T-Minus six hours and counting until it's time for Ben Bernanke to speak. The Fed Chair will be commenting and fielding questions after the FOMC statement and policy announcement which is to be released at 2PM. Futures have been mixed this morning, following a strong showing yesterday as Wall Street and the world await some guidance. Yahoo! Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santoli has more in the video above on what to expect today.
A new offer from Dish (DISH) is off the table. The satellite company has decided not to increase its bid for Sprint (S). That leaves Japan's Softbank as the inevitable winner in the war for the phone company. Softbank's most recent offer, made last week, is for $21.6 billion dollars. In a related story, Dish says it will keep trying to buy a stake in Clearwire(CLWR) which has Sprint as its majority owner. Sprint is up 21% over the past three months as it became the object of desire, but this morning it's down more than 3%.
Carl Icahn is chipping away again at Dell (DELL). Icahn has bought another $1 billion dollars worth of the company stock. He purchased it from Southeastern Management, which like Icahn opposes Dell's plan to go private. But the new developments don't stop there. Icahn is also saying Dell should offer stockholders $14 a share rather than the $13.65 that was part of the original proposal. Icahn now owns 8% of the company.
There's a bump in the road this morning for Tesla (TSLA). The company has just announced it's recalling 800 of its Model S sedans. Chairman Elon Musk made the announcement on twitter, saying "Partial recall of Model S" and providing a link to a letter. The full statment says there are concerns over a mounting bracket that holds the left-hand back-seat in place. There have not been any customer complaints or injuries. Tesla shares are up 192% this year, though they've fallen about 3% this morning in early trading.
First up is FedEx (FDX), which just reported quarterly results at 7:30 this morning. The company more than delivered on earnings posting $2.13 a share when estimates were for $1.96. As for revenues, they were in line with expectations. The company says it's still struggling from tepid economic growth and a shift away from its more expensive shipping options. But it reported improvements in both its FedEx Express and FedEx Freight businesses. FedEx stock has been up about 5% year-to-date. Shares hit their 52-week high back in March but have retreated almost 10% since then.
Next is Adobe (ADBE), which is up 7% following the release of its quarterly results after yesterday's closing bell. As we told you right here ahead of the report, Adobe was expected to post earnings of 34-cents a share on $1.01 billion. Excluding items, it beat by a penny on earnings and matched on revenues. Adobe says demand is rising for "Creative Cloud," the subscription version of its flagship software package. Subscription models bring in less money up front but create a more predictable revenue stream. Even prior to the gains we're seeing this morning, shares of Adobe are up 32% over the past year.
Now we look at La-Z-Boy (LZB), which also reported earnings after the trading day yesterday. Shares spiked 6% ahead of the report, but they gave back those gains in after-hours trading. La-Z-Boy beat estimates posting earnings of 33-cents a share on revenues just shy of $360-million. However, the company says higher expenses have been negating improved sales. The company did not issue a forecast moving forward. La-Z-Boy stock is up 35% year-to-date, largely on a spike in share prices during February.
Finally, there's Micron Technology (MU) which is up fractionally. Micron will be releasing quarterly results after the closing bell. The company is expected to post profits of 2-cents a share, a dramatic improvement from a year ago when it lost 32-cents. Revenue is expected to be up slightly. In the meantime, Raymond James is rating the stock a strong buy and has upped Micron's price target to $17 to from $12.
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- Ben Bernanke