Ultimate Market Recap: iRobot Adds to Floor-Cleaning Army, Ford Fusion Road Trip

Pre-Market Buzzers: Apple Breaks $700, Facebook Tumbles

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed up 1.23 percent on Monday at $699.78, and continue to climb in pre-market trading, surpassing $700 a share for the first time in company history, placing its market cap at $656 billion. Apple said it sold more than 2 million iPhone 5 units over the first 24 hours of pre-orders, more than double the rate of the iPhone 4S.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares are trading lower this morning after news yesterday that the social media company will not host its F8 conference this year. The event is held to address thousands of developers creating applications with Facebook’s system, but AllThingsD speculates that the “company probably just doesn’t have any massive new products or features that would warrant calling in developers from across the world.”

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Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) shares are down 4.5 percent this morning. Thomas Seifert, the company’s chief financial officer, has resigned “to pursue other opportunities,” according to AMD. His departure was “not based on any disagreement over the company’s accounting principles or practices, or financial statement disclosures.” Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) shares were unchanged on the news.

Shares of Ford Motor (NYSE:F) bounced 0.50 percent this morning after closing Monday down 1.33 percent. The automaker made progress with union issues. Reuters reports, “The Canadian Auto Workers union said on Monday it has reached a tentative four-year contract agreement with Ford, averting a strike at the automaker’s Canadian plants before a midnight strike deadline.”

Investor Insight: Internet Stocks Halt Their September Rally

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Wall St. Brief: Apple Hits $700, Lenovo Buys Stoneware, GE Cuts Health Costs

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares hit $700 in after-hours trading on Monday. Earlier in the day, the company said initial iPhone 5 sales results  exceeded expectations as more than 2 million pre-orders came in the first 24 hours; this represented twice the number for the iPhone 4S. Investors will now look to the weekend for another sales figure as the phone hitting retail stores on Friday.

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Lenovo (LNVGY.PK), the No. 2 global PC maker, has agreed to purchase Stoneware Inc. This will give the company technology related to synchronizing data across mobile devices. Lenovo VP Mark Cohen said the company will utilize the acquisition to build a consumers’ “public cloud” and compete with Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iCloud service.

Ford (NYSE:F) execs are on the road this week gathering support for the company’s new 2013 Ford Fusion. The redesigned car will try to take on its rivals Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Honda (NYSE:HMC) in the mid-size market. Ford is trying to erase its 15-year dry spell of having the best U.S.-selling car. Look for Chrysler and Honda (NYSE:HMC) to soon introduce challengers.

Dole Foods (NYSE:DOLE) is selling its worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses to Itochu for $1.69 billion. From the deal, Itochu gets trademark rights on packaged food products worldwide along with fresh produce in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. The sale will enable Dole to streamline its operations, getting $50 million per year in annual cash savings and recapitalize its debt structure.

A General Electric (NYSE:GE) plan for 85,000 workers on a high-deductible health care plans lowers its multi-billion dollar health costs and falls in with other major corporations trends, but it comes with a side effect. The company’s heath-care business has dropped sharply as the usage of advanced imaging including MRIs and CT scans have declined. One estimate has spending off 28 percent over the last five years as families cover the costs themselves. It’s a trend that GE will keep an eye on; it represents 20 percent of its health care business.

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Afternoon Buzzers: FedEx Drops on Outlook, Alcoa Downgraded, Apple Falls Below $700

Shares of FedEx (NYSE:FDX) fell more than 2 percent this afternoon. The company announced that net income for the quarter fell to $459 million ($1.45 per share), compared to $464 million ($1.46 per share) a year earlier. FedEx also downgraded its outlook for the full year. It now expects to earn between $6.20 and $6.60 per share, compared to a prior forecast of $6.90 to $7.40. United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) also declined on the news.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are down slightly this afternoon after hovering just above the $700 mark earlier today for the first time in company history. Shares received their latest boost after announcing it sold more than 2 million iPhone 5 units over the first 24 hours of pre-orders, more than double the rate of the iPhone 4S.

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Targacept (NASDAQ:TRGT) shares are up over 9 percent this afternoon. The bounce comes the day after the company said an experimental attention deficit hyperactivity drug failed in mid-stage clinical trial. Targacept also said it would eliminate a number of jobs.

Shares of Alcoa (NYSE:AA) are down over 1 percent today. The aluminum giant was downgraded by Jefferies to Hold from Buy with a price target of $11. Jefferies explained that it was inclined to downgrade shares on a bounce, as it strongly prefers Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) for base metal exposure.

Investor Insight: Internet Stocks Halt Their September Rally

Parexel Enters Share-Repurchase Agreement and 4 Hot Stocks Turning Heads

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (NYSE:SID): International companies trading in New York closed lower Monday, and markets calmed following the sharp gains seen on Friday in response to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s most recent round of monetary easing. The Latin American index fell 0.8 percent, to 336.96, and the emerging markets index dropped 0.9 percent to 286.06. Steelmakers’ shares fell in Brazil after several negative news reports for the sector, which included Swedish steel company SSAB AB’s profit warning  in regards to weak demand along with JPMorgan’s downgrade of a number of U.S. steel-related companies.

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iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) will add to its market presence in automatic floor-cleaning products. The company has stated that it has agreed to pay $74 million for the acquisition of Evolution Robotics Inc., which is responsible for the Mint and Mint Plus floor-cleaning robots. The cash acquisition, should be finished during Q4, and it will generate $4 million to $6 million in revenue for 2012, rising to $22 million to $24 million in 2013, states iRobot. The company is also expected to be dilutive for GAAP earnings in 2012 and 2013, which should turn accretive by Q4 of 2013 following the exclusion of non-cash charges, one-time charges, and integration costs. “There are tremendous opportunities to leverage the strength of the iRobot brand and our sales and distribution network to expand Mint product sales around the world,” stated Colin Angle, iRobot chairman and CEO.

Parexel International (NASDAQ:PRXL) has entered into an accelerated share-repurchase agreement with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC under which it will gain $50 million of the Boston-based company’s common stock. This is part of the buyback program for the $200 million in stock that was announced by Parexel last month. Beneath the agreement’s terms Parexel should gain about 1.3 million shares at the inception of the accelerated agreement. As of June 30, Parexel possessed nearly 60.1 million shares outstanding. Additionally, the company claims to have adopted a written trading plan to buy back as much as $50 million in common shares as part of its Rule 10b5-1 trading program.

HNI Corporation (NYSE:HNI) has reduced its Q3 forecast for revenue and operating profit, because its office furniture segment has had demand that has been “softer than expected.” Now, the company predicts an adjusted quarterly profit “similar to” the previous year’s 55 cents a share; instead of its previous 65 cents to 70 cents a share. The company’s Q3 sales growth is now estimated to be 7 percent to 10 percent, which is less than the previously forecasted 11 to 14 percent. “Economic uncertainty appears to be constraining the near-term growth momentum of office furniture,” stated Stan Askren, chairman, president and CEO of Muscatine. HNI should report tQ3 results on Oct. 17.

Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (NYSE:PNY): Today, at its regular quarterly Board of Directors meeting, Piedmont Natural Gas announced its intentions for a declaration of a quarterly dividend on Common Stock of 30 cents per share, which is to be payable October 15, 2012, to holders of record as of September 24, 2012.

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Toyota Affected by Anti-Japanese Violence and 4 Hot Stocks Trading Today

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): Last year, Fannie Mae (FNMA) presented Bank of America with nearly 20 percent more than it was contractually obligated to transfer the servicing of bad loans to another firm, according to a report by the inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, reports Reuters.

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Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD):  Thomas Seifert has decided to resign as the company’s chief financial officer. In a statement that was released late Monday, AMD made sure to go to great lengths to explain Seifert’s departure, which is to be effective Sept. 28. The company stated that the resignation was “not based on any disagreement over the company’s accounting principles or practices, or financial statement disclosures.” Seifert is stepping down “to pursue other opportunities,” the company added. Last year, he served as AMD’s CEO on an interim basis, and Devinder Kumar, who is a corporate controller and a 28-year AMD veteran, will take the role of interim CFO as the company searches for a permanent replacement.

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) and Honda (NYSE:HMC) dealerships located in the Chinese city of Qingdao saw major damage at the hands of arsonists during demonstrations, The New York Time reports. Due to this anti-Japanese violence around China, Nissan (NSANY) has made the decision to suspend production in the country for two days, according to the publication. Additonally, Mazda Motor intends to pause production at its Nanjing factory, which is jointly operated with Chongqing Changan Automobile and Ford Motor (NYSE:F), for four days. A Panasonic (NYSE:PC) plant saw a great deal of damage and will continue to be closed through today, and Canon (NYSE:CAJ) also closed three out of four of its Chinese factories today, the newspaper added.

OCZ Technology Group (NYSE:OCZ) announced the resignation of Ryan Petersen as president and CEO of the company. Alex Mei, who is currently OCZ Technology’s chief marketing officer, will serve as interim CEO. The announcement comes only two weeks following management’s statement that Q2 revenue would miss company expectations. In the company’s announcement of his resignation, Petersen stated: “I am very pleased to have transitioned the company from a niche developer, manufacturer, and seller of high-performance DRAM memory modules to a global leader in solid-state storage solutions.”

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Sprint (NYSE:S) is expected to cease offering the iPhone 4 beginning on September 21, according to 9to5Mac, who cites Sprint’s pre-launch materials. The iPhone 5 will launch on September 21.

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Microsoft to Defer Revenue and 4 Hot Stocks Buzzing on The Street

Skullcandy Inc (NASDAQ:SKUL) has appointed Kyle Wescoat as SVP and Chief Financial Officer, which will be effective October 1. Prior to this, Wescoat was VP and CFO of VIZIO.

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) stated that it intends to defer revenue to about $100 million to $140 million for fiscal 2013’s Q1. The deferral is of revenue related to licenses that were sold into distribution channels which are to be sold to end customers beneath the terms of Microsoft’s marketing program to offer a free upgrade for purchases of Office 2010 or Office for Mac 2011. Beginning on Oct. 19, buyers meeting qualifications will be able to download one year of Office 365 Home Premium or the equivalent Office 2013 offering. “The deferral only impacts the timing of revenue recognition and will not impact cash flows from operations,” the company stated late Monday.

Oneok Inc. (NYSE:OKE) claims that $300 million remains for its stock-buyback authorization, after the completion of a $150 million accelerated share-repurchase agreement with Goldman Sachs & Co. Beneath the agreement, Goldman has give over 3.4 million common shares to Oneok, who paid for the repurchases via available cash and short-term borrowings. Under the terms of the company’s three-year buyback program, repurchases are not to surpass $300 million in a calendar year. The program is to end by 2013’s end if the total $750 million authorization does not run out first, according to Oneok.

Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR) has outlined its intentions for the restructuring of  its portfolio of operations as an attempt to catch up with the ever changing  demands of a global coal market. By early 2013, the company is to be totally aligned to focus on its two main strategic priorities. These are to enhance Alpha’s metallurgical coal leadership position in both the domestic and international markets, to establish a durable core of cost-competitive thermal coal assets more appropriate supply to structurally shift power markets within the U.S. and it will be able to tap into new thermal markets overseas. Overhead cost savings from the streamlining of field and corporate support functions should total $150 million, including the $50 million to $60 million of the cost reductions that Alpha announced on June 8.

Dole Food (NYSE:DOLE) will sell its global packaged-foods unit and its Asia fresh produce business for about $1.69 billion. The company claims it intends to put the cash to work to pay down debt as it also begins a streamlining plan through its cost-reduction measures. Dole Food is being purchased by Japan’s Itochu Corp., confirming the deal that was first reported last week and continues to be subject to the approval of Dole stockholders.

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