Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Buzz Stocks: WellPoint, Walt Disney, and H.J. Heinz

Today's stocks to watch include WLP, DIS, HNZ, and URBN

by 8/29/2012 9:07 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Stocks are slightly lower again this morning, as investors patiently await economic reports and Ben Bernanke's Friday speech (all the while keeping an eye on the Republican National Convention). Meanwhile, here are some stocks to watch in the news today:

  • In earnings news, H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) reported a 14% gain in first-quarter earnings, as the consumer company capitalized on a drop in reduced overhead expenses and improved margins. Revenue, however, was down 1.5% during the reporting period. (NASDAQ)

  • Facing pressure from shareholders, the CEO from WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) has resigned her post of five years. Angela Braly had been criticized on a number of fronts, including share buybacks and issues setting premium prices. The insurer's general counsel will serve as interim CEO while a search is conducted for Braly's replacement. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

  • Seven years to the day that Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the less-powerful Hurricane Isaac has blanketed New Orleans, leaving hundreds of thousands without power. Oil platforms in the Gulf Coast were spared, however, sending crude futures slightly lower this morning as industry watchers breathe a collective sigh of relief. (Reuters)

  • ESPN -- a division of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) -- has signed an eight-year extension with Major League Baseball (MLB) that will run through the 2021 season. The $5.6 billon deal, which effectively doubles the amount paid by the network for broadcast rights, is the highest price tag ever collected by the MLB. (New York Post)

  • Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN) is under criticism for launching a line of t-shirts -- just in time for back-to-school season -- featuring "humorous" quips about drinking. Slogans such as "USA Drinking Team" and "I Drink You're Cute" have been frowned upon by the Federal Trade Commission, who argues they promote underage drinking, but the shirts are not being pulled from shelves. (Yahoo!)

  • Finally, despite leaving her flagship eponymous show behind last year, Oprah Winfrey has maintained her perch as the highest-paid celebrity in the world, according to Forbes. She earned roughly $165 million last year, topping movie director Michael Bay, who banked $160 million. Other names on the list included Howard Stern (with $95 million), Tom Cruise ($75 million), and Ryan Seacrest (mere chump change of $59 million). (Entertainment Weekly)

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