U.S. Markets closed

P&G CEO Swap; A&F Price Plunge; $1 Billion Battle Over Map App

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute
P&G CEO Swap; A&F Price Plunge; $1 Billion Battle Over Map App

Stocks are trying to log their fifth straight week of gains. The Dow dropped about 12 points yesterday, putting it roughly 50 points shy of where it opened on Monday. The S&P dropped nearly five points yesterday, but is ahead about 15 points on the week. Right now, many traders are turning their attention to Japan where the Nikkei was jumping around today. Yahoo! Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santolis has more in the video above.

What's old is new at Procter and Gamble (PG). As of last night, A.G. Lafley is again CEO of the comsumer products giant. He replaces Robert McDonald, who ran the company for the past four years. Under his watch the company struggled to win over cost-conscious customers. It's also had trouble getting new products into the pipeline. Recently activist investor Bill Ackman has been calling for change. Procter and Gamble stock is up 13% year-to-date and twice that much over the past year.

Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) may be about to get into a billion dollar bidding war over Waze. That's the Israeli maker of a mobile map app with 40 million users. Bloomberg is reporting that Google may be willing to offer 10 figures for the company. Facebook was previously said to have put forth an offer between $800-million and $1-billion. Waze uses information from online communities to improve driving directions.

While we're talking about Google, there are also reports this morning that the Federal Trade Commission has began a new antitrust probe into the internet giant. This one stems from suspicions that Google is curbing competition in the market for online display ads. The FTC just closed a separate review of Google's search business back in January. Google stock has retreated almost $40 from an all-time high on Monday when it hit $920, but it's still up nearly 9% in the past month alone.


Abercrombie and Fitch (ANF) is down 12% after releasing a dismal earnings report at 7am. The clothing company says it lost 9-cents a share, less than the 25-cents it lost a year ago, but still almost twice as much as estimates. Revenues also missed by more than $100-million dollars. Same store sales are down 15% from a year ago. The chain says that's largely because of inventory shortages. Up until this morning, Abercrombie shares have been up 14% year-to-date.

Next is an Abercrombie competitor, Gap (GPS), which has seen its shares drift as much as 5% lower after releasing its earnings. The company beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines posting 71-cents a share on $3.73 billion in revenue. The quarter was also a marked improvement over the same period last year when earnings were 47-cents a share. The company was helped by a rise in same-store sales at its namesake Gap stores as well as Old Navy stores. Growth in Asia was also strong. Shares of the Gap are up 53% over the last year. They hit a new 52-week high on Tuesday.

Now we look at Sears (SHLD), which is down an astounding 12% on the NASDAQ at this hour. The retailer reported a whopping quarterly loss of $2.63 a share after yesterday's closing bell. That's more than $2 wider than expected. Sears cited cooler weather. The company is trying to reverse a sales slide that began back in 2005 when it merged with K-Mart. At this point the company says it may sell its service contracts unit for the cash. Prior to this morning's plunge, the stock had been on a steady climb this year, up an impressive 40%.

Finally there's Salesforce.com (CRM) which has been trading 6% lower on the NYSE. The company posted diluted earnings of 10-cents a share yesterday. That matched estimates, and the company had a slim beat on revenues, but it disappointed with guidance for the coming quarter. Salesforce.com's core product is on-demand business software, but it has made a series of acquisitions which have driven up costs. Prior to the drop we're seeing this morning, the company has been up 25% over the past year, and has been trading at about 85-times earnings.