Friday, March 18, 2011

Hot Stocks Of The Day: JPM, LO, LDK, INTU, APP

. Friday, March 18, 2011

By stockOzone team

Shares of the following companies are having unusual moves in U.S. trading.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) rallied as much as 2% Friday after the Federal Reserve announced that it has completed stress tests on 19 big banks and that some firms examined are expected to be permitted to announce dividend hikes and share repurchases. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. said Friday that it will increase its quarterly dividend to 25 cents a share and buy back up to $15 billion in shares, of which $8 billion is earmarked for 2011. The dividend will be paid April 30 to shareholders of record on April 6.

Shares of Lorrillard Inc. (NYSE: LO) jumped more than 8% after an FDA advisory panel said that smokers of menthol cigarettes are not likely to be at greater risk of disease than non-menthol smokers.

LDK Solar Co. (NYSE: LDK) slumped more than 7% on Friday, a day after the Chinese manufacturer of energy products reported that it swung to a fourth-quarter profit of $145.2 million, or $1.09 per American Depositary share, compared to a loss of $24.3 million, or 22 cents per ADS, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue surged to $920.9 million compared with $304.6 million a year earlier.

Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU) rallied more than 3% after the company released the second of three season-to-date updates for its fiscal year 2011 consumer tax offerings. From Feb. 13 through March 12, total TurboTax federal units grew 23 percent compared to the same period last year. The company reported strong momentum since mid-February with TurboTax Online unit growth of 30 percent compared to the same period last year. For the season-to-date through March 12, total TurboTax federal units were up 7 percent compared to the same period last year. Also through March 12, TurboTax Online units were up 14 percent, while desktop units were down 3 percent compared to the same period last year. The company's first season-to-date consumer tax update was released in mid-February and reported TurboTax federal unit results through Feb. 12.

American Apparel, Inc. (AMEX: APP) sank as much as 10% on Friday, a day after the company said in a regulatory filing that it would not be able to file its annual 10-K report on time and said it expected to report a sales decline and loss for the year that ended Dec. 31. The company, which has missed filing deadlines several times in the last year, said the abrupt resignation of Deloitte & Touche as its auditing firm last year was the reason for the delay. In the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it couldn't file the report for 2010 "without unreasonable effort and expense." American Apparel said it expected to report a sales decrease for 2010 compared with the year before, primarily because of a decline in sales at stores open at least a year, known as comparable-store sales, and because of fewer stores (the company operated 273 stores on Dec. 31, eight fewer than a year earlier). The company also said it expected to report a loss in 2010 "primarily as a result of declines in comparable-store sales, higher production costs, higher operating costs and an increase in interest expense."

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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