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Ticker Shock: Google Still in the Money; AMD, Xerox Disappoint


Friday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.


You ever see those "house-flipping" shows? I don't know how normal, everyday people can just gut an entire house without batting an eyelash. My wife and I are redoing one lousy bathroom in our place, and its just so complex and stressful, it feels like I may as well be building a skyscraper. Seriously, I'm bushed just thinking about it.

Anyway, Asian markets traded lower overnight. The Hang Seng was off less than 1%, while the Nikkei was down more than 3%. Earlier this morning, European stocks were lower as well. And here in the US, we are currently trading (not again!) lower.

Here is what has my eye on this glorious Friday morning:

General Electric (GE)
I don't know if GE's going to exactly "bring good things to life" this morning. However, the company put up $0.37 from continuing ops before preferred dividends. At first blush, that appears to be in line with the estimate I'm seeing.

Also, my eye was drawn to the following line in the release: " 'The first quarter dividend is done, and we are committed to our plan for $1.24 per share for the year. We believe the GE dividend provides our investors with a solid return in this uncertain time,' Immelt said."

Needless to say, I view that as a positive as well.

Regarding 2009, which is what I'm most focused on, the release contained the following:

""We expect 2009 to be extremely difficult," Immelt said. "However, we have taken strong actions to prepare the Company, including strengthening cash flow and liquidity; managing costs; taking restructuring charges; intensifying risk mitigation; accelerating cycle of management reviews; and protecting revenue."

Overall, I didn't see anything that screams to me that I need to buy this stock right now. And while I'm optimistic the share price can rock and roll down the line, I'm not so sure about how things will shake out in the near-term.

As I write this, it appears the stock could have a rough go after the open. Sorry, GE bulls.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
This chip may dip. After the bell last night, AMD released its fourth-quarter numbers.

Cutting right to the chase: Excluding items, AMD reportedly lost $0.69 per share. A bit of a bummer, given that estimates stood at a loss of $0.54.

Moreover, its revenue number looked a little light; a quick gander at its income statement reveals that its gross margins got hit big time when compared to the December period last year (23% versus 44%).

Point-blank, this was a lousy quarter - and no, I'm not thinking about dipping in here, even at the $2-ish level. The lack of visibility and the not knowing what to expect is obviously what puts me off. And, as I believe I've said in the past, if given a choice between Intel (INTC) and AMD, I'd have to go with the former. I'm no masochist, and my patience is running thin.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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