The Exchange

Top Stocks of the Week: Feb 15

The Exchange

Editors Note: The list of top tickers is derived from the quote pages that received the most views on Yahoo! Finance by examining data for the current week. It is not, however, a list of the most searched-for tickers on our site.

1. Apple (AAPL)

There was a time not so long ago for Apple that having the CEO attend the State of the Union address as a personal guest of the president and rumors of a new product on the way would have guaranteed a bump in share price. Unfortunately, those days have slipped well away from Apple and Tim Cook.

Despite reports of an “iWatch” in development and being praised by the leader of the free world for bringing a token amount of manufacturing back to the U.S., the bad news continued to sour shares of Apple. This week, regulatory filings revealed that some of the biggest names in the hedge fund arena believe Apple is out of juice.

“Hedge fund heavyweights from Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors to Barry Rosenstein's Jana Partners threw in the towel on Apple Inc. in the fourth quarter,” said Reuters. Cooperman sold his stake of 266,404 shares, while Rosenstein exited his 143,000 shares. Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund, Third Point, also sold off 710,000 shares, according to Bloomberg.

The company announced on Wednesday that it was lowering the price of its MacBook Pro by $200 only four months after it was released.

“The price cut reveals that consumers won't rush to buy the latest greatest Apple product just because Apple made it. The price-value tradeoff has to be reasonable. And in the case of the MacBook Pro, it apparently wasn't,” noted Henry Blodget on The Daily Ticker. “This problem -- the price-value tradeoff -- has become an issue for Apple far beyond laptops.”

Shares of Apple hit an intraday high for the week of $484.64 on Monday and have fallen since. Shares finished down 3.7% for the week and are down 15% for the year to date.

2. BlackBerry (BBRY)

Valentine’s brought no love for BlackBerry this week. In fact, it was a week of breakups.

Home Depot confirmed on Monday that it was dumping BlackBerry in favor of Apple iPhones, slashing a fleet of 10,000 phones. While certainly not a death blow for BlackBerry, it was a negative signal following the release of the BlackBerry 10.

Then, on Thursday, regulatory filings showed that former co-CEO and co-chairman Jim Balsillie cut his last remaining ties to the company. Balsillie has sold all of his shares as of the end of 2012. The New York Times noted that Balsillie owned up to 33% of the company before it went public and more recently had owned 5.1% of shares.

Shares finished the week down 11%, but remain up 28.5% for the year to date.

3. Bank of America (BAC)

Shares of the nation’s second-largest bank tapped a 52-week high on Tuesday, with no concrete news serving as a catalyst. The best guess as to the surge, put forth by Wall Street Cheat Sheet and The Motley Fool, was a report released by TransUnion indicating fewer Americans are falling behind on their mortgages.

The stock has been weighed down by “mortgage loan repurchase demands from investors, for mortgage-backed securities issued before 2008,” noted TheStreet. “The company said on Jan. 18 that mortgage putback claims totaled $28.3 billion as of Dec. 31, however, the bank's settlement with Fannie Mae in early January lowered the repurchase claims by about $12.2 billion.”

Shares ended the week up 2.5% and are up 0.8% for the year to date.

4. Facebook (FB)

“All of a sudden, the Street is getting jittery again about Facebook," noted Eric Savitz of Forbes on Tuesday after several analysts came out with downgrades of the company.

Much of the questions about Facebook’s future are centered on its mobile strategy. So far, investors and analysts aren’t completely convinced the company is moving in the right direction quickly enough.

Still, Facebook is attracting attention from heavy hitters on the Street. “Omega Advisors, a hedge fund run by Chief Executive Leon Cooperman, sold its stake in Apple Inc and took new stakes in SandRidge Energy Inc. and Facebook Inc. in the fourth quarter,” according to Reuters.

Shares are were down 0.3% for the week and are up 1.8% for the year to date.

5. Cisco Systems (CSCO)

All eyes were on Wednesday’s earnings results for Cisco Systems, which comfortably topped estimates. Management’s outlook for the first quarter, however, raised some concerns.

“A slowdown in spending by large corporations has limited Cisco’s growth, as has weakness in Europe and Asia,” said Bill Kreher, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co.,” in an interview with Bloomberg.

Yahoo! Finance contributor Marek Fuchs noted some other areas of concern leading up to the earnings.

“As you go through the Cisco earnings previews out there, you are unlikely to see more than the occasional mention of the company’s considerable level of government dealings. And that’s quite an oversight,” said Fuchs. “Government buying was off 6% in the first-quarter of 2103, Cisco reported in November -- and that was before the totality of the paralysis brought about by the uncertainty of the election and the fiscal cliff debacle.”

Fuchs also noted CEO Chambers’ habit of downplaying expectations on quarterly conference calls.

“Remember: People are aware of Apple’s sad sack routine. But Cisco does it just as much. And anticipation of what is to come is, as always, the better part of valor.”

Shares are down 1.4% over the past five trading days and are up 3.2% for the year to date.

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