Trenders’ News: Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) Falls Short, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Mega-Boost and More

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX), Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), ABB Ltd (NYSE:ABB), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), BP plc (NYSE:BP), Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI), Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:SLB), Weatherford International Ltd (NYSE:WFT)

U.S. Stocks Decline as Home Sales Drop Amid Earnings (BusinessWeek)
U.S. stocks fell, after the biggest weekly drop in five months for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as sales of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in March and investors weighed corporate earnings. Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) fluctuated between gains and losses as it cut its 2013 forecast. Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) jumped 2.6 percent after reporting first-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Eldorado Gold Corp. gained 4 percent as the price of the precious metal rose. Power-One Inc. soared 56 percent after ABB Ltd (NYSE:ABB) agreed to buy the maker of solar-power inverters for about $1 billion.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)

Altaaqa Global and Caterpillar pen deal (GasWorld)
This deal will be supported by partnerships within the worldwide Cat® dealer network. “We have been successfully serving our customers within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since our inception,” said Fahad Y. Zahid, Executive Vice President of Zahid Group. “In 2004, catering to local needs, we launched Altaaqa Alternative Solutions, which later became the world’s largest fleet owner of Cat Rental Power with over 750MW in its inventory. Through this IPP agreement, our new subsidiary, Altaaqa Global, will enable us to strengthen our position as a leading provider of turnkey temporary power solutions, now at a global level.” “Zahid Group has demonstrated a proven track record of excellent customer service for more than 60 years,” said Bill Rohner, Vice President of Electric Power at Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT). “Having them as a strategic partner will help expand Caterpillar’s evolving role in the IPP market.”

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) to Deliver Quarterly Results Monday (CrazyJoys)
On Monday the heavy machinery producer Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) will deliver its first quarter earnings and will also exhibit the full year forecast. Caterpillar and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) headline Monday’s earnings calendar. Other companies include Hasbro, Zions Bancorp, Texas Instruments and Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL). The iPhone maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will likely be active ahead of its earnings report Tuesday afternoon. Its also been speculated that the company may be forced to lower its 2013 outlook. In China Caterpillar is experiencing sluggish revenue growth. Moreover, mining companies are recoiling on expenses for new equipment due to decreasing prices for commodities like iron ore and coal.According to a research report analysts have cut first quarter profit estimates for Caterpillar by 26 percent since the start of the year.

Caterpillar Cuts Estimates Again (247WallSt)
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) reported first-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The heavy equipment maker posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.31 on revenues of $13.21 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $2.37 on revenues of $15.98 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.40 EPS and $13.72 billion in revenues. For the 2013 fiscal year, Caterpillar lowered its forecast revenues from $60 billion to $68 billion to a new range of $57 billion to $61 billion. The company’s EPS forecast of $7.00 to $9.00 was reeled in as well, to $7.00 “at the middle of the sales and revenues outlook range.” At the beginning of the year, the consensus analyst forecast for EPS was $8.54 on revenues of $65.18 billion. Caterpillar put those numbers in the rear-view mirror in January and have now crushed the analysts most recent estimates. The current consensus estimate for $7.71 in EPS on revenues of $62.74 billion in revenues will take another hit today.

Caterpillar Continues to Crawl Along (WSJ)
There was once a very hungry Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) -0.36% that saw a boom in resource demand, agriculture and construction all at the same time. It gobbled up every opportunity and expanded to more than three times its original size in a decade. Today, though, machinery giant Caterpillar Inc. is having a nasty bout of indigestion. Even as it reported record annual sales and earnings in January—up 10% and 15%, respectively—investors focused on a worrying slowdown at the end of 2012. This appears to have deepened since then. At the beginning of 2012, Caterpillar’s rolling three-month average year-on-year retail-sales growth for machinery was a scorching 27%, driven by emerging markets. By June, that had dropped to 11%, and by December the rate was slightly negative. Its most recent data from March were a rolling decline of 11%, driven by a 24% drop in the Asian-Pacific region.

Apple, Caterpillar: shocked stocks get new test (MarketWatch)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) results this week will help determine whether the quarterly earnings season is stuck in a well-worn groove: Companies’ top-line results look OK, but sales are coming up short. Of the 100 companies on the S&P 500 that have released results, about 72% have reported earnings results above the mean estimate, slightly above the average of 70% over the past four quarters, says John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet. That hasn’t been the case for revenue, however. Only 45% have reported revenue above mean estimates, below the 52% average of the past four quarters, according to Butters. So far, the blended earnings growth rate for the quarter is up 0.1%, with revenue down 0.1%, according to FactSet.

Microsoft stock jumps as activist investor takes $2-billion stake (TheGlobeAndMail)
Activist investor ValueAct Capital has taken a $2-billion stake in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), CNBC reported on Monday, and Microsoft shares leapt to their highest point in seven months. CNBC’s David Faber reported the stake. A representative of ValueAct was not immediately available to comment. Microsoft shares rose 4.4 per cent to $31.06, touching their highest levels since last September. With Monday’s gains, the stock is up 16 per cent this year, putting it on track for its best annual performance since 2009. One of the chief complaints of Microsoft’s investors is that the stock is little changed today from where it was 11 years ago.

Microsoft Software Licenses Growth Cushions Pain of PC Sales Decline (IndiaTimes)
Personal computer sales fell 14 per cent in the first three months of the year, just as Microsoft tries to ramp up sales of the latest iteration of Windows. But the company’s ability to keep hold of big customers rescued its third-quarter results, which came in better than expected on Thursday. “Microsoft has successfully transitioned into an enterprise software company and these results show that, because the strength of server and tools and the actual way they sell licenses to business is making up for the missing PC sales,” said Kim Caughey Forrest, an analyst at Fort Pitt Capital.

Microsoft Corp’s “Overweight” Rating Reaffirmed at Atlantic Securities (MSFT) (ZolMax)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)‘s stock had its “overweight” rating reiterated by equities research analysts at Atlantic Securities in a research note issued to investors on Monday, StockRatingsNetwork reports. They currently have a $35.00 price target on the stock. Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Evercore Partners raised their price target on shares of Microsoft Corp from $30.00 to $32.00 in a research note to investors on Friday. They now have an “equal weight” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein raised their price target on shares of Microsoft Corp from $37.00 to $39.00 in a research note to investors on Friday. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Microsoft Corp in a research note to investors on Friday. They now have a $30.00 price target on the stock.

A Lawsuit Against Microsoft For Copyrights Violation (JewishBusinessNews)
A lawsuit, seeking NIS5 million ($1.4 million), was filed recently at the District Court in Lod, Israel, against Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) (the American multinational headquartered in Redmond, Washington St., as opposed to its local subsidiary in Israel), which alleges an intellectual property infringement of copyrights and a violation of moral rights (personal, non-transferable intellectual property rights the law in Israel accords the actual creator: that his creation will bear his name and that its integrity will be preserved; it’s inapplicable to software). The plaintiff, Hanna Tal of Israel, is the daughter and sole successor of Henry Friedlander, the creator and designed of a font known as “Hadassah”.

Microsoft to launch new small Windows-powered touch-screen devices (IBNLive)
Microsoft is working with manufacturers to produce a line of small touch-screen devices powered by Windows, apparently intended to compete with 7-inch tablets like the iPad Mini and Amazon Kindle Fire. Peter Klein, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, told investors and analysts on a conference call Thursday that the new devices will be available in coming months at competitive prices. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is struggling to extend its software into smartphones and tablets as consumers are turning away from PCs, the foundation of its empire. Over the winter, it launched two larger tablets under the Surface brand. And in October, the company took a large stake in Barnes & Noble’s digital unit, which sells a line of entertainment-oriented 7-inch tablets under the Nook brand.

Microsoft adds to sign-in security (JournalGazette)
Microsoft is offering enhanced security for its email, storage and other services. People who turn on the new feature will be asked not just for a username and password, but also a second piece of information, such as a temporary code sent as a text message to a phone on file. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) already allow two-step verification as an option. The security enhancements work with all Microsoft accounts, such as email addresses ending in, and Those accounts unlock a range of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) products, including email, Skype, SkyDrive storage, Xbox gaming, Office software subscriptions and Windows 8 machines.

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