Carl Icahn has picked Apple (AAPL) as his next target. The activist investor has gone to market and according to the Wall Street Journal grabbed-up $1.5-billion in the company stock. The news has sent Apple shares soaring. This morning they've been up as much as 1.5%. That follows a climb of more than $22 yesterday. Icahn revealed his new stake in the company by tweeting: "We currently have a large position in APPLE. We believe the company to be extremely undervalued. Spoke to Tim Cook today. More to come."Of course with Icahn, there's usually an agenda alongside an investment. So, what does Icahn want in this case? Yahoo! Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santoli has details in the video above.
By the way, one other quick note about Apple. The company has acquired "Matcha TV." Interestingly, the service is down right now. It's designed to help people cut through all the clutter of the web to find videos they're looking for. Nintendo already offers a similar service and Microsoft will roll one out with its latest X-box.
Some breaking news: Hedge Fund Paulson and company is buying Steinway (LVB), the piano maker for $40 a share, topping a competing offer by $5 a share. Other headlines: J.C. Penney (JCP) shares are up fractionally right now. They fell almost another 4% yesterday, after billionaire Bill Ackman resigned from the company board. BlackBerry (BBRY) shares are also up this morning, following a gain of 1.4% yesterday. There are reports the company has actually been trying to sell itself since last year. And today could be the day two former colleagues of JPMorgan's (JPM) London Whale will be charged. The Whale himself, Bruno Iksil, is avoiding prosecution by cooperating with prosecutors.
U.S. Airways (LCC) stock has lost significant altitude. Shares tumbled more than 13% on news the Justice Department moved to block the airline's merger with now-bankrupt AMR, the parent company of American Airlines. A marriage of the two companies would create the world's largest airline. The Feds say it would also lead to higher prices and service cuts to many routes.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Macy's (M) is down nearly 5% after reporting disappointing earnings at 8am. The company posted profits of 72-cents a shares when expectations were for 78-cents. Revenue was also below consensus at 6.07-billion. Macy's admits the quarter was poor. It cites a cool spring, but says it has been running sales and customers are responding. Prior to this morning's drop, shares are up 27% year-to-date. Compare that to its rival JC Penney, which is down 39% in the same period.
Deere (DE) also reported earnings this morning. The company blew past estimates with earnings of $2.56 a share when estimates were for $2.17. Revenue also tipped past $10-billion, when expectations were for less than $9.3-billion. Deere says profits are up 27% over last year, thanks to booming agricultural activity in North and South America. The results are a relief after the company lowered its outlook citing an unusually cool spring. Deere is down about 5% year-to-date.
SeaWorld (SEAS) has been down almost 12% in extended hours. That actually brings shares underwater from their IPO price of $36.50 back in April. The reason: quarterly earnings which came out after yesterday's closing bell. Excluding items, SeaWorld posted profits of 41-cents a share, missing estimates by a dime. Revenue was also lower than expected at $411-million.The company is blaming a combination of higher ticket prices and bad weather for declining attendance at its parks. It has also lowered its outlook.
Finally, we bring you three for one-- a trio of NASDAQ stocks which coincidentally had all moved roughly 16-percent at one point in early trading: Brocade Communications (BRCD), a networking company, was up 16% on a healthy earnings beat. Meanwhile semiconductor company Cree (CREE) was down 16% on an earnings match, but lowered guidance. And finally 3-D printer company ExOne (XONE) was down 16% on an earnings miss and lowered outlook for both the quarter and the year.