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Spotlight Stocks: Citigroup, Hewlett-Packard, Whole Foods, Yahoo

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

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, February 20, 2008:

  • Citigroup (C), in a push to improve its businesses with higher profit potential, will be selling or closing some retail branches in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company is looking to sell its Japan branch of CitiFinancial, a consumer-finance unit, as well as selling part of its Mexican consumer-finance operations. In the UK, the bank is looking to sell about 50 of its consumer-finance branches.
  • Crocs Inc. (CROX) reported 4Q net income of $38.3 million, or 45 cents a share, up from $20.8 million, or 26 cents a share a year earlier. These results have been adjusted to reflect the June 2-for-1 stock split, the company said. Crocs' revenue nearly doubled to $224.8 million from $112.9 million a year ago, reported Dow Jones.
  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) reported 1Q profits of $2.1 billion, or 80 cents a share, a 38% jump from $1.5 billion, or 55 cents a share a year ago. Revenue was up to $28.5 billion from $25.1 billion. The results beat analyst expectations.
  • ING Groep (ING) reported 4Q net profit of 2.48 billion euros, or 1.18 euros a share, up 18% from a year ago and beating analyst expectations. The company took an impairment charge of 194 million euros ($286 million) on risky investments, which was less than had been expected. Shares rose on the report.
  • Whole Foods Market (WFMI) reported 1Q profit of $39.1 million, or 28 cents a share, declining from $53.8 million, or 38 cents a share a year ago. The figures include impact from the company's acquisition of Wild Oats. Revenue rose to $2.48 billion from $1.87 billion last year.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) said it will offer employees enhanced severance benefits if they are laid off following a control shift at the company, reported the Wall Street Journal. Qualifying employees would receive four to 24 months' salary and health benefits, depending on their job level. Other provisions include accelerated vesting of stock options and restricted stock and reimbursement for outplacement services of up to $15,000, according to the WSJ.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -2.21%, Nikkei -3.25%, Sensex -2.53%, Taiwan -1.62% and Shanghai -2.09%.
  • Glancing towards Europe, we find the CAC -1.47%, DAX -1.68%, FTSE -1.58%, ATX -0.03%, Swiss Mkt. -1.33% and Stockholm -1.19%.
  • Crude oil is trading down -0.96 to 99.05 and gold is also lower -0.9 to 925.7 this morning.

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