Diamonds and Dogs


Humana Inc. (HUM)

Humana operates as a health care company; however it is not looking healthy today, down 8.13% at $80.68. Humana stock fell due to a lower than expected earnings report for the first quarter. The company reported that first-quarter net income fell to $248 million, or $1.49 per share, from $315 million, or $1.88 per share, a year ago. The decline in net income was said to be a cause of premiums failing to keep up with rising medical costs. Although net income was significantly lower than last year, CEO Michael B. McCallister remained positive. "We've done very well in stepping up and taking advantage of the nice business opportunity with the expansion of the Medicare Part D business for seniors," stated McCallister. Furthermore, he went on to say that, "today was just an extension of great growth, and we have an opportunity that still remains big. And I think the company is strong and continues to grow."

Barnes and Noble Inc. (BKS)

Barnes and Noble had an absolutely tremendous run today, up 51.68% at $20.75. Barnes and Noble was higher today based on a deal the company worked out with Microsoft. Microsoft will invest at least $605 million in Barnes and Noble's Nook tablet. Microsoft's competition, Apple and Amazon, are pulling away in the tablet and e-book sector. Barnes and Noble is struggling in the traditional book business, and rely heavily on the Nook. Both of these companies' problems could mean this deal is just what both companies need to become more competitive in the tablet industry. Microsoft will have a 17.6% stake in a new subsidiary for the Nook and Barnes college-text businesses in a transaction that values them at $1.7 billion. Also in this deal, Barnes and Noble will create an e-reading app for Microsoft powered devices, and gain access to more international markets through Microsoft. Barnes and Noble run is unbelievable, it closed Friday at $13.68, nearly doubled reaching $26.00, before closing at $20.79.

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