Top 10 News Items for 04/22 - 04/26: Apple's Lukewarm Report; Social Media Becomes Dangerous; Q1 GDP Accelerates, Misses

April 26, 2013 4:11 PM EDT
1. On Tuesday, highly-anticipated Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) earnings were reported. The company posted Q2 EPS of $10.09, versus the analyst estimate of $10.07. Revenue for the quarter came in at $43.6 billion versus the consensus estimate of $42.59 billion. The Company sold 37.4 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 35.1 million in the year-ago quarter and the consensus of 34 million. Apple also sold 19.5 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 11.8 million in the year-ago quarter and the consensus of 18.5 million. The Company sold just under 4 million Macs, compared to 4 million in the year-ago quarter.

2. Showing both the influence of social media and high-frequency trading, U.S. markets fell on Tuesday as the Associated Press had its Twitter account hacked. The post that hackers made on the AP account read: "Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured." Some speculate the post cost markets about $136 billion.

3. The first reading of U.S. GDP for the first quarter was released Friday and showed that while the economy picked up steam to start the year it wasn't as fast as many wanted. Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the first quarter. The rate was up from the 0.4 percent increase in the fourth quarter, but was below the 3 percent economists on average were expecting.

4. Industrial giant Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) posted Q1 EPS of $1.31 and revs of $13.2 billion, versus consensus EPS views of $1.46 and revenue expectations of $13.8 billion. Profit was $880 million in the first quarter of 2013, compared with $1.586 billion in the first quarter of 2012. News follows recent sales trends for Q1, with March machine sales slipping 11 percent globally.

5. Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) reported adjusted Q1 EPS of $0.31, $0.13 better than the analyst estimate of $0.18. Revenue for the quarter came in at $1.02 billion versus the consensus estimate of $1.02 billion. Revs compare with $870 million last year, while Netflix also reported a loss of $0.08 per share in Q112.

6. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) caught some upside this week following Q3 results last week as well as news that deep-value and activist hedge fund ValueAct Capital has built and will shortly disclose a $2 billion stake in the software giant. ValueAct's secretive founder Jeffrey Ubben confirmed the existence of the position, but did not disclose his intention with the investment. Speculation has already pointed to the head of CEO Steve Balmer.

7. Speaking on unusual investments, JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) shares popped Friday following news that noted investor and hedge fund giant George Soros took a 7.91 percent stake, or 17,386,361 share position, within the retailer. JCPenney ended Friday up 11.4 percent.

8. Gold prices swung higher on Tuesday, clawing back loses after dropping $200 in a single day earlier this month. The move came just days after Goldman Sachs said it closed its short position in the precious metal, locking in gains following a previous Sell recommendations. Some say the Sell recommendation was a key catalyst for gold's massive sell-off. Gold ended the week at $1,456.3 per ounce on the Comex, after getting well below $1,400 per ounce last week.

9. Thursday night, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) announced that Fred Amoroso has decided not to seek reelection to the board of directors at the upcoming 2013 annual meeting of shareholders. The company said that Amoroso will continue to serve on the board through the shareholders meeting on June 25th, but has resigned as chairman of the board. The board has appointed Maynard Webb, Jr. to serve as interim chairman.

10. Also on Thursday night, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: REGN) was added to the S&P 500 index, replacing MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS) which is being acquired. S&P SmallCap 600 constituent Eagle Materials Inc. (NYSE: EXP) will replace Regeneron in the S&P MidCap 400, and Francesca's Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: FRAN) will replace Eagle Materials in the S&P SmallCap 600 after the close of trading on Tuesday, April 30th.

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ValueAct Capital, LLC, Jeffrey W. Ubben, Standard & Poor's, Twitter, Dividend, Top 10 News Items for the Week, Hedge Funds, Barack Obama, Earnings

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