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Ticker Shock: Yahoo Taps New CEO - But Will Citi Boot Pandit?


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


For those of you tuning in to the on-going saga of the cell-phone chatterbox on my bus, he was at it again last night. This time, a bunch of us, without coordination or prompting, all yelled, "Shut up!" at the same time. I felt like Dirty Harry. (Cut me some slack -- I'm approaching middle age, have a wife and kids, go to work and come home each day -- this kind of drama is all I've got.)

Asian stocks saw a small bounce today. The Hang Seng and the Nikkei were both up, but less than 1%. Meanwhile, European stocks were in the red earlier this morning. Here in the US we're currently trading, ugh, lower.

Here's what has my attention this morning:

Bunge Limited (BG):
Last night after the bell, the fertilizer company painted an uninspiring picture for 2008 and 2009.

It indicated it's looking for $7.70 a share in '08. That's well below the $10.22 a share the Street was expecting.

The double whammy came in the form of guidance for '09. The company indicated in the release: "Our preliminary expectation for 2009 earnings is in the range of $6.90 to $7.60 per share."

The problem there is that the estimate I'm seeing is for $8.

Very simply, the stock is getting hit here just after the open and I think it'll close down for the day. What's particularly disappointing is that as recently as late October 2008, it was looking for '08 earnings of $11.60 to $11.90 a share.

Yahoo (YHOO):
It appears the search to replace Jerry Yang at the helm may be over.

So does Carol Bartz have what it takes?

I know actions speak louder than words, but so far I like what's been reported on her.
Here's what caught my eye:

Per the Associated Press:

"After describing herself as a straight shooter, Bartz told analysts in a conference call that she intended to ensure Yahoo gets "some friggin' breathing room" so the company can "kick some butt." She said it would be presumptuous to share her vision for Yahoo on her first day on the job."

Who knows if she'll succeed. I've seen many capable people at publicly traded companies come and go over the years, but my hope is that she'll be the following (and so far, I like what I hear):

1. A person that the Street can talk to and rely on, that understands what analysts are looking for;

2. Someone that's able to inspire, and bring talent to, the company; and

3. A person who will perform to the standard of Carl Icahn.

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No position in stocks mentioned.

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