Monday, December 05, 2011

Morning Journal Upcoming changes in the Fed

News on Stocks in Our Portfolios

04:47 PM Altria Group (MO) lowers FY11 EPS guidance to between $1.58-$1.64 from $1.60-$1.66 due to charges of $110M, $0.04 per share, related to its Williams and Bullock legal cases. Comment!

03:19 PM Lowe's (LOW +1.6%) gets a boost from an upgrade to Buy at Goldman, citing management's efforts to improve store presentation, upgrade technology and overhaul and enhance marketing strategies. Additionally, for those who might be a bit gun-shy or risk averse in this volatile market, Goldman suggests possibly hedging your long position in Lowes against a short position in Home Depot (HD +1.8%). Comment!

02:56 PM Sonoco Products (SON +0.9%) gives an upbeat sales forecast for next year, easily exceeding analyst forecasts on higher demand and a boost from its recently completed acquisition of protective-packaging provider Tegrant Corp. The company expects sales to grow to roughly $5B in 2012, well ahead of analysts' estimates for $4.6B, while FY12 earnings are anticipated to be in the range of $2.47 - $ 2.57 per share. Comment!

02:08 PM ConocoPhillips (COP +1.2%) provides an update on its capital plans, saying it added $10B to its share repurchasement program and launched a $15.5B capital program to chiefly support E&P segment expenditures. Comment!

01:15 PM "A complete reordering of the competitive universe as we know it," writes Bernstein's Craig Moffett of the Verizon (VZ) deal to purchase Spectrum. The joint marketing effort between the cable companies (CMCSA, TWX) and Verizon "amounts to a partnership between formerly mortal enemies ... a strategic masterstroke for Verizon." The best deal in town is about to be a bundle of Comcast's broadband, voice, and video combined with Verizon mobile. Comment!

08:47 AM Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) stands to be a big winner from the opening up of the market for generic versions of Lipitor. In an agreement with India's Ranbaxy Laboratories, TEVA shares profits from the first 6 months of sales by Ranbaxy of its newly-approved cholesterol-lowering drug. Analyst Priti Arora speculates the deal was an insurance policy for Ranbaxy in case it didn't land approval - but is now ending up as "free money" for TEVA. Shares +2.4% premarket. Comment!

08:02 AM Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS): FQ4 EPS of C$1.07 misses by C$0.01. Revenue of C$4.35B (+10.2% Y/Y) beats by $50M. (PR) Comment!

08:02 AM Without announcing the deal, Qualcomm (QCOM) recently acquired Pixtronix, a developer of low-power mobile device displays that rely on MEMS technology. Sources put the deal's price tag in the $175M-$200M range. Qualcomm might try to use Pixtronix's technology to bolster its Mirasol display line, which takes a different approach to using MEMS. Comment!

07:37 AM Brazil's government orders Chevron (CVX) to shut down one of its wells in the oil field where a spill occurred last month. Though the firm says the targeted well only accounted for less than 8K barrels a day of production, it signals the increasing oversight and regulation it can expect in the region. Comment!


The upcoming changes in the Fed:


Don’t let Europe distract from what is going on in the Middle East (short):

Steve Cook received his education in investments from Harvard, where he earned an MBA, New York University, where he did post graduate work in economics and financial analysis and the CFA Institute, where he earned the Chartered Financial Analysts designation in 1973. His 40 years of investment experience includes institutional portfolio management at Scudder, Stevens and Clark and Bear Stearns. Steve's goal at Strategic Stock Investments is to help other investors build wealth and benefit from the investing lessons he learned the hard way.