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The stock market made another big push higher this morning, with investors looking favorably on falling claims for unemployment benefits and the continued lack of inflationary pressure on prices at the consumer and producer level. As of 1:30 p.m. EST, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (UNKNOWN: GMCR.DL ) , Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI ) , and Bon-Ton Stores (NASDAQ: BONT ) are all up much more sharply than the overall market, with company-specific news helping them outperform most of their peers.
Green Mountain climbed 15% after reporting strong earnings results in its quarterly release last night. Despite some troubling guidance for the current quarter, including slower revenue and earnings growth than analysts had expected, shareholders celebrated the 11% jump in total net sales and K-Cup-specific revenue -- figures that were actually artificially depressed because of an extra week in last year's comparable quarter. Green Mountain also made income investors happy by introducing a modest $0.25 quarterly dividend, giving the stock a yield of about 1.4% based on the current stock price.
Johnson Controls gained 5% after taking two steps toward returning more money to shareholders. The maker of control systems for vehicles and buildings raised its quarterly dividend from $0.19 to $0.22 per share, marking its fourth increase since late 2010. Johnson Controls also announced an increase in its stock repurchase program of $3 billion, bringing its total authorization to $3.65 billion and pointing to increased confidence in the company's future prospects.
Bon-Ton Stores soared 21% as the company reported a smaller net loss than investors had expected to see. The department store retailer suffered a 2.8% drop in same-store sales for the quarter, but CEO Brendan Hoffman pointed to improvement during the last part of the quarter. Hoffman also cited cost-cutting measures that helped improve earnings, and a healthy growth rate for its e-commerce segment could drive growth further in the holiday quarter.
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