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Ann Taylor parent for sale?, Deere disappoints and investors wreck Rocket Fuel

ANN INC. (ANN), parent company of the Ann Taylor and Loft chains, is in play, according to a Bloomberg report. Investors think a sale is a good idea, shares are rising 5% on the news. Word is the retailer has reached out to potential buyers with the help of JP Morgan Chase (JPM). Several private equity firms are said to be interested, according to the report. ANN INC. has been under pressure from shareholders to sell, last summer speculation was a deal could fetch around $50 to $55 a share. At today's price, $36 and change, Ann looks like a steal.

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Rocket Fuel (FUEL), the company that specializes in digital advertisements, is getting wrecked; shares are off 25%. The story is simple, the company is hemorrhaging money. During the 4Q,  net income was a loss of $20 million, much higher than the $2 million it lost in the same quarter a year-ago. The company also said it will lose as much as $19M in the current quarter. Management said it will step up cost controls and slow hiring, however those efforts falling on deaf ears today.

Deere (DE) is down a bit today after disclosing a 17% drop in revenues and a 43% drop in net income. Deere is getting hit by a decline in global farming. Farmers are just not ordering big ticket equipment according to CEO Samuel Allen. That said, investors may want to sit tight or buy on any weakness because Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) doubled its stake in Deere during the 4Q according to regulatory filings released this week.