Ford Open to Early Exit for Mulally, Target’s Canada Plan Grows, and 3 More Hot Stocks

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Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): Speculation is suggesting that Ford’s board might allow an earlier exit for CEO Alan Mulally than originally anticipated. Mulally, who is 68, was supposed to leave his post by he end of next year — though the board of directors is now open to letting him step down earlier as he explores other roles, Reuters says. Separately, Mulally believes that auto sales in the U.S. will hit 17 million in the next few years as more pent-up demand is relieved.

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Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT): Though the reception of its stores has been somewhat frosty up north, Target’s Canadian expansion plans appear to be on track. The retailer is planning 23 new stores that will open in Canada over the next two months, including the retailer’s first stores in Quebec and Novia Scotia. Target is still on pace to have its 124 locations opened by the end of this year.

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Smithfield Foods Inc. (NYSE:SFD): Earnings of $0.27 missed by $0.16, though revenue of $3.39 billion beat by $0.2 billion. The company pointed out that the global operating environment for fresh pork was difficult during the first quarter, though it sees the period as the low point of the year. A drop in the profit margin for its Fresh Pork and Packaged Meats segments weighed on the results.

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Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE:BTU): An SEC filing reveals that Peabody reaffirms its prior guidance on 2013 sales volumes, earnings, EBITDA, operating costs and capital spending, and expects 2013 sales of 230 million-250 million tons, including 33 million-36 million tons from Australia and 180 million-190 million tons from the U.S.

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American Tower Corporation (NYSE:AMT): American Tower shares are jumping as the company announces that it struck a deal to acquire Global Tower Partners through its parent company for $4.8 billion (consisting of cash and the obtaining of debt). The company believes that the deal will add $345 million in 2014 revenue and $270 million in gross margin to its portfolio, while being immediately accretive to the firm’s results.

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Don’t Miss: Ford Sales Rally in the Dog Days of Summer.

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