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Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC): Bloomberg reports that The Federal Housing Finance Agency, FHFA, intends to assist banks in avoiding being forced to repurchase mortgages in the midst of concerns regarding tightening lending standards. Citing spokeswoman Stephanie Johnson Bloomberg adds that the FHFA will detail flaws that may trigger a request for putback. Julius Baer confirms that it is discussing the purchasing of Merrill Lynch’s non-U.S. wealth management ops with Bank of America. According to the Swiss firm, “Given the early stage of these discussions, the outcome is entirely open.” If any deal goes through, it could be worth as much as $2B and would be an addition to the trend of big banks shedding assets as a manner in which to build capital.
Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) is up 4.9% following the early release of its FQ4 report and FQ1 guidance as well as including a $10B stock buyback. Canaccord places a Hold rating because the firm believes the quarter will be ”a favorable read-through” for software companies. Goldman notes that both software and hardware sales exceeded expectations, though hardware was down 16% year over year, and gives Oracle a Buy rating. Arik Hesseldahl has also noted Larry Ellison’s earnings call exclamation that Oracle now trails only Salesforce.com as the world’s best cloud software provider.
A Closer Look: Oracle Earnings Cheat Sheet>>
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): Following the announcement that the ARM-based version of Microsoft Surface will use a Tegra app processor, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) rallies. Google’s anticipated Nexus tablet, which really has competition now, is also expected to use a Tegra 3 processor. The decision to use Nvidia is a small disappointment for Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), who recently announced at CES a recent Windows 8 partnership with Microsoft.
Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI): Resulting from a few outsized block trades, Sirius XM Radio shares are boosted. Based on implications of where fair value is seen by Libery Media, Crunching Numbers states that shares could backtrack to $2.15.
Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) has increased its dividend 22.2% to $0.275 per share, making this its 37th consecutive year of hiking dividends. The company also intends to invest $6.7B in both cash and stock, giving it a 45% equity ownership stake in Alliance Boots. The company reports a FQ3 EPS of $0.62, missed by $0.01, and a revenue of $17.8B in-line, down 3.4% year over year.
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