- SINA (SINA) to overweight from neutral at Piper Jaffray.
- Texas Instruments (TXN), ON Semiconductor (ONNN), Xilinx (XLNX) and Valassis (VCI) to overweight from neutral at JPMorgan.
- Salesforce.com (CRM) to buy from hold at Canaccord.
- Peet's Coffee (PEET) to buy from neutral at Janney Capital.
- Invesco Mortgage (IVR) to overweight from equal weight at Barclays.
- BTU International (BTUI) to buy from hold at Wunderlich.
- Coca-Cola Femsa (KOF) to overweight from neutral at HSBC.
- Chipotle (CMG) to market perform from underperform at Morgan Keegan.
The New York Times (NYT) competes with publications like News Corp.'s (NWS) Wall Street Journal as well as Yahoo! (YHOO), Google (GOOG) and Aol. (AOL) for online advertising dollars. NYT is expected to launch a new paywall for its online site in the near future. According to the report, the NYT is planning to charge around $20 for a digital bundle that includes Times online and Apple iPad app access, and less than $10 for web-only access.
We estimate that NYT's most valuable business remains within its print circulation and advertising business, through which it derives an estimated 60% of its stock value. The company derives an incremental 20% of its stock value from its online advertising business.
- Polo Ralph Lauren (RL) to neutral from underperform at BofA/Merrill.
- Sigma-Aldrich (SIAL) to outperform from market perform at Leerink.
- Petrobras (PBR) to overweight from equal weight at Barclays.
- Silvercorp Metals (SVM) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- PROS (PRO) to buy from hold at Jefferies.
- Power Integrations (POWI) and Monolithic Power (MPWR) to buy from neutral at Roth Capital.
- Diodes (DIOD) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
- Whole Foods (WFMI) to hold from sell at Hapoalim.
- Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI) to overweight from neutral at JPMorgan.
- Sappi (SPP) to outperform from neutral at Macquarie.
- Alpha Natural (ANR) to buy from hold at BB&T.
- Watts Water (WTS) to buy from hold at Brean Murray.
When The Huffington Post raised money just over a year ago, the value of the site was rumored to be $125 million. It has 25 million unique users a month, according to Comscore figures. AOL has just over 90 million. The combined user bases could push the total ahead of MSN, the Microsoft (MSFT) portal, and perhaps Yahoo! (YHOO).
AOL, the parent company of BloggingStocks, said in a release that Arianna Huffington would lead the newly formed Huffington Post Media Group, which will integrate all the content from The Huffington Post and AOL sites, from politics and finance to Moviefone and Mapquest.
According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Amazon.com (AMZN) is launching a bulk email sending service aimed at businesses and developers. The goal is to expand its Web server services.
Amazon already has huge servers. The new email service is a way to gain added revenue. The service is called Amazon Simple Email Service (SES). The program offers a free usage tier, after which customers pay 10 cents per thousand email messages sent.
Yahoo is still trying to play catch up. Helped by cost cuts, Yahoo! (YHOO) posted late Tuesday fourth quarter income of $312 million, or 24 cents a share, more than double last year's income of $153 million, or 11 cents a share, according to the Wall Street Journal. Revenue fell 12% to $1.53 billion from $1.73 billion.
Net revenue, which excludes commissions paid to partners, fell 4% in the quarter to $1.22 billion from $1.26 billion in the year ago period. Excluding the Microsoft (MSFT) impact and certain divestitures, revenue grew by 2% in the quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 3.33 points or less than 0.1% yesterday.
Data on December new-home sales will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The latest statement from the Fed is due at 2:15 p.m. ET.
- BP (BP) to buy from hold at RBS.
- Symantec (SYMC) to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank.
- GenOn Energy (GEN) and Nationwide Health Properties (NHP) to buy from hold at Citigroup.
- Logitech (LOGI) and Patriot Coal (PCX) to neutral from sell, as well as ARM Holdings (ARMH) to buy from neutral, at Goldman.
- Silvercorp Metals (SVM) to outperform from market perform at BMO Capital.
- Cinemark (CNK) to equal weight from underweight at Morgan Stanley.
- Smith & Nephew (SNN) to market perform from underperform at Bernstein.
- Molex (MOLX) to overweight from underweight at JPMorgan.
The world of Internet traffic moves at lightning speed. So, too, do the moods and preferences of users. Back in 2007, News Corp's (NWS) MySpace was No. 1. Google.com (GOOG) took the No. 1 spot in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, Facebook has taken the No. 1 spot, with 8.9% of U.S. visits, edging Google.com, which had 7.2% of visits, Reuters reported, citing online measurement service Experian Hitwise.
Facebook was started by Mark Zuckerberg and a few classmates in 2004. Facebook users can create profiles with photos, lists of personal interests, contact details and other information. Users can communicate with friends and other users through private or public messages and a chat feature. They can also join interest groups and "like pages."
- RightNow (RNOW) to overweight from neutral at Piper Jaffray.
- Vivo Participacoes (VIV) to overweight from equal weight at Barclays.
- Genesis Energy (GEL) to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital.
The most recent layoffs are not that big or a surprise, as analysts have been speculating for the past few weeks that the company would reduce it payroll before the end of the year in hopes of breaking its recent financial woes.
Yahoo! is headquartered in California, a state that is already dealing with very high unemployment. These layoffs are going to add to California's current 12.4% unemployment rate, which is sharply higher than the national average of 9.8%.
Google (GOOG) has offered to acquire social coupon company Groupon for $5.3 billion and an additional $700 million earnout, according to Kara Swisher at All Things Digital, who quotes unnamed sources close to the deal. Swisher says the deal may be announced as early as Tuesday.
This deal would help Google improve its presence in the local advertising market and give Google access to a huge amount of data regarding consumer spending habits around the world.
- Intel (INTC) was upgraded to overweight from equal weight and Autodesk (ADSK) to equal weight from underweight at Morgan Stanley.
- Citigroup upgraded Blackrock (BLK) to buy from hold.
- 99c Only Stores (NDN) was upgraded to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank.
- PetSmart (PETM) was upgraded to overweight from equal weight at Barclays.
- Piper Jaffray upgraded Ruth's Hospitality (RUTH) and Morton's Restaurant (MRT) to overweight from neutral.
- BioMed Realty (BMR) was upgraded to market perform from underperform at FBR Capital.
- Wells Fargo upgraded Piedmont (PDM) to market perform from underperform.
Yahoo (YHOO) released third-quarter numbers after the bell on Tuesday, and they didn't do anything for the stock. Shares closed the regular session down 2.7% to $15.49. During the extended-hours period, I saw a quote go by of $15.53. That's right, the equity gained a measly four cents. Traders most certainly weren't applauding that performance.
Very recently, I wrote a bearish piece on the web portal. Since then, the stock has risen. Also, the company has been surrounded by some interesting speculation as of late regarding a potential takeover, with one theoretical scenario involving the owner of BloggingStocks, Aol (AOL).
Daily market news shows stocks pulled back on Thursday, as 50 state attorneys general are looking into allegations that thousands of home foreclosures were improperly handled. Financials were hard hit with both big banks and regionals falling on the news.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) fell 2.6%, Bank of America Corp. (BAC) was off 5.2%, and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) fell 4.2%. Regional banks like BB&T Corp. (BBT) and SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI) fell 2.14% and 4.23%, respectively.