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Apple Announces Historic Buyback; AP Hack Attack, Whirlpool Catches Wave

Hot Stock Minute

We're looking at seeds of change within Apple (AAPL). But first, there's a flurry of earnings reports out this morning.

Ford (F) is on a roll. The automaker says it made 41-cents a share excluding charges, topping estimates of 37-cents and also beating revenue. Boeing (BA) also beat on both the top and bottom lines posting $1.73 per share, soaring above estimates of $1.49. Procter and Gamble (PG) managed to beat on core earnings as well, posting 99-cents per share, though revenues were less than estimates.

On to Apple, the company reported after yesterday's closing bell. Right now the company is down in premarket trading as traders digest the news. Apple beat estimates, posting earnings of $10.09 a share on $43.6 billion dollars in revenue. But there was a steep drop in profits from last year, when earnings were $12.30 per share, even though revenues have risen 11%. Digging deeper into the report: the company sold 37.4-million iPhones a rise of more than 2-million from a year ago. It also sold 19.5 million iPads. The problem: gross margins narrowed to 37.5% down 10% from a year ago. But the company is trying to appease shareholders with a new $50-billion share buyback program. That's the largest in history.

Fake report, real repercussions. Traders may be extra jittery today following a bogus tweet that momentarily sent markets tumbling yesterday. Somebody hacked the AP's twitter account and wrote "Breaking: two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama injured." Stocks almost immediately dropped, with the Dow plunging 143-points until the White House revealed the tweet was a hoax. A group called the Syrian Electronic Army has claimed responsibility.

Meanwhile Charles Schwab took to twitter to report a very real problem. A reported cyber attack on its site. The company tweeted, "We are experiencing technical issues with our site and mobile app and are working on resolution. We apologize for inconvenience." The trouble occurred shortly before the closing bell and lasted until the early evening, but the trouble has now been fixed.


Yum! Brands (YUM) has been up 4.5% in premarket trading. There were fears the company might be crippled by problems with its KFC brand in China. Bird flu has hurt business which was already down on reports the chain chicken suppliers are using unapproved levels of antibiotics. In fact, the company easily beat earnings estimates, posting 70-cents a share excluding items, when expectations were for 60-cents. Revenues did however fall a little short. If this morning's gains hold, Yum will be trading right near the middle of its 52-week range.

Next up is AT&T (T) which also reported after yesterday's closing bell and is now down 4%. The telecom giant met expectations on earnings, posting 64-cents a share, but it missed on revenue saying it took in $31.36 billion. The company says it signed-up more wireless subscribers than expected because of strong tablet sales. But if you read between the lines it appears the number of phone customers is down. AT&T closed at its 52-week high yesterday.

Whirlpool (WHR) came out with earnings first thing this morning, and has a familiar tale to tell: This company also beat on earnings but fell short on revenue, posting profits of $1.97 on sales of $17.69 billion. The good news here for shareholders: adjusted earnings are up 40%, largely due to improvements in the housing market. Whirlpool was up more than 3% yesterday ahead of the report and is now trading at its 52-week high.

Finally, there's Angie's List (ANGI) which is testing its all time high here in premarket trading as it prepares to report earnings later today. The online review service announced earlier this week that it has just surpassed more than 2-million paying subscribers. The company was founded in 1995, but went public at the end of 2011. It has yet to turn a profit since going public with analysts expecting losses of 17-cents a share. A year ago those losses were 24-cents a share. The stock has been on fire since the start of this year.

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