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Sony Spinoff Proposal; Facebook Flop; Tesla vs. Lexus

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute
Sony Spinoff Proposal; Facebook Flop; Tesla vs. Lexus

Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb is trying to seize Sony (SNE). The New York Times reports he flew to Tokyo and hand-delivered a letter to Sony's CEO, calling for the company to be split in two. Yahoo! Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santoli has details in the video above.

Meanwhile, the future looks duller than ever for another waning Japanese electronics maker: Sharp (SHCAF). This morning the company reported an annual loss of $5.4-billion, the biggest in its 100-year history. Sharp says it will be replacing both its president and chairman next month. The men were on the job for just a year.

Facebook's (FB) phone is looking like a flop. Sales have been so sluggish AT&T (T) is now thinking about dropping the device from its offerings. The phone, which is called Home, was unveiled with much fanfare last month. It's made by HTC but puts Facebook front and center on the home screen. The price has already been cut from $99 to 99-cents. Facebook has been trading just shy of $27. That's $11 below its offering price one year ago.

In a related story, Nokia (NOK) unveiled a much-hyped handset today. It's the Lumia 925, a lightweight Windows phone with features including wireless charging, and a high-end camera. It's slated to go on sale in China and Europe next month. Shares of Nokia are down almost 5% this morning, after climbing almost 5% yesterday.


Tesla (TSLA) is up another 6% in early trading. The stock rose 14% yesterday, at which point it had gained 44% in just the past week. It all has to do with the Model S sedan which scored 99 out 100 in a Consumer Reports test. Tesla says sales of the car have also exceeded expectations, which helped the company turn its first-ever profit when it reported quarterly earnings last week. Year-to-date the stock is up 117% which an article this morning in the Motley Fool warns is a disconnect from reality. The company now has a larger market cap than Fiat, and would be almost as big as Lexus if it were a stand-alone company.

Next up is a much smaller company, but one that's been on just as big of a tear: Unilife (UNIS). Shares were up 25% yesterday, following a climb of 62% on Friday. This is a Pennsylvania-based company that makes equipment used to inject drugs. The company beat expectations for quarterly earnings when it reported last week, but missed on revenues. Even with this past week's incredible climb, shares are down about 3% over the last year.

Now Netflix (NFLX), which hit a new 52-week high yesterday. Shares rose more than 5% after noted investor Whitney Tilson appeared on Yahoo! Finance's Breakout and said, "I think Netflix has the very open ended optionality with its international. It's growing like gangbusters. So I've been trimming it all the way up but I think Netflix could be this decade's Amazon." Netflix is now up 198% over the past year, though it's still shy of its all-time high which was close to $300 a share.

Finally there's Barnes and Noble (BKS) which is coming off a disastrous day. Shares plunged 9.5% after climbing 31% at the end of last week. All the movement stems from a report in TechCrunch that Microsoft might be buying BN's Nook division. Now an article on the website "Insider Monkey" says the original report was untrue.