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Stocks Buzz: Visa Inc, Ford Motor Company, Aeropostale

NEW YORK, March 15, 2013 -, one of the leaders in providing investment alerts on U.S. stocks are announcing Investment Highlights on Visa Inc, Ford Motor Company, Aeropostale.

China UnionPay, the largest Chinese bank card payment processor, wants to expand the international issue of credit cards under its own logo and is like to provide stiff competition to U.S.-based Visa Inc(NYSE:V).

UnionPay president Xu Luode wants to significantly expand China UnionPay's global operations.

Xu said: "China UnionPay always positions itself as a modest participant and we welcome collaboration. However, Visa has been acting very aggressively. Therefore, we need to strengthen our own capabilities to avoid such disputes."

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So far China UnionPay has issued over 16 million UnionPay logo-only credit cards abroad and the number is likely to climb by 30% and 50% annually over the next three years.

About half of all credit cards currently issued by UnionPay are co-branded with companies like Visa and MasterCard. However, UnionPay and Visa have some disagreement over the payment system to be used.

Shares of Visa and MasterCard rose less than 1% in late afternoon trading.

Ford CEO’s pay slashed Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company(NYSE:F)’s profits in North America soared, losses in Europe mounted and the company’s market share eroded. Also, CEO Alan Mulally's compensation fell 29 percent to $20.95 million in 2012.

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Although Mulally’s salary remained unchanged at $2 million, his bonus fell 27 percent to $1.3 million and the stock awarded dropped to $6.8 million. He received $7.5 million in stock options, which also remained unchanged. His bonus under Ford's incentive bonus plan for executives fell 28 percent to $2.6 million. His compensation was lowered because market share goals were not met in any of the global regions.

Ford posted a $8 billion pretax profit in North America in 2012, but net income fell by $300 million to $5.66 billion, mainly because of a $1.75 billion loss in Europe. The restructuring of its European operations notwithstanding, the company still expects to lose $2 billion in the region.

Teen clothing retailer Aeropostale, Inc.(NYSE:ARO - News) sees a loss and a sharp drop in sales in the current quarter, thanks to sharp cuts in product prices and weakness in the economy.

Aeropostale posted a net loss of $671,000 or a penny per share, for the period ended Feb. 2 that comprised 14 weeks, against a profit of $26.1 million or 32 cents per share for the prior-year period, which was a week shorter.

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Sales dropped 1 percent to $797.7 million for the quarter although it included the holiday season; same-store sales, a key metric, fell 8 percent.

The company said that it will be forced to slash prices to clear shelves of unsold merchandise, and that it anticipated its first-quarter loss to be between 15 and 20 cents per share.

The Street was expecting a profit of 8 cents per share. Aeropostale has been ceding market share to rivals like American Eagle Outfitters Inc and Abercrombie & Fitch Co and has not been very successful in engaging teens with its merchandise.

The stock dropped 6.7 percent to $13.60.

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