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The drugstore lowers sales guidance for the year, and the open source software provider reports weak billings.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 21, 2012 8:45AM
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet.com

Rite Aid (RAD) reported first-quarter earnings Thursday that met analysts' expectations, but it lowered its sales guidance for the year. The drugstore chain reported a first-quarter loss of $30.7 million, or 3 cents a share, narrower than a year-earlier loss of $65.5 million, or 7 cents a share. Analysts, on average, were expecting a loss of 3 cents a share.

Rite Aid lowered its fiscal 2013 sales guidance to between $25.3 billion and $25.7 billion and said it expects same-store sales to decline between 0.5% and 1%. The company previously anticipated sales would be between $25.4 billion and $25.8 billion with same-store sales between flat and an increase of 1.5%. Shares of Rite Aid fell 1.71% in premarket trading Thursday to $1.15.

 

Master limited partnerships constantly have to raise new money, which explains why Western Gas is selling 5 million units.

By Jim J. Jubak Jun 20, 2012 6:15PM
Western Gas Partners (WES) dropped 4.96% Tuesday on news that the master limited partnership has filed to sell 5 million units Friday at a price of $43.88 each. The units closed at $43.15 Tuesday. (Western Gas Partners is a member of my Jubak's Picks portfolio.)

Now I understand why stocks (or in this case master limited partnerships) fall when the company decides to sell more shares or units. The current stream of profits going to investors will in the future have to be spread over 5 million more units. That's dilution of about 5.2% on the 95.78 million units outstanding. And certainly nobody wants to pay more for units -- they closed at $45.40 the day before the announcement -- than the new units being sold command.
 
Tags: WES

Investors hope the company has a next-generation treatment for the virus. The new data will fuel more takeover talk.

By Minyanville Jun 20, 2012 5:46PM
Shares of Idenix (IDIX) were rising after the company said an experimental hepatitis C drug was effective in a mid-stage study.

The stock rose 14.3% to close at $10.71. The shares have almost doubled in the past 12 months as investors bet that Idenix will be among the winners in developing a better treatment for the liver-destroying virus. 

The pharmacy giant purchases a stake in European mega-chain Alliance Boots -- putting itself at the mercy of the continent's worsening debt crisis.

By TheWeek.com Jun 20, 2012 5:35PM

Image: Pills (© Sean Justice/Corbis)Walgreens (WAG) is purchasing a 45% stake in European pharmacy powerhouse Alliance Boots (AB) for nearly $7 billion. The deal is seen as a first step toward outright acquisition, which would make the combined company a global pharmacy giant with 11,000 stores in 12 countries.


Walgreens' share price plunged after the announcement, however, due to concerns that it had dangerously exposed itself to fallout from Europe's debt crisis, which continues to rage. 


Is Walgreens' big bet on Europe a bad idea?

 
Tags: WAG

Analysts expect to see a profit of 53 cents a share

By Benzinga Jun 20, 2012 5:24PM
Image: Couple shopping for a new car © Tetra Images/Getty ImagesBy Nelson Hem, Benzinga Staff Writer

Used-car retailer CarMax (KMX) has seen profit rise for three straight quarters and revenue rise for four straight quarters. Will it capture the magic again Thursday when it reports its fiscal first-quarter results?


Investors certainly hope the trend continues, although recent easing fuel prices may have taken some pressure off of consumers to buy more fuel-efficient models. (See also: Ford and GM feeling Europe's economic despair.)

Here's the latest buzz on CarMax's quarter:
 

The troubled telecommunications company is letting employees go in small groups.

By Benzinga Jun 20, 2012 4:57PM

By Katey Stapleton, Benzinga Staff Writer


Struggling smartphone developer Research In Motion (RIMM) is dealing with yet another bout of bad news. The company is quietly cutting jobs as part of an intense restructuring to stay afloat.


The BlackBerry maker has kept the layoffs under wraps for the past several weeks, terminating about 10 employees at a time, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company cannot afford any more bad press, and certainly chose a low-key way to add to the 2,000 employees dismissed last year.

 

Roasters are sneaking cheaper robusta beans into their blends to save money. Will coffee drinkers revolt?

By Kim Peterson Jun 20, 2012 2:38PM
Image: Coffee Beans (© Purestock/SuperStock)Have you noticed that your coffee tastes different lately? A little bolder, perhaps even bitter? Does it seem to have more caffeine?

Coffee companies are sneaking more robusta beans into their grounds as the price of the higher-grade arabica beans has spiked, Reuters reports. Very few roasters are actually admitting to doing this, but the evidence is as plain as day: U.S. robusta imports soared by 80% in the first quarter, while arabica fell by nearly a third.

Higher-quality arabica beans have a milder, more delicate and complex flavor than robusta. They're harder to grow and more expensive. Coffee experts say robusta, by contrast, tastes like burned rubber. Robusta also has a lot more caffeine. 

This leading hospitality company has an impressive earnings surprise history and a share price hovering close to a 52-week high.

By Zacks.com Jun 20, 2012 1:47PM

By Zacks Equity Research  Resilience
 

Headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (WYN) offers different hospitality products and services to individual customers and business clients in the U.S. and worldwide under the brands Wyndham Hotel Group, Wyndham Exchange & Rentals and Wyndham Vacation Ownership. The company has a current market cap of $7.55 billion.


The company has an impressive earnings surprise history and a share price hovering close to a 52-week high. Shares of this Zacks No. 1 Rank ("strong buy") have gained approximately 39.5% so far this year.

 
Tags: MARWYN

Stocks head lower after Federal Reserve announces it will expand Operation Twist.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 20, 2012 12:40PM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com 

Procter & Gamble
(PG) shares weighed on the Dow, falling over 3%, after the company lowered its earnings view again after cutting it in April. The company cited unfavorable foreign exchange rates and continued economic headwinds in the U.S. and Europe.

Burger King (BKW) shares moved higher on the company's first day of trading after it returned to being publicly listed. 
Tags: BKPGTSLA

These stocks are trading for less than investment gurus David Einhorn and Prem Watsa paid for them.

By GuruFocus.com Jun 20, 2012 12:13PM
Talk of a potential quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve after it concludes its two-day meeting has lifted markets this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its highest level in a month on Tuesday. Most of the stocks in the portfolios of the best stock pickers all rose in tandem, but a few haven't yet surpassed the investors' original purchase prices. Some standout bargain candidates are Marvell Tech Group (MRVL), a David Einhorn holding, and Research In Motion (RIMM), which Prem Watsa has invested in.
 

Check out these value, speculative and niche picks for the grocer in you.

By InvestorPlace Jun 20, 2012 11:27AM

Image: Grocery shopping (© Noel Hendrickson/Getty Images/Getty Images)By Lawrence Meyers


I am not a fan of supermarkets these days. While they desperately fight off challenges from stores like Dollar Tree (DLTR) and the organic juggernaut that is Whole Foods Market (WFM), they still continue to lose market share.


That's why I became intrigued by other niche players and think there's value there to be explored. Let's check in and see how these markets are doing.

 

Adobe is downgraded at 2 firms, while Applied Materials is upgraded to 'overweight.'

By MSN Money Partner Jun 20, 2012 11:02AM
Information provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:  
  • Cisco (CSCO) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
  • Huntington Ingalls (HII) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
  • Marathon Petroleum (MPC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
 

The food and beverage company has the ability to test and roll out products designed to appeal to local tastes and at low prices.

By Trefis Jun 20, 2012 10:29AM
TrefisPepsiCo (PEP), in partnership with Strauss Group, recently launched Obela spreads and dips in Mexico. In India, the company plans to launch 50 new products under the Frito-Lay brand to cash in on the growing demand for salted snacks. Earlier in the year, PepsiCo partnered with Germany's Theo Muller Gmbh to soon launch dairy products in the U.S.

There is a clear emphasis by PepsiCo on food products and its portfolio comprises more food products than ever before. We explore the advantages and disadvantages of a portfolio with more focus on food rather than beverages.

 

Here's a high-quality trio with steady growth, low risk and undervalued prices.

By TheStockAdvisors Jun 20, 2012 9:53AM
By J. Royden Ward, Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Letter

Our Modern Value Model portfolio is based on a strategy first developed by Benjamin Graham and Dr. Wilson Payne in 1946.

The model contains undervalued stocks of well-known, high-quality companies with steady earnings growth. Here's our latest three additions to the portfolio: Fiserv (FISV), ResMed (RMD) and Target (TGT). 

JC Penney and Walgreen seem to have lost their way, to the benefit of their competitors.

By Jim Cramer Jun 20, 2012 9:45AM

There are a lot of ways to win in business. You can out-execute the others in your category. You can expand from regional to national and ultimately to global. You can offer a better mousetrap.

 

And then again, sometimes you can win by doing nothing, doing nothing but going against flailing and faltering competitors who seem to be flummoxed and floundering in unfathomable ways. Or, to put it another way, you can be lucky enough to compete against J.C. Penney (JCP) and Walgreen (WAG).

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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