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Consider Waiting for Pullback in Microsoft

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Remember, Apple turned in a nice quarter and its stock hasn't taken off.

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The weekend is upon us, and once again yours truly cannot wait.

Asian stocks got thumped overnight. The Hang Seng and the Nikkei were off 1.15% and 2.08%, respectively. However, European stocks were in positive territory early this morning. And here in the US, we're currently trading higher.

Here's what I'm focused on this fine but cold Friday morning:

Microsoft (MSFT):
Good ol' Mister Softee delivers.

Give its second-quarter release a look. It beat on the bottom line (even excluding some deferred revenue) and put up a solid overall sales number that's bound to have people talking this morning.

Some additional thoughts:

1. The beat was certainly nice to see, and I think the company deserves props. As of this writing, it appears as if the shares will open higher. We'll see, but I think they deserve to.

2. Don't get me wrong, I love Microsoft and think the stock could have plenty of upside potential in the next couple of years and beyond. But I'd rather wait for a pullback because I think we'll get one. Remember that Apple turned in a pretty nice quarter and its stock hasn't exactly taken off. To be honest, I'm a bit cautious on tech right now.

3. At $25 to $27, I'd be a tad more interested.

Procter & Gamble (PG):
Lots of eyes were on Apple (AAPL) and of course the market sell-off. But Procter needs some serious cuddling up to as well.

Give its second-quarter release a quick look. I think the big news was its outlook. It's looking to toss $4.02 to $4.12 a share on the scoreboard for the year. Frankly, I think management is playing it conservative, and that if anything, the actual bottom line will come in somewhere in the upper end of that range.

Some other thoughts:

1. While a lot of folks are tuned in to tech and other sectors, I'm liking the so-called boring companies. I think there's lots of promise in stocks like P&G, Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Clorox (CLX), and similar organizations. I see solid earnings prospects ahead of each of these names.

2. P&G's dividend and dividend history are hard to overlook.

3. Note the goose it got in Friday's session despite the lousy market. That's a decent sign, and I see potential for the shares to have some additional legs in the near-term as well.

Walmart (WMT):
Justin Sharon points out that Goldman goosed its rating on the stock to Buy.

My take:

1. I don't care what anyone says about this being the time to move out of discount and belly up to higher-end retailers, because Walmart is the place to be. I expect the shares to get a bump up on the heels of this news and to rise with the overall market at the open. That GDP number is bound to raise a few eyebrows.

2.
The company has beaten estimates for the last two quarters and I think it will shuffle past expectations again in the fourth quarter.

Take-Two (TTWO):
Justin Sharon points out that the company was bumped up to Buy at Morgan Joseph.

In December I suggested that Icahn's bellying up could end up being a nice positive (see Why Icahn's Stake in Take-Two Is Score for Company), and my opinion hasn't changed. In fact, if anything, I'm even more intrigued by reports that he's gobbling up more shares. Stay tuned folks -- this could get interesting.

Have a great day and an even better weekend!
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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