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Stocks to Watch: Cisco, Google, IBM, Mastercard, Navteq

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

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Stocks to watch for Thursday, November 1, 2007:

  • Advanced Auto Parts' (AAP) reported 3Q earnings were up to $59 million, or 57 cents a share, from $58.9 million, or 56 cents a share, a year earlier. The company said revenue increased 5.3% to $1.16 billion from $1.1 billion a year ago. Same-store sales increased 1.1% for the quarter. Analysts had expected earnings of 58 cents a share on revenue of $1.14 billion.
  • Bear Stearns' (BSC) CEO James Cayne is in the hot seat as investors in two of the company's collapsed hedge funds are calling for a return on their losses. Investors are claiming Cayne missed key events during tumultuous times as he left the office for things such as golf outings and bridge tournaments. In July, according to the Wall Street Journal, Cayne spent 10 of 21 workdays out of office.
  • Cisco (CSCO) said it will nearly double its investments in China to $16 bln from the current $8.5 bln over the next five years and plans to create at least two joint ventures there, including a partnership with Alibaba Group.
  • Google (GOOG) has seen its shares rise past $700 to close at $707 as yesterday's session ended, putting the stamp on a 20% gain in the month of August. The company's $220 billion market capitalization as of Wednesday ranks fifth among U.S. companies.
  • Helix Energy Solutions' (HLX) net income rose 45% in the 3Q, on the wings of strong results in its contracting services business. HLX reported earnings rose to $83.8 million, or 88 cents a share, from $57.8 million, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had predicted third-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share. Revenue increased 23% to $460.6 million from $374.4 million a year ago.
  • IBM's (IBM) newest initiative to ramp its sales will include $1.5 bln of spending on marketing and product development. One of the new products it hopes to bring to market will be software that can automatically recognize and track confidential information in a company's computers and block it from going to unauthorized sites. Computer security continues to be a major part of IBM's strategy as it spent $44.5 bln on it last year, up 17% from $38.1 bln.
  • Mastercard (MA) yesterday reported 3Q profits surged 63%. In the day's trading, MA's shares rose 21% to $189.91 by the market's close. The company said revenue climbed 20% to $1.08 billion from $902 million.
  • Navteq (NVT) said its earnings rose 47% in the third quarter, attributed to strong sales. The company reported earnings of $39.9 million, or 40 cents a share, compared to earnings of $27.1 million, or 28 cents a sharea year earlier. Revenue rose 51% to $214.8 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 30 cents a share on revenue of $193.6 million.
  • Prudential Financial (PRU) reported 3Q net income was 25% lower from $1.152 billion a year ago, coming in at $860 million. Prudential said full-year 2007 adjusted operating income will likely be in a range of $7.45 to $7.60 a share, up from a previous forecast of $7.20 to $7.40 a share.
  • Sunoco (SUN) reported 3Q net income dropped to $216 million, or $1.81 a share, from $351 million, or $2.76, a year ago. Revenue for the quarter rose 10% to $11.5 billion from $10.5 billion. Analysts had estimated earnings of $2.14 a share on $9.5 billion in revenue.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT), whose filings in its tax disputes with the state of North Carolina have been available to the public, has filed a legal motion with a state judge requesting any future information be held privately. North Carolina's attorney general has been challenging a Wal-Mart tax-cutting structure involving real-estate investment trusts.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.45%, Nikkei +0.79%, Sensex -0.57%, Taiwan -1.17% and Shanghai -0.68%.
  • A quick glance towards Europe finds the CAC -0.46%, DAX -0.31%, FTSE -0.42%, ATX +0.76%, Swiss Mkt. -0.08% and Stockholm -0.43%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher +0.82 to 95.35 and gold is also up +5.0 to 800.3 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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