The Dow has run up to -- and been turned away from -- 16,000 twice before.
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A global acquisition strategy is boosting the spirits of this premium liquor distributor.
Diageo (DEO) is the world's leading alcoholic spirits company, with market-leading brands including Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, J&B, Baileys, Captain Morgan and Tanqueray. Beer sales are primarily driven by its top-selling global stout brand, Guinness. The company also owns a 34% stake in Moet Hennessy, the company behind a number of luxury cognacs and champagnes.
The most appealing feature of Diageo is that although the company has around 45 brands of alcoholic drinks in its portfolio, 81% of its earnings come from its 14 strategic global priority brands.
They're riskier small caps, but they're cheap sources of income.
By Jeff Reeves
Sometimes investors feel like they have to choose between low-priced stocks and high-dividend payers that can often be costly per share. Sure, Coca-Cola (KO) announced a 2-for-1 split to bring its share price down from almost $80 to under $40, but not all dividend payers are willing to execute a similar move. And to many investors who have small portfolios and don't like to buy a handful of shares, even $40 might be a bit pricey.
Thankfully, there are a handful of big dividend payers under $10 a share -- if you know where to look for them.
Allscripts, Deckers Outdoor and InterMune are downgraded.
Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:
- Amazon.com (AMZN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill, and to Buy from Neutral at Nomura
- Expedia (EXPE) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
- SanDisk (SNDK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
- Zynga (ZNGA) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill, and to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Earnings are strong, but weakness in key global markets holds back shares.
By Jeff Reeves
Starbucks (SBUX) reported decent earnings after the bell Thursday, brewing up 18% gains in profit for its fiscal second quarter. The Seattle coffee king also raised its forecast for the year, thanks to the better-than-expected results.
However, the report still left a bitter taste in investors' mouths, and Starbucks stock took a spill of as much as 6% Friday, with weakness in Europe and surrounding regions offsetting decent gains in the Americas and Asia.
After a disappointing run, the company appears to have turned a corner, yet most analysts remain unconvinced. Now is the time to get in before everyone else does.
Has PepsiCo (PEP) bottomed? I think you can make a strong case that it has. Every line item, from North American soda to Latin American snacks, seems to have turned up. I am blown away at how much stronger some of these numbers were vs. what Wall Street had been expecting.
CEO Indra Nooyi took some really hard medicine last quarter with a big restructuring, as well as a dramatic increase in spending, in order to support brands. Both strategies worked.
The automaker benefits from its CEO's steady hand.
Even though the first quarter was tough, Mulally managed to exceed Wall Street's expectations. Net income fell to $1.4 billion, or 35 cents per share, versus $2.6 billion or 61 cents, a year earlier, hurt by a one-time expense. Excluding that item, profit was 39 cents, beating the 35 cents expected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Revenue rose to $18.6 billion.
The stock pops as much as 17% after strong earnings and a 'short squeeze.'
By Tom Taulli
Ahead of Amazon's (AMZN) first-quarter report, investors were glum. Shares had fallen from almost $230 in October to under $190 in mid-April on fears that the company was spending way too much on subsidizing its Kindle Fire tablet and wouldn't have the sales to make up the difference.
Turned out there was nothing to worry about, as the company handily beat the consensus on revenue and profit. In early trading Friday, the stock was up 17% to $230 -- largely because short sellers betting against AMZN were proved very wrong and raced to cover their trades.
The second we mention the words 'social' or 'cloud,' our objectivity in judging businesses dissipates.
That company, Instagram, gives smartphone users the ability to post photos to a half a dozen places, including Facebook and Twitter.
The Instagram acquisition has likely injected a lot of fertilizer into the angel investing bubble. I'm sure many startups are already raising money from angel investors dreaming of selling to the Facebooks and Googles (GOOG) of the world for billions.
Last year's Cars 2 flop pushed Disney's animation king off its pedestal. New edgier films could put it back on top.
Cars 2 was the studio's worst-reviewed film, its second-lowest grossing (behind only A Bug's Life), and the first not to receive an Oscar nomination in the 10-year history of the Best Animated Feature category.
After previously investing in the mobile software maker without much success, the fund tries again.
George Soros, founder of the second-best-performing hedge fund of all time, the Quantum Fund, bought 6 million shares of Openwave (OPWV) on April 10 at approximately $2.41 per share, as reported by GuruFocus Real Time Picks.
Soros had previously built up a position of 176,100 shares in the first quarter of 2010 around the price of $2.50, and gradually sold out as the price never substantially increased.
The online retailer beats analysts' expectations. The coffee seller ups its forecast after an 18% rise in profit.
By Joseph Woelfel
Updated at 8:04 a.m. ET
Amazon.com (AMZN) topped analysts' earnings estimates and said profit margins held steady. Amazon's margins in the first quarter were 1.45%, in line with the fourth quarter's 1.5%. Amazon posted earnings of 28 cents a share as revenue rose 34% to $13.2 billion, thanks in part to strong Kindle Fire sales. Analysts expected Amazon to report earnings of 7 cents a share on revenue of $12.9 billion. Amazon provided second-quarter revenue guidance, with the midpoint slightly below Wall Street estimates.
Starbucks (SBUX) said fiscal-second-quarter profit rose 18%, and it raised its forecast for the year. Starbucks said global same-store sales rose 7%. Same-store sales in China and the Asia Pacific jumped 18%. Sales rose 8% in the Americas but fell 1% in the region encompassing Europe, Middle East, Russia and Africa.
Gains overseas can't hide weakness in the U.S.
The beverage and snacks company reported that quarterly profit fell 1.4% to $1.13 billion, or 71 cents a share, from $1.14 billion, or 71 cents, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, profit was 69 cents, beating analyst estimates of 67 cents.
Revenue rose 4% to $12.43 billion, ahead if the $12.36 billion Wall Street consensus.
Speculation circulates that the beverage giant could be on the verge of its largest acquisition ever.
Jack Russo of Raymond James thinks Coke might be planning to buy the energy-drink maker. If that were to be the case, he said, investors should look for Coke to begin selling off some bottling assets to raise money.
The key price both for longs and shorts is somewhere around $644.
With all of the company's recent troubles, maybe the boss needs to grow up.
Andrew Mason, all of 31 years old, drank beer in a town hall meeting with employees Wednesday. He set the daily-deal site's agenda for the next six months, according to The Wall Street Journal.
It's not unusual for a tech company boss to swig beer. But during the workday, and during a town hall meeting to talk about corporate priorities?
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The offering could become the second-biggest this year if underwriters exercise an option to buy more shares.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices settled on their lows following a steady, session-long slide. Similar to yesterday, small-caps paced the retreat as the Russell 2000 fell 1.6%, extending its December loss to 3.6%. The S&P 500 settled lower by 1.1%, widening its month-to-date decline to 1.3%.
There was no specific news catalyst behind today's slide, which had the markings of broad-based profit-taking. Seven of ten sectors settled with losses of 1.0% or more while only two groups ... More
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