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Ralph Lauren is upgraded to 'buy,' while Deere is downgraded to 'market perform.'

By MSN Money Partner Feb 16, 2012 12:34PM
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Thursday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Expeditors (EXPD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
  • Polo Ralph Lauren (RL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus
  • General Mills (GIS) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA

The Tiffany network needs to account for its aging viewers and the overall changes in people's media habits.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 16, 2012 11:49AM

image100/CorbisCBS' (CBS) advertising revenue declined in the fourth quarter and in 2011 despite the network's being home to some of the best and most popular shows on television, including "Big Bang Theory," "Two Broke Girls" and "Person of Interest." How sad is that?

The Tiffany network cited the usual suspects, including lower political advertising sales and lost revenue from the NBA lockout. Advertising revenue fell to $2.51 billion from $2.62 billion in the fourth quarter and to $9 billion from $9.15 billion last year. Fourth-quarter revenue figures missed Wall Street estimates. Net income, however, rose 31% as rising license revenue and cost cutting offset the slowdown in advertising.

CBS needs to address the fact that the network TV audience is shrinking and getting older.


The momentum hounds who bought the stock on its 9-day climb were scared by its last-minute tumble Wednesday, but they need to realize it can rise again soon.

By Jim Cramer Feb 16, 2012 11:26AM

We all saw it, the hideous, horrible reversal in Apple (AAPL) stock Wednesday and the plummet into the close. It transfixed us. Reversed hard. An intraday reversal. The kind of reversal that any rookie chartist would tell you is the beginning of a rollover. The kind of reversal that, immediately, signaled to everyone I know that the run in Apple -- and the stock market, for that matter -- is over. No questions asked. Done. Finished.


Now because of that rollover there are people, for the first time in nine days, who are down on the stock. They have losses. They chased. They top-ticked for the moment, and now they are furious and they are scared and they are looking over their shoulders and of course they are blaming me. 


Any business would kill for this problem: a savings account so flush it's making investors antsy.

By Feb 16, 2012 11:20AM
Corbis/CorbisApple (AAPL) is sitting on top of the corporate world -- and on a $97.6 billion in cash. As CEO, the late Steve Jobs was a stickler for hoarding the company's reserves for rough patches, but it's looking like the tech giant will finally part with some of that money.

New CEO Tim Cook hinted as much Tuesday in his address to the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. "I'd be the first to admit, we have more cash than we need to run the businesss," said the famously frugal Cook. But Apple will continue to spend its money judiciously, he added. "We are not going to run out and have a toga party."  

The global economy looks shaky, but these dividends are sturdy.

By InvestorPlace Feb 16, 2012 10:47AM
By Charles Sizemore

In case you hadn't noticed, it's rough out there. Europe still is quite the mess. China, while still growing, is looking a little suspect these days, and growth in much of the rest of the developing world -- particularly in commodity-exporting countries like Brazil -- depends on Chinese growth that might not materialize if present trends continue.

If you're depending purely on growth to meet your investment goals, you might end up being sorely disappointed. Prudent investors instead should turn to something a little more reliable: income.


To overcome patent expirations, Bristol-Myers Squibb is pursing acquisitions.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 16, 2012 10:43AM
By Elliott Gue, Personal Finance

To overcome patent expirations, the drug firm is actively pursing acquisitions to strengthen its drug pipeline.

Last month, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) announced that it will buy biotech company Inhibitex for $2.5 billion. The deal will give the pharmaceutical giant a beachhead in the rapidly growing market for hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments, once regulatory and shareholder approvals are received later this year. 
Tags: BMY

But the automaker misses forecasts because of global troubles, and the record earnings may not thrill the still-struggling people of a nation that bailed the company out.

By InvestorPlace Feb 16, 2012 10:29AM

By Jeff Reeves

General Motors (GM) earned its highest profit ever last year, a staggering $7.6 billion on revenue of more than $105 billion.

Yay for GM, right? Well, not really.

Unfortunately, Wall Street was already expecting dramatic profits -- and the automaker actually fell short. What's more, sales overseas were very ugly, including at European and South American operations that were in the red. And let's not forget the outrage some taxpayers are feeling after a money-losing bailout of the Detroit automaker that has helped it rake in record profits.

It all adds up to a very sticky situation for this "successful" automaker in 2012.


A trade deal with China offers another reason for investors to take a good look at Canadian equities.

By The Fiscal Times Feb 16, 2012 10:18AM
By Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn't just have close encounters with panda bears during his recent official trip to China. He spent a lot of time cozying up to top officials and businessmen and scored a big agreement: Going forward, Canadian companies will be given the same treatment as domestic Chinese enterprises when they do business there.

The agreement comes hard on the heels of tough comments by Harper that ensuring "market security" might mean Canada ramps up its efforts to sell energy products to trading partners other than the U.S. And China is a willing buyer, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told Harper during the trip.


The automaker receives $40 million in advance orders just one day after announcing its newest vehicle.

By Kim Peterson Feb 15, 2012 7:57PM
Credit: © Tim Rue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Caption: Tesla Motors Inc.'s Model X vehicle is unveiled at Tesla's design studio in Hawthorne, CaliforniaTesla Motors (TSLA) has got to be feeling good about the prospects for its new Model X, which won't even begin production until the end of next year.

A day after the company revealed the car, it said it received more than $40 million in advance orders. You only need to put down $5,000 to reserve one -- and that amount is fully refundable -- but it does show legitimate enthusiasm for a car that won't be delivered until 2014.

Tesla hasn't even said how much the sports-utility vehicle will cost. 

The Andersons reported a great 2011. Problem is, few expect it to repeat the record performance.

By Feb 15, 2012 7:08PM

Image: Combines in field (© Mark Karrass/Corbis/Corbis)By Tracey Ryniec

The Andersons (ANDE) had a record 2011 as the agriculture sector remained hot. Still, the stock gets no love from investors, and has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just 9.4.

The Andersons (yes, that's really the company's name) was founded in 1947 by Harold Anderson in Ohio. Originally a single-grain elevator and truck terminal, it has grown into an agribusiness company with five business segments in 16 states and Puerto Rico. It also has rail-equipment leasing interests in Canada and Mexico.

Tags: ANDE

The cable company's fourth-quarter earnings see a surprising jump.

By Benzinga Feb 15, 2012 6:43PM

Image: Watching television (© Corbis)By Brett Callwood, Benzinga Staff Writer

Comcast (CMCSA) said Wednesday that fourth-quarter profits shot up 26%, largely due to growth in its broadband and business-services divisions. The cable provider also said that it had curbed defections of pay-TV subscribers for the fifth quarter in a row.

The company announced a 44% dividend increase and a $6.5 billion share buyback program.

The numbers make for fascinating reading.


The stock takes a post-earnings fall as questions arise about sales and incremental margins.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 15, 2012 6:17PM
Image: Corn field (© Bob Rashid/Brand X/Corbis)With a cyclical stock -- even a cyclical stock such as Deere (DE) that's riding a long-term, multi-decade upward trend in global demand for food -- investors are always looking for signs that the cycle is near a top. 

I think that explains the 5.4% drop for Deere's shares after the company announced earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2012. (Deere is a member of my long-term Jubak Picks 50 portfolio.)

The problem was the discrepancy between Deere's big beat on earnings -- the company reported $1.30 a share versus the Wall Street consensus of $1.23 -- and its relatively tepid sales growth for the quarter of just 8% from a year earlier.

Asian asset sales falter and activist investors declare war.

By Minyanville Feb 15, 2012 5:07PM
By Vincent Trivett

The board of former Internet giant Yahoo (YHOO) is under attack from angry activist investors amid a breakdown of talks on selling off the firm’s profitable Asian assets.

Yesterday, Daniel Loeb of Third Point Capital LLC, a hedge fund with $8.7 billion under management, nominated himself and three others for Yahoo’s board in a proxy filing submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

While investors of all stripes have been whipped into a frenzy by this stock's rise, headwinds are mounting.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Feb 15, 2012 3:47PM

One of the few bright spots out there has been the dramatic, nearly vertical rise in Apple (AAPL) stock over the past three months. Spurred by huge iPhone sales, excitement over new overseas markets and chatter that the company's $100 billion cash pile will fuel a dividend, shares have jumped nearly 40% into Wednesday's high. With that kind of action in such a popular, familiar and widely held name, who cares about Greece or the eurozone or the budget deficit?


Well, not anymore. Issues are looming, such as a dispute in China that threatens to slam the brakes on iPad exports out of the country. There's also the small matter of Apple's massive market capitalization dominating the Nasdaq 100, which will require a rebalancing to prevent buyers of the Nasdaq from simply gaining exposure to a single stock. Last time that happened, taking Apple's weight down to 12.3% from 20.5%, shares dropped 7% in the week that followed. In midday trading, Apple at one point accounted for 9.5 of the 10.8 point gain in the index. 


But here's the thing to really worry about: Apple's parabolic, speculative frenzy isn't being supported by other stocks in its sector. Previous examples of this marked major market turning points.


These companies are targeting profitable and fast-growing market niches within the technology sector.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 15, 2012 3:08PM
Image: Woman with camera (© Corbis)By Andy Obermueller, Fast-Track Millionaire

In my latest screen, I looked for profitable and debt-free U.S. companies with a market cap of $900 million to $1 billion.

Here's a look at three technology stocks that made my final list: Shutterfly (SFLY), Sourcefire (FIRE), and LogMeIn (LOGM). 


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the new trading week on the defensive note with small-cap stocks pacing the retreat. The Russell 2000 (-1.4%) and Nasdaq Composite (-1.1%) displayed relative weakness, while the S&P 500 lost 0.8% with all ten sectors ending in the red.

Global equities began showing some cracks overnight after China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei poured cold water on hopes for new stimulus measures. Specifically, Mr. Lou said the government has no plans to change ... More


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