Baidu, RadioShack, Sara Lee, Smurfit-Stone: U.S. Equity Preview
Shares of the following companies may have unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as of 8:03 a.m. in New York.
Apple Inc. (AAPL US): The computer maker’s shares may rise to as high as $500 as corporate customers buy the iPad for business applications and as sales in international markets increase, Barron’s “Trader” column reported, citing Dan Chung, chief executive officer of Fred Alger Management.
Baidu Inc. (BIDU US) rose 0.9 percent to $106. The owner of China’s biggest search engine was rated “outperform” in new coverage at Macquarie Group Ltd.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A US and BRK/B US): The holding company run by Warren Buffett might begin paying a dividend or 2 percent or less in the next 12 to 18 months as rising profits and repayment of investments boost available cash, Barron’s reported, without citing anyone.
Citigroup Inc. (C US): The third-largest U.S. bank by assets increased Chief Executive officer Vikram Pandit’s base salary to $1.75 million from the $1 he earned for each of the past two years.
First Solar Inc. (FSLR US) climbed 2.2 percent to $150.69. The world’s biggest maker of thin-film solar modules was added to the conviction-buy list at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Separately, the company received a Vietnamese investment permit to build a $1 billion factory in Ho Chi Minh City, Thoi Bao Kinh Te newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.
Genomic Health Inc. (GHDX US): The maker of diagnostic tests for cancers reported data that supports the use of the Oncotype DX test in some colon-cancer patients.
Halliburton Co. (HAL US): The world’s second-largest oilfield services provider said fourth-quarter profit rose as higher crude prices and demand for drilling equipment boosted sales for its pressure-pumping services in North America. Net income advanced to 66 cents a share from 27 cents a year earlier. The company was expected to earn 63 cents a share, the average of 33 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
McDonald’s Corp. (MCD US) gained 0.8 percent to $75.59. The biggest restaurant chain reported fourth-quarter sales of $6.21 billion, beating the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey of $6.2 billion.
Navigators Group Inc. (NAVG US): The insurer said a charge related to the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill will reduce fourth-quarter earnings by about $9.2 million.
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA US) added 4.6 percent to $23.25. The maker of computer-graphics chips may climb as much as 80 percent in the next year on the success of its Tegra processor in the tablet computer and smartphone markets, Barron’s reported, without citing anyone.
NYSE Euronext (NYX US) gained 1.1 percent to $32.75. The biggest operator of U.S. stock exchanges was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” at Wells Fargo & Co.
RadioShack Corp. (RSH US) slumped 11 percent to $15.75. The consumer-electronics retailer forecast fourth-quarter profit excluding some items of 54 cents a share at most, below the average analyst estimate of 66 cents in a Bloomberg survey. RadioShack also said Chief Executive Officer Julian Day plans to retire in May.
Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM US) slid 3.2 percent to $128. The seller of online customer-relationship management programs may fall 20 percent or more as the software maker contends with rising expenses and growing number of diluted shares outstanding, Barron’s reported, without citing anyone.
Sara Lee Corp. (SLE US) gained 2.2 percent to $19.11. The food company received a takeover bid from Apollo Global Management LLC, Bain Capital LLC and TPG Capital that is higher than the food company’s current share price of $18.70, said three people with knowledge of the matter. Mike Cummins, a spokesman for Sara Lee, didn’t reply to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment. Spokesmen from Apollo, Bain and TPG also declined to comment, as did spokesmen for Blackstone and JBS.
Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. (SSCC US) jumped 23 percent to $33.90. RockTenn Co. (RKT US) agreed to buy the marker of material for cardboard boxes, for $3.5 billion, creating North America’s second-biggest containerboard producer. RockTenn, based in Norcross, Georgia, bid $35 a share in cash and stock for Chicago-based Smurfit-Stone. That’s 27 percent more than Smurfit-Stone’s closing price on Jan. 21.
Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV US): The world’s largest low- fare carrier and US Airways Group Inc. tentatively agreed to extend their Philadelphia airport leases by two years as the carriers and city debate a planned $5.2 billion expansion.
Steel Dynamics Inc. (STLD US): The Fort Wayne, Indiana- based company projected fourth-quarter profit excluding some items of 7 cents a share at most. On average, the analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated earnings of 9 cents.
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE US) fell 15 percent to $11.50. The wrestling entertainment company forecast fourth- quarter profit excluding some items of 10 cents a share at most. On average, the analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated earnings of 17 cents.
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