It may be the weekend, and the DJIA hit a new high this last week, but there is no such thing as any rest for the wicked. 24/7 Wall St. has identified 13 must-read weekend stock stories for investors to be on the ball for Monday, although the 13 stories may impact more than just one company.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was on last week’s list because it was at a new 52-week low and losing favor by the day. Shares listed lower this past week but ultimately closed up for the week. It is hard to celebrate a rise from $430.47 to $431.72 this last Friday, but that was the highest close of the week for Apple. What is starting to drive interest are these persistent rumors that Apple is aiming to launch a cheaper iPhone for emerging markets so that it can capture more market share and reach a wider audience. Our friends over at Motley Fool pointed out that this was actually the third time this rumor has been around, so they wonder if there are legs to the rumor.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) was touted by Andrew Bary in Barron’s as potentially being a takeover target for Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A). We would caution that it has not paid a dividend yet, and its shares have been “on sale” at a discount of 20% from its high due to poor sales metrics. Barron’s said it has strong profits and steady growth and was a great story in the 20th century that could be an even better story in the 21st century.
Elan Corp. PLC (NYSE: ELN) saw its stock rise by more than 5.5% after the close on Friday to $12.10 after the company provided an update on the Tysabri restructuring transaction and further information regarding the company’s recently announced proposed $1 billion share repurchase program. The deal closing with Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) is expected to occur in the coming weeks, and the share buyback will take place on Monday in a Dutch tender with a price range of $11.25 to $13.00 per share.
Eldorado Gold Corp. (NYSE: EGO) has many projects around the world, but it is battered just like the rest of the major gold miners and producers. It owns 95% of a project in Greece that drew thousands of protesters in the area and that was after the site had been firebombed last month. Again, this is just one of the future projects but it is a hold up nonetheless. At $9.51, the 52-week range is $9.22 to $16.20.
Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE: GNW) closed within 2% of a new 52-week high on Friday. The company is still trying to turn around and get out from under some prior mortgage insurance and other operations. Barron’s touted the stock as finally about to be rewarding investors. A new, well-respected CEO is partly credited, and at about half of book value the price thrown out is that Genworth could be worth as much as $18 or more.
Interactive Brokers Group Inc. (NASDAQ: IBKR) took the top spot in Barron’s for Online Broker of the Year with superb trading technology, improved portfolio analysis, and enhanced educational offerings. Also touted was its mobile app alerting you to market opportunities around the world in real time as well as the ability to trade almost every asset class. We might not consider this a stock story per se, but Interactive Brokers has a market cap of a mere $704 million. That is tiny compared to the big-three like E*TRADE Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) at $3.2 billion, TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NYSE: AMTD) at $11.4 billion, and Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCHW) at $22.5 billion.
iShares MSCI Italy Capped Index (NYSEMKT: EWI) will be on watch on Monday after Fitch downgraded Italy’s sovereign credit rating on Friday. The Italian markets were already closed, and this ETF dropped about 1% before recovering to close flat at $12.61 on Friday, against a 52-week range of $9.21 to $14.63.
Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: LYV) closed within seven cents of a 52-week high on Friday, at $11.26 against the range of $8.01 to $11.33. Barron’s touted the $2.1 billion concert promotion giant as adding another 5 million people to its venue audience by 2015, and an analyst for the Cove Street Capital firm was quoted saying that stock could rise to $14.50 over the next couple of years. Wall St. has a consensus target of $12.33 for the one-year outlook and a street-high of $14, but we would caution that the number of analysts here is very small.
Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) had reports from all over the Web on Friday night that Sir Howard Stringer was planning to retire as chairman of Sony in June. Stringer stepped down as CEO last year after taking on that role in 2005. Unfortunately for Sony, the loss of importance has continued. Investors may take this as good news as a result, but the move may not be viewed the same as Stringer leaving the CEO post. With its ADRs at $15.59, the 52-week range is $9.57 to $22.05.
ViroPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: VPHM) was touted on Friday evening by Jim Cramer on Mad Money as an orphan drug maker that is just starting to attract attention and its blood disorder drug called Cinryze could fetch $700 million in annual sales. This was up more than 4% at $26.60 Friday evening, against a 52-week range of $19.02 to $31.36. Its market cap as of the close was $1.67 billion.
VIVUS Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) rose by 2.4% to $11.70 on Friday. The company sent out an email late on Friday confirming that affiliates of First Manhattan Co. have an 8.8% stake of the outstanding shares and that the group has submitted a notice of nomination of six director candidates. As a reminder, this emerging drug player as been held down and it is one of the stocks that Wall St. analysts believe has more than 50% upside to the current share price. We still cannot help but to ask if all of this activist shareholder trend is forming an activist investor bubble.
Westport Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ: WPRT) had its CEO come on Jim Cramer’s Mad Money for an interview on CNBC. Even after shares are up 12% since his last appearance, Cramer said that Westport remains the way to play the move to CNG engines. At $29.16, its 52-week range is $21.93 to $50.19 and its market cap is $1.56 billion.
Barron’s listed four chip stocks that could rebound that haven’t risen with the market in “Tech Trader” this weekend. These were Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM), Skyworks Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS), Cirrus Logic Inc. (NASDAQ: CRUS) and LSI Corp. (NASDAQ: LSI).
No rest for the wicked. Stay tuned!
Jon C. Ogg