Stocks to Watch: Verizon, Vodafone, Staples

Tickers in this article: AEO JCP PAY SPLS SWHC VOD VZ

NEW YORK -- Verizon(VZ) is looking to acquire 100% of Verizon Wireless, its joint venture with Vodafone(VOD) , Bloomberg reported.

Vodafone's 45% stake in the venture could fetch $115 billion, according to analysts, Bloomberg said.

Verizon is eager to take over the unit this year, said people familiar with the situation.

Vodafone and Verizon also discussed a full merger of the two companies as recently as December, said two of the people familiar with the talks, Bloomberg reported. But negotiations broke down over disagreements on leadership and the headquarters location, making a buyout or partial sale of Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless a likelier outcome, the people told Bloomberg.

$199 Unsubsidized Verizon LTE Tablet Changes the Game


Staples(SPLS) is expected by Wall Street to report earnings of 45 cents a share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $6.72 billion.

Staples' conference call is at 8 a.m. EST and it's likely the topic of the recently announced merger of rivals OfficeMax(OMX) and Office Depot(ODP) will be mentioned.

Office Depot Takes Over OfficeMax to Take on Staples, Amazon


Members of J.C. Penney's(JCP) board will consider selling the company or replacing Ron Johnson as CEO if a deep drop in sales can't be reversed this year, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The group includes activist hedge-fund manager William Ackman, who as the retailer's largest shareholder was instrumental in establishing Johnson as CEO, the newspaper said.

J.C. Penney Needs to Fire Delusional Ron Johnson Now


American Eagle Outfitters(AEO) is expected by analysts Wednesday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 56 cents a share on revenue of $1.12 billion.


Smith & Wesson(SWHC) , the firearm maker, posted fourth-quarter profit Tuesday of $14.6 million, or 22 cents a share, more than tripling from year-earlier profit of $4.4 million, or 7 cents a share.

Revenue jumped 39% to $136 million as consumers bought guns while U.S. lawmakers debated whether to impose a ban on some weapons.


VeriFone(PAY) swung to a profit in the first quarter but the maker of terminals for electronic payments said Tuesday it could make senior management changes to "execute our strategic plan going forward."


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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