Ultimate Market Recap: Coinstar Caffeinates, Zynga Hits All-Time Low

Early Buzzers: Monsanto Rebounds, Hewlett-Packard Remains Volatile

Shares of Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) are up nearly 2 percent in pre-market trading after reporting financial results for the third quarter. Net income came in at $143 million (44 cents per share), compared to a net loss of $179 million a year earlier. Analysts expected the company to earn around 40 cents per share. Arne M. Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said, “We were pleased with our third quarter performance. Pricing power continued to improve in the quarter as hotel occupancy levels approached prior peaks. Group revenue at comparable Marriott Hotels and Resorts in North America rose eight percent in the third quarter with room rates up three percent.”

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares closed 1.5 percent higher on Wednesday and continue to attract attention in early trading today. The tech giant has reportedly signed an agreement with Australian biometrics security firm Microlatch to use its fingerprint recognition technology in near-field communications applications. Microlatch’s lead investor, David Murray, told The Australian that his firm and Apple had signed a deal, though he did not offer any financial or technical details.

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Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) are beginning to recover after dropping 13 percent on Wednesday. Meg Whitman, chief executive officer, expects the coming fiscal year to be another difficult one for the technology company, saying HP will experience a “broad-based profit decline.” The company projected revenue at its enterprise services to drop about 11 percent to 13 percent, and estimates earnings of $3.40 to $3.60 per share. Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) shares also closed lower on the comments.

Shares of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) are rebounding in early trading after closing more than 2 percent lower on Wednesday. The company reported a loss of $229 million (44 cents per share) for its fourth quarter, compared to a loss of $112 million (21 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue also fell 6.1 percent to $2.11 billion.

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Wall Street Brief: Google Increases Cuts at Motorola, HP’s Future Looks Grim

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) said in an amended SEC filing that it expects to increase the number of planned cuts its Motorola Mobility unit in the U.S. The company will also take a third-quarter charge of $340 million.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) insiders have created a complex picture of the company in the post-Jobs era. It supposedly has a “singular focus” on showing cynics they are wrong and it is said to be “happier and even somewhat more transparent” than in the past. On a negative note, office politics have risen and there’s fewer “implicit pressure” on engineers. Other nuggets include that Steve Jobs supposedly came to “loathe” Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and pondered whether to end its iOS search deal, but decided against it on worries of upsetting consumers.

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A grim forecast from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) from Wednesday’s analyst day prompted shares to plummet 13 percent. CEO Meg Whitman said FY13 is a “fix and rebuild” year that will include a broad-based profit fall (based on enterprise services), and presented cautious comments about the demand from Europe and China. Analysts forecast H-P’s FY13 APS to increase a bit. Streamlining H-P’s product line is a priority and the company will halve printer SKUs next year.

Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Paperwhite e-reader is sold out until November and has an expected shipping time of 4-6 weeks for its Wi-Fi and 3G models. Earlier in the week, reviewers were very positive on the Paperwhite’s front-lit display, with most saying it is superior as compared to the Nook Glowlight (NYSE:BKS).

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) has filed a trademark with the United States Patent Trademark Office to utilize its name for ground and whole-bean coffee products; this could suggest either a possible move to sell bagged coffee in grocery stores or to prevent a competitor from using the name, reported the Wall Street Journal. The company’s McCafe menu has been very successful and now adds more than 6 percent of total sales.

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Morning Buzzers: Vringo Rockets 23%, HP’s Downward Spiral Continues

Shares of Vringo (AMEX:VRNG) jumped more than 23 percent Thursday morning. The company’s legal battle with internet search giant Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will move forward. On Wednesday, the judge overseeing the case denied Google’s request for a summary judgment, and ordered the two firms to discuss a settlement. If an agreement is not reached, a trial is set to begin later in October.

Coinstar (NASDAQ:CSTR) shares have been attracting attention since the start of the today’s session. The company is trying to break into the $28.5 billion out-of-home coffee market. Coinstar is testing 12 coffee drinks to sell at public dispensers and will narrow it down to seven. The company grinds beans from Seattle’s Best brand, owned by Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX).

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares are trading down now after jumping in early trading. The social media giant announced that there are now more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month. In a press release, Mark Zuckerberg says, “Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.”

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) shares continue to decline after Meg Whitman, chief executive officer, said she expects the coming fiscal year to be another difficult one for the technology company, saying HP will experience a “broad-based profit decline.” The company projected revenue at its enterprise services to drop about 11 percent to 13 percent, and estimates earnings of $3.40 to $3.60 per share. On Thursday, Whitman tells CNBC that rebuilding the company is a four or five year plan.

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Citigroup Agrees to Settle SEC Allegations and 4 Hot Stocks Trading Today

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad mini tablet shipments face low yield rates for chassis makers, according to DigiTimes. Sources in Apple’s supply chain in Taiwan claims that Foxconn Electronics, Catcher Technology, and Ri-Teng Computer Accessory are to blame for the iPad mini chassis.

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) stated in a post, credited to CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month…I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.”

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AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T) is to announce its intentions to sell Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) first device that runs Windows Phone 8 software for the U.S. market, according to Bloomberg reports, citing sources.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) stated that it does not intend to move its headquarters in Finland as its attempts to dispose off non-core assets, including real estate, continues. A spokesperson for the company stated, “As we said during Q2 results, we continue to look at opportunities to sell non-core assets, including real estate properties. It is a common measure by many companies whose core business is not real estate to sell and lease back key properties. To be very clear, we have no plans to move our headquarters.”

Citigroup (NYSE:C):A settlement has been agreed upon regarding SEC allegations that broker-dealer exBX LLC shared confidential client-trading information with a Citigroup unit, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Coinstar Eyes Coffee Market and 4 Hot Stocks Making Waves Now

Coinstar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR) has turned to the coffee market, as it has begun to install dispensers pumping inexpensive, fresh-brewed mochas and lattes at the corner store, with the use of Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)’s Seattle’s Best brand, according to Bloomberg. The company hopes to make its break into the $28.5 billion out-of- home coffee market by delivering convenience and a low price. It is also interested in expanding the premium market by serving coffee where it is not currently offered, which includes drug stores and big-box retailers.

McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) revealed the extension of their supply agreement to March 31, 2016. Under the agreement, Rite Aid is to purchase all of  McKesson’s requirements for brand name prescription drugs, and a few generic prescription drugs, for company purchases for warehouse delivery.

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Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS):The number of vacancies fell at malls and held steady at strip shopping centers during Q3 while landlords worked to attract new retailers to fill space while companies like Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), Gap, and Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) either closed their stores or downsized. Malls in the highest 77 U.S. markets had an average vacancy rate of about 8.7% for the quarter, which has fallen from Q2’s 8.9 percent, according to Reis Inc. (NASDAQ:REIS) data, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) total sales reached $2.358 billion for the five weeks that ended on Sept. 29, this is a 2.7 percent rise versus total sales of $2.297 billion for the five weeks that ended on Oct. 1, 2011. On a same-store basis, Macy’s, Inc. sales saw a 2.5 percent rise in September versus September of 2011. Additionally, same-store sales for August and September together saw a 3.6 percent rise during 2012 versus the same period in 2011. Sales in August and September together, including the back-to-school season, were consistent with the positive year-to-date trend. “We continue to feel good about the remainder of our fall season as we begin to ramp up receipts of fresh inventory for the cooler weather ahead,” the company said.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is embroiled in litigation with monoline bond insurer MBIA (NYSE:MBI) regarding shaky mortgages that were underwritten by Countrywide Financial, which was purchased by Bank of America in 2008. New York State Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten will need to determine if Bank of America is liable for the actions of Countrywide prior to acquiring the company. She will hear oral arguments on primary liability (Countrywide’s) on Nov. 14 and 15 along with arguments on successor liability (Bank of America’s) on Dec. 5 and 6, according to a report from BTIG analyst Mark Palmer.

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Target Reports Strong Food Sales and 4 Hot Stocks Attracting Investor Attention

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) recently began a turnaround plan that is to take four to five years, company CEO Meg Whitman stated to CNBC in an interview in which she defended that the company is not too large.

Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ:INFA) CEO Sohaib Abbasi stated, “While overall customer demand for our products increased from Q2 to Q3 of 2012, most of our revenue shortfall in Q3 was in Europe, where we fell well short of our own expectations. Despite improving operational results in the U.S. and Asia Pacific relative to our Q2 of 2012 results, the disappointing European results reflect continued operational challenges that we are taking aggressive steps to address. Under our new worldwide sales leader, we remain focused on implementing the changes necessary to pursue our market opportunity.” Additionally, CFO Earl Fry said: “As we have previously stated, our tax rate is very sensitive to the geographic mix of business.”

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NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUVA) has issued a sales warning for Q3 causing Globus Medical to fall 6 percent.

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE:KSS) reported that for the five-week month ending on September 29, total sales fell 1.4 percent and comparable store sales saw a 2.7 percent drop from the five-week month that ended on October 1, 2011. Year to date, total sales saw an 0.85 percent rise and comparable store fell 0.9 percent.

Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) stated, “September comparable-store sales were strongest in Food, which experienced a high single-digit increase, and in Health & Beauty, which experienced a mid single-digit increase. September comparable-store sales increased slightly in Home and decreased slightly in Hardlines. September comparable-store sales in Apparel decreased in the mid single-digit range as we cycled the launch of Missoni for Target in September 2011. In September, every region saw an increase in comparable-store sales. Performance was strongest in portions of the West and the South. At month-end, our inventory was in very good condition.”

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Radar Stocks: Zynga Plunges 18%, Pulls Down Facebook

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) shares plunged more than 18 percent in late afternoon trading to reach a new all-time low. The social gaming company cut its guidance for the full year. Zynga now expects revenue to come in between $1.085 billion to $1.1 billion, which is below the prior $1.15 billion to $1.23 billion estimate. “The third quarter of 2012 continued to be challenging and, while many of our games performed to plan, as a whole we did not execute to our satisfaction,” said Mark Pincus, Zynga CEO and Founder. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares also declined on the news.

Shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) edged slightly higher in late afternoon hours. The company promoted Gary Moore, its chief operating officer, to president. Furthermore, Rob Lloyd, head of worldwide operations, was promoted to president of Cisco’s development and sales efforts.

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Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) shares managed to close the day in the green, but trades slightly lower in late trading. Meg Whitman, chief executive officer, recently said she expects the coming fiscal year to be another difficult one for the technology company, saying HP will experience a “broad-based profit decline.” The company projected revenue at its enterprise services to drop about 11 percent to 13 percent, and estimates earnings of $3.40 to $3.60 per share. On Thursday, Whitman told CNBC that rebuilding the company is a four or five year plan.

Shares of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) jumped 6.5 percent on Thursday, despite receiving another competitor in the streaming video business. Toys R Us launched a new digital service Thursday for users to stream and download movies and television shows geared toward children. The site, toysrusmovies.com, will price 24-hour movie rentals at $2.99 and TV shows at $1.99 each, rates that are comparable to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes store. Toys R Us Movies will offer access to more than 4,000 titles and provide parental controls.

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