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Spotlight Stocks: Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Goldman, Motorola

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

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, January 23, 2008:

  • Apple (AAPL) reported 1Q profit of $1.58 bln, or $1.76 a share, up from $1 bln, or $1.14 a share a year ago. Revenue at the company climbed to $9.6 bln from $7.12 bln. iPod sales reached 22.1 mln and Mac computer sales were at 2.3 mln. However, shares were down in after hours trading.
  • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A), Warren Buffet's investment vehicle, has taken a 3% stake in Swiss Reinsurance, or 11.25 mln shares worth $812 mln. BRK will also assume 20% of Swiss Re's property and casualty business for the next five years. Swiss Reinsurance plans to increase a current share buyback program by around 1.75 billion francs to a total of 7.75 billion francs.
  • Goldman Sachs (GS) and CDH Investments have preliminarily agreed to invest about $100 mln in Himin Solar Energy Group of China, the country's largest solar water-heater manufacturer. China's government has set a goal of doubling the share of renewable energy in its energy mix to 15% by 2020, reported the Wall Street Journal.
  • Motorola (MOT) forecast a 1Q loss of 5-7 cents per share from continuing operations, while analysts had been expecting earnings of 9 cents a share. Shares of MOT were down 2.4% to $12.02 after the forecast.
  • Ciena Corp. (CIEN) agreed to pay $200 mln plus 3.4 mln of its shares shares, or about $90 mln, to acquire World Wide Packets. CIEN will also assume $15 mln in WWP's debt.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) and Dell (DELL) will be releasing a Product Red computer and laptop, with $80 and $50 being donated to the Global Fund for AIDS-fighting drugs for each one sold. (Red) was founded by U2's Bono and Bobby Shriver.
  • Research in Motion (RIMM) released new features for its BlackBerry devices which will make e-mail storage and management easier for customers. Messages will be displayed in their original format on the device and a user will also be able to edit documents right on their BlackBerry.
  • Starbucks (SBUX) is testing out a smaller cup of coffee called its 'short' size, which would sell for about $1, reported the Wall Street Journal. The company is also testing out an offering of free refills for its traditional brewed coffee in the Seattle area.
  • Texas Instruments (TXN) reported 4Q net income of $756 million, or 54 cents per share, compared with $668 million, or 45 cents a share a year ago. Revenue grew to $3.56 bln from $3.46 bln.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +10.72%, Nikkei +2.04%, Sensex +5.17%, Taiwan -2.29% and Shanghai +3.14%.
  • A quick glance towards Europe finds the CAC -2.28%, DAX -2.92%, FTSE -1.67%, ATX -0.53%, Swiss Mkt. -1.57% and Stockholm -1.77%.
  • Commodities are trading lower with crude oil down -1.56 to 87.65 and gold down -3.2 to 887.1 this morning.

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