Stock Market earnings season will kick off today following the closing bell as primary and fabricated aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) is expected to release its earnings report for the 4Q of Fiscal Year 2011. Analysts have been active across the financial network airwaves Monday morning as they lower investor expectations for Alcoa’s afternoon report, which many expect to come in at a negative $0.01 per share instead of the previously-anticipated $0.07 EPS.
Alcoa has also announced recently that it will be shutting down approximately 12% of its total aluminum smelter facilities, with closures to take place in Italy and Spain. Last week, the company released a statement saying it would shutter smelter plants in Tennessee and Texas as well.
There was light trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning as investors awaited the Alcoa earnings report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), of which Alcoa is one of the 30 component stocks, was relatively unchanged at 12:00 noon Eastern Time today, as were the NASDAQ Composite and S&P 500 indexes.
Below is the intraday stock chart for the Dow 30 index as of 12:00 Eastern Time on Monday, January 9th, 2012.
Despite a number of hot-topic items related to the stock market, the news cycle Monday morning was dominated by Alcoa’s earnings report. The company’s stock increased close to 2 percent by midday to $9.34. Alcoa has a market capitalization of $9.93 billion and reported a 3Q Earnings Per Share of $0.94 with a Price to Earnings ratio of 9.89. The aliminum producer is down nearly 50% from its 52-week high of over $18.00 per share (see stock chart below).
New Hampshire Presidential Primary
The New Hampshire presidential primary will take place tomorrow night with front runner Mitt Romney expected to win based on polls published by various sources. The eventual second place finisher in the NH Republican primary may be more difficult to predict, with Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman competing. Rick Perry will skip the New Hampshire primary and has moved on to South Carolina where his campaign representatives say he will make a “last stand” to get back into the Republican presidential race.
Bristol Myers Buys Inhibitex
Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) announced the purchase of Hepatitis C drug maker Inhibitex for $2.5 billion in an acquisition that will pay shareholders a hefty 100% premium on the current value of Inhibitex’s stock. Analysts believe Bristol Myers has authorized the transaction due to a growing Hepatitis C market in the United States that could be as much as $20 billion in upcoming years. The pharmaceutical giant is also looking to shore up its portfolio due to a number of its current drugs facing a scheduled patent protection loss from now through 2015.
Apple Trading at Intraday Record
Shares for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reached an all-time record of $427.61 in early morning trading Monday, as Goldman Sachs raised its target for the tech stock to $550 per share based on better than expected iPhone sales during the 4Q of 2011. Apple’s iPhone has generally not been sold at a heavy discount at the retail level which sets it apart from other electronics which seemed to fly off retail shelves for a proverbial song during the Christmas holiday season in 2011.
Earnings Reports and Retirement Investing
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