Hot Stock Minute

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Target vs. TJX, Apple Faces Shareholders, Groupon’s Gloom, Papa John’s Problem

Hot Stock Minute

Major indices rallied more than 1 percent on Wednesday, extending Tuesday's gain and putting stocks back into the black for the week after Monday's late-session rout. The Dow hit fresh 5-year highs and came close again to its all-time high as upbeat economic data -- including another positive housing report -- and Ben Bernanke's reaffirmation of the Fed's stimulus policy cheered investors.

Here is an end-of-trading-day look at the stocks we focused on in this morning's segment:

Groupon

Groupon (GRPN) Shares are down a whopping 28% after hours following the company's earnings, in which the struggling daily-deals site reported a loss of $81.1 million and issued a weak outlook for its first-quarter revenue.

Apple

Apple (AAPL) ended down just under 1% after Wednesday's shareholder meeting, in which little light was shed on what the company will be doing with its $137 billion cash hoard -- although CEO Tim Cook did say again that there were "very, very active discussions" taking place on the matter. There was also no mention of the rumors of a stock split that had boosted the stock in late trade on Tuesday.

Target

Target (TGT) was on the mark for the fourth quarter. The company came in with earnings of $1.65 per share beating estimates of $1.48 per share. But the company also expressed concerns about the current retail market citing the increase in the payroll tax and overall volatility in consumer confidence. Shares ended down 1.2% for the day.

TJX Companies

TJX Companies (TJX) reported higher fourth-quarter results. But the company sees same-store sales growth slowing to 2% at most, following growth of about 7% last year. The chain reported net income of $604.8 million, which comes out to 82 cents a share. TJX operates discount chains including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. It recently acquired online discount site Sierra Trading Post as part of a new push into internet sales. TJX Shares ended down 2% for the day.

First Solar

Clouds remained over First Solar (FSLR) during the regular trading day. The drop occurred after the company reported earnings; it missed by just a penny but gave a gloomy outlook. At times, shares of the company were down 18% to $25.50. The stock ended the day down close to 14%; shares started sliding Tuesday night in after-hours trading. Despite the recent pullback, First Solar has fared well since last May, when shares were trading at little more than $11.

Papa John's

Investors are trying to digest several developments on Papa John's (PZZA). Shares closed down 9% on Wednesday; trading had been suspended Tuesday night when the company said it would restate earnings from 2009 through most of 2012. Papa John's also missed estimates in its quarterly report, coming in with 62 cents a share versus expectations for 76 cents. The company also announced it will be boosting its share repurchase authorization by $50 million.

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