Trefis Top 5 – May 10 Insights (MSFT, MGM, LTD, PG, DUK)

Today we take a look at Microsoft's ( MSFT ) announced purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion. We also look at MGM Resorts International's ( MGM ) geographical diversification and how that factors into its stock value. We break down Bath & Body Works' contribution to Limited Brands' ( LTD ) stock value, and we discuss the factors that make Procter & Gamble ( PG ) a great stock for retirees. Finally, Duke Energy ( DUK ) drew some unwanted attention recently as environmentalists protested its use of nuclear and coal at its annual meeting so we take a look at what Duke will look like after its Progress merger.

Microsoft's Skype Deal to Link its Products to Consumers via the Web

Microsoft ( MSFT ) announced plans to buy Skype for around $8.5 billion. In a conference call this morning, Skype and Microsoft laid out their visions of the union including Steve Ballmer's take on how well Skype could integrate with Outlook, Xbox and Windows mobile OS. Ballmer likes that "Skyping" is synonymous with Internet calling, and with Skype, Microsoft can make enterprise products more collaborative as well as support its gaming and mobile initiatives to better compete with its peers like Cisco (CSCO), Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL) and others.

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Bath & Body Works Grows to 25% of Limited's Stock Value

Bath & Body Works (BBW) is the second most valuable division after Victoria's Secret for Limited Brands ( LTD ), representing 25% of the estimated firm's equity value. These two divisions make up almost 60% of the stock value by our estimates, which differentiates the company from other retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), American Eagle (AEO), AnnTaylor (ANN) and Gap (GPS). Below we take a quick look at the outlook for the two main drivers to our Bath & Body Works forecast: sales and margins.

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MGM's Risk from Geographically Concentrated Operation

MGM Resorts International ( MGM ) owns and operates casino resorts that feature hotel, dining, and entertainment amenities in addition to gaming. The majority of MGM's properties are located in Nevada with a few others in Mississippi and Michigan. Its Las Vegas strip operating properties include well-known names like Bellagio, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay. MGM competes with other prominent gaming companies like Wynn Resorts (WYNN),Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), Boyd Gaming (BYD) and Harrah's.

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Why P&G is a Great Stock for Retirement

For those considering retirement soon, Procter & Gamble ( PG ) might be a good fit for a portfolio. It's stable outlook given its personal care focus, its history of creating new products to meet consumers' needs, the near 50% dividend payout and strong cash flow make it a compelling choice for those with a longer time horizon. P&G is the market leader in the very competitive personal and home care industry that includes players like Unilever (UL), Colgate-Palmolive (CL) and Kimberly-Clark (KMB).

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Downside to Duke Energy From Increasing Environmental Regulations

Duke Energy's ( DUK ) annual shareholder meeting last week was marked by protests from environmentalists who are opposed to the company's coal and nuclear projects. Duke bid $13.7 billion for Progress Energy (PGN), and if approved, Duke will become the largest combined electrical utility in the U.S. competing with companies like American Electric Power Company (AEP), Exelon Energy Corp and Allegheny Energy (NYSE:AYE). We discussed this in Sizing up Duke Energy's Business Before Progress Energy Merger.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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