Top 10 News Items for 01/14 - 01/18: Dell Chatter Heats Up; Searching the 'Grid'; Clamping Down on Guns; Apple on the Brink

January 18, 2013 4:06 PM EST
1. Dell, Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) received extraordinary attention this week on word it might be taken private by its founder, Michael Dell, and private equity firms. Shares ended up over 18 percent better on the week following the reports. Whether or not a deal will be struck on Dell is another question entirely, there are a lot of moving parts to work out beforehand and Michael Dell. whom owns a 14 percent stake in the company, may not want to cede control quite yet. For the most recent Dell news, click here.

2. Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) made another major change to its platform with the debut of "Graph Search" this week. Part of Facebook's "Three Pillars" system, with the other two being News Feed and Timeline, Graph Search is supposed to hone-in on specific queries, from friends in Detroit who like square dancing to people who like fantasy football and the Baltimore Ravens.

Facebook is aiming to draw in more ad revs by allowing advertisers to pinpoint campaigns. Analysts, however, have been mixed so far. For more color, click here.

3. President Obama address the nation's concern for gun control this week, proposing tough new measures following the tragic events of Newtown, CT, last month. Smith & Wesson (Nasdaq: SWHC), Strum Ruger (NYSE: RGR), and Cabela's (NYSE: CAB) were all in scopes as the measures were proposed.

For a summary of the President's statement, click here.

4. Early in the week, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) fell following chatter it cut iPhone 5 panel orders. Though the rumors were mostly true, some speculation has circulated about what it might mean for the company moving forward. Is demand down? Is Apple accelerating the refresh cycle for a larger iPhone and/or low-cost model? To read more on Apple for the week, click here.

5. J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) had an eventful week. Primarily, the bank bested fourth-quarter earnings views with EPS of $1.39. In addition, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a cease-and-desist against the bank over events tied to major losses in its CIO unit.

6. Following several events last week and another emergency landing on Monday, the FAA grounded all Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner aircraft as it worked to inspect batteries on the aircraft. Shares of Boeing slumped on the news, but it might have been a buying opportunity as the FAA is more likely aiming to see the 787 back in the air rather than prevent it from flying. Later in the week, it was said that the batteries may have been a faulty batch. For more on the events, click here.

7. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) reported quarterly results on Thursday night and investors were a little irked with results. Fourth-quarter EPS of 51 cents and revs of $13.48 billion were mixed to the consensus, but fiscal 2013 expectations of top-line growth in the low-single-digit range drew attention. For more on the numbers, click here.

8. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (Nasdaq: NCLH) had a strong Friday with its IPO garnering high interest. Shares ended up over 31 percent higher on the session after pricing at $19 ealier. The company was looking for a range of $16 to $18. For more on the IPO, click here.

9. Financials had a mixed set of results for fourth-quarter earnings. Here are some of the notables for the week:
  • Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) - EPS of 45 cents on revs of $7.5 billion, versus consensus EPS of 27 cents and revs of $7.01 billion;

  • Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) - EPS of $1.41 and revs of $5.62 billion, with the consensus at EPS of $1.61 and revs of $5.88 billion;

  • State Street Corp. (NYSE: STT) reported Q4 EPS of $1.11, $0.10 better than the analyst estimate of $1.01;

  • Bank Of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) reported Q4 EPS of $0.03, which may not compare with the analyst estimate of $0.02. Revenue for the quarter came in at $22.6 billion versus the consensus estimate of $22.4 billion;

  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. reported Q4 EPS of $1.39, $0.23 better than the analyst estimate of $1.16. Revenue for the quarter came in at $24.4 billion versus the consensus estimate of $24.56 billion; and

  • Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) reported Q4 EPS of $5.60, $1.82 better than the analyst estimate of $3.78. Revenue for the quarter came in at $9.24 billion versus the consensus estimate of $7.91 billion. Annualized ROE was 16.5% for the fourth quarter of 2012.

10. U.S. housing starts came in at 954,000 in December, outpacing expectations calling for 889,000 starts. Building permits rose to 903,000 in the month, up 28.8 percent over the prior year and compared with the consensus of 900,000 permits. For more on the data, click here.

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JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Michael Dell, Top 10 News Items for the Week, Barack Obama, Earnings, Housing Starts

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