in line with expectations, but did little to improve the dour tone of the market.  

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