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Earnings were in focus Tuesday, with a duo of blue chip companies reporting before the open and a pair of tech giants on tap after the close.
The three major benchmarks, comfortable in the green in morning trading, had slipped into the red just before noon.
Nonetheless, a number of companies moved higher on analysts' actions, company news, earnings, and M&A chatter. Following are 12 of Tuesday's hot stocks to watch.
Today's Hot Stocks List
ARC Group WorldWide Inc. (Nasdaq: ARCW) shares jumped 4.2% to $40.90, after announcing a 1.5-to-1 stock dividend. The additional shares, issued as a result of the stock dividend, will be distributed on May 1 to shareholders of record April 24. The leading global provider of advanced manufacturing and 3D printing solutions said the stock dividend is "an effort to increase liquidity in our stock."
The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) shares climbed nearly 4% to $40.22 in morning trading after the beverage behemoth posted Q1 2014 earnings pretty much in line with expectations. Coke reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.44 a share, down 4% from the same quarter a year ago. Revenue came in at $10.58 billion, shy of the $10.61 billion forecast. But, Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent said "growth momentum is steadily improving" and volume growth was "sequentially stronger." Those were welcome words for investors who were bracing for the worst following a report from Beverage Digest showing soda sales have declined to their lowest level since 1995.
Entergy Corp. (NYSE: ETR) shares rose 1.5% to $72.59, a penny shy of its 52-week high, after the utility giant guided Q1 EPS well above the consensus of $1.15 and also raised its FY2014 guidance, due in part to colder weather. ETR will report first-quarter earnings on April 24, before the open.
Fedfirst Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: FFCO) shares soared some 10% to $22 following news it will merge with CB Financial Services Inc. (OTCMKTS: CBFV), up 4% to $21.50, in a cash and stock deal valued at $54.4 million. Both banks are headquartered in Pennsylvania.
Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) shares rose $5.55, or 1%, to $550.98 in morning trading on a string of company news. The Internet search giant's Google Glass goes on sale to the public today for $1,500, including some perks such as sun shades or prescription lenses. Additionally, Google reported Monday it is buying drone satellite maker Titan Aerospace. That's the same company Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) courted last month for a reported $60 million, but instead ended up buying British drone maker Ascenta for $20 million. Details of the Google/Titan deal weren't revealed, but Google will use Titan's satellites to take photos of the Earth and connect people to the Internet, according to the New York Times.
Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) shares were up a modest 0.45% to $26.83 in morning trading. The chip giant is forecast to post Q1 2014 EPS of $0.37, $0.03 less than the year-ago quarter, on revenue of $12.81 billion, after the close. The company has matched or topped analysts' expectations in six of the past eight quarters. Yet analysts remain at odds. RBC Capital Markets recently downgraded INTC to "Sector Perform" from "Outperform." Meanwhile, Pacific Crest upgraded INTC last week to "Outperform" from "Sector Perform."
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) shares jumped 1.7% to $98.98, not far from its 52-week high of $99.38, after the world's biggest maker of healthcare products handily beat Wall Street's Q1 expectations and raised its earnings outlook. The maker of Tylenol, medical devices, and prescription drugs posted net income of $4.73 billion, or $1.64 a share, up from $3.5 billion, or $1.22 per share, year over year. Analysts were looking for EPS of $1.48. Revenue totaled $18.12 billion, a 3.5% increase from the same quarter a year ago. JNJ raised its profit forecast for FY2014 to $5.90, up from the $5.75 to $5.85 the Brunswick, N.J.-based company projected in January.
Potash Corp/Saskatchewan (NYSE: POT) shares popped 3% to $35.15 on speculation that BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE ADR: BHP) may try again to acquirer the fertilizer company after failing in a prior attempt in 2010. According to the Globe & Mail, speculation is "intense" because "the numbers work well, the personalities are closer to working, (and) even the politics are not insurmountable because the landscape has shifted."
Umpqua Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: UMPQ) shares rose 2.53% to $18.60 after S&P Indices reported the financial services company will replace Scientific Games Corp. (Nasdaq: SGMS) in the S&P MidCap 500. Scientific Games, meanwhile, moves to the S&P SmallCap 600. UMPQ is acquiring Sterling Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: STSA) in a deal expected to close on April 18.
Wave Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: WAVX) shares surged 23% to $1.29 after announcing it is expanding its collaboration with Micron Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MU). Wave Systems, a leading provider of endpoint security, and Micron, a global leader in advanced semiconductors systems, will work together to develop solutions designed to strengthen user protection against current and emerging threats to computers, smartphones, and mobile devices.
Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) shares climbed 1% to $152.37 after announcing a 20% increase to its quarterly dividend, to $0.75 per share. Additionally, the company's board approved a new $500 million share repurchase program.
Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) shares rose 1% to $33.99 after Macquarie upgraded the stock to "Outperform" from "Neutral" and upped its price target to $40 from $37.50. The investment firm cited the 17% pullback in shares since March 5. Separately, analysts expect Yahoo to report EPS of $0.37 a share on revenue of $1.076 billion, roughly flat from the same quarter a year ago, when the company reports Q1 earnings after the close. Of most importance to shareholders and analysts will be what Yahoo says about its 21% stake in Alibaba, slated to go public shortly in one of the most highly anticipated IPOs of 2014.
The shellacking the markets took last Thursday is a bearish omen, but a market correction wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. In fact, volatility creates tremendous opportunity. Here are three ways you can turn fear into profit.