Market Focus

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie slashed its outlook because of a tough retail environment. The teen retailer did manage to post earnings that beat estimates by a penny, but revenue was below forecasts and same-store sales tumbled ten percent. It slashed its full-year profit forecast, saying it expects retail conditions to remain difficult. Despite all that, shares rose almost 3.5 percent to $28.81.

Aeropostale

Aeropostale posted a loss after the bell that matched estimates, but after it announced that it will close 75 stores in its fourth quarter, shares initially tumbled in after-hours trading. This is the company’s eighth straight quarterly loss, which it blamed on weak mall traffic among other things. Before the close shares were up about four percent to $3.19.

Brown-Forman

Brown-Forman also lowered its earnings outlook for the year, blaming currency issues. The Jack Daniel’s maker posted earnings and revenue that missed Wall Street forecasts, which made the results even harder for investors to swallow. Shares fell $3.75 to $92.25.

Carbonite

An unsolicited buyout offer sent shares of Carbonite higher today. J2 Global offered to buy the rest of the cloud-based backup company that it doesn’t already own, valuing it at $15 a share. Carbonite, which is a small-cap stock saw its stock surge almost 23 percent to $14.44. J2 Global also rose six percent to $60.33.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has hired Goldman Sachs to explore a sale of its Splenda brand, that’s according to reports. Selling the artificial sweetener would let the health care company leave the business, which has faced challenges because of weak soft drink sales and increased competition. Shares were down slightly to $107.72.

Kraft Foods

Kraft Foods is hiking the prices on most of its single serve coffee K-Cups for the first time. The maker of Maxwell House coffee blamed higher commodity costs, saying prices will be about nine percent higher starting December 28th. Shares were up a few cents to $60.19.

Hershey

Hershey is considering ditching high-fructose corn syrup in some of its products. The candy maker said consumers prefer sugar. The idea to switch comes amid concerns that corn syrup is more unhealthy. Some of the products that could be affected are Almond Joy and York Peppermint Patties. Shares were down slightly to $99.89.

Corning

Corning hiked its dividend by 20 percent to 12 cents a shares, which will be paid to shareholders at the end of March. The specialty glass company also unveiled a new share buyback program of $1.5 billion. Shares rose 2.5 percent to $21.54.

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