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Spotlight Stocks: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Rio Tinto


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


Stocks to watch for Friday, February 1, 2008:

  • Microsoft (MSFT) has placed a bid to buy Yahoo (YHOO) for $44.6 bln in cash and stock. The $31 a share offer represented a 62% premium on the company's closing price yesterday. Yahoo shares rose 56 percent to $29.95 in premarket trading on Friday following the announcement.
  • Google (GOOG) reported fiscal 4Q net income of $1.21 bln, or $3.79 a share, up from $1.03 bln, or $3.29 a share a year ago. Revenue at the company lifted 51% to $4.83 bln. The figures were below Street expectations and shares dropped 6.8% in after-hours trading.
  • Rio Tinto (RTP) saw a $14 bln stake bought up by Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco), which teamed with Alcoa (AA). Although the companies said they had no intentions of making a bid, this put pressure on BHP Billiton's (BHP) takeover attempts. BHP will reach its deadline to make a firm offer next Wednesday.
  • Affiliated Computer Services' (ACS) reported fiscal 2Q earnings rose to $81.6 million, or 81 cents a share, from $72.1 million, or 72 cents a share a year ago. The company said it generated about $205 million of new business signings. Revenue increased to $1.51 billion from $1.43 billion a year earlier.
  • Capital One Financial (COF) said its board approved an increase in the quarterly dividend to 37.5 cents from 2.7 cents a share, reported MarketWatch. The company said the dividend is payable Feb. 20 to shareholders of record on Feb. 11. In addition, the company's board authorized the repurchase of up to $2 billion in stock. The shares will be accounted for as treasury shares and may be used for general corporate purposes.
  • Merrill Lynch (MER) has bought back collateralized debt obligations from Springfield, Mass., which it had sold off in the midst of the credit crisis. The CDO's were repurchased at the selling price of $13.9 mln. Reportedly, the securities are currently worth only $1.2 mln.
  • Motorola (MOT) is reportedly looking to separate its mobile phone unit, which swung to a loss last quarter. The news sent share higher 12.7%. According to Reuters, Motorola, which has a market capitalization of about $26 billion, dropped to third place from second in global mobile phone rankings last year amid criticism of its handsets.

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +2.85%, Nikkei -0.70%, Sensex +3.36%, Taiwan +2.03% and Shanghai -1.43%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +2.40%, DAX +1.90%, FTSE +1.88%, ATX +1.33%, Swiss Mkt. +1.37% and Stockholm +2.45%.
  • Over in commodity land, crude oil is edging down -0.07 to 91.68 while gold is jumping up +10.1 to 932.8 this morning.


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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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