Stocks in the news: AIG, General Electric, Goldman Sachs

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American International Group (AIG) has been the subject of headline news for quite some time over the executive bonuses. Well, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Monday that 15 employees who received some of the largest bonuses have agreed to return the more than $30 million worth of payments in full. But the Federal Reserve's chairman and the secretary of the treasury are making a rare joint appearance at a congressional hearing today and will likely be criticized over the handling of bonuses at the giant insurance company.

General Electric (GE) lost its triple-A rating by Moody's Investors Service, one week after Standard & Poor's cut it as well. Moody's says there is higher risks at the conglomerate's struggling GE Capital lending unit, although the outlook for both is stable. Moody's lowered its ratings for GE and GE Capital two notches to "Aa2" from "Aaa." GE shares lost 2 percent in pre-market trade.

Goldman Sachs (GS), which has also been in the news in relation to AIG bailout money it received, it trying to repay its own TARP bailout funds faster. There are reports that Goldman may sell its stake in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to help it repay $10 billion of money it received, maybe even within a month.

Credit Suisse (CS) continued the recent trend of banks informing they had a strong start in 2009. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank (DB) said it's expecting to make a profit this year and doesn't need to raise capital. DB shares declined 3.2 percent in pre-market trade, CS shares declined 6.7 percent.

ArcelorMittal (MT), said it's launching a 750 million euro ($1 billion) convertible bond. It also said first quarter EBITDA would range from 15 percent above to 15 percent below its $1 billion target.

Reporting today:
  • Williams-Sonoma (WSM) is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share. Fourth quarter profit tumbles. Shares declined 3.8 percent in pre-market trade.
  • Carnival Corp. (CCL) is expected to report first quarter earnings of 18 cents a share. Shares declined 2.8 percent in pre-market trade.
  • Jabil Circuit (JBL) is expected to report second quarter earnings of 13 cents a share.
Analyst calls:
  • Walt Disney Co. (DIS) was downgraded by Goldman Sachs from Buy to Neutral. Shares declined 3.8 percent in pre-market trade.
  • CBS Corp. (CBS) was upgraded by Goldman Sachs from Sell to Neutral.
  • Deere & Co. (DE) was started with a Buy at Jefferies & Co.
  • Under Armour Inc. (UA) was cut to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley. Shares declined over 4 percent in pre-market trade.
Dell Inc.'s (DELL) CEO said that talk of International Business Machines Corp (IBM) possibly buying Sun Microsystems (JAVA) provided an "enormous opportunity" to the company in the corporate server market.

Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NWL) cut its quarterly dividend by 52 percent to five cents a share. The company also said it would cut its salaried workforce and announced a $250 million convertible note offering and reaffirmed its first-quarter earnings forecast. NWL shares declined over 11 percent in pre-market trade.

Sprint Nextel (S) on Tuesday said it was looking to rent the excess capacity on its network to makers of consumer gadgets, the Wall Street Journal reported. Sprint is in talks with Garmin (GRMN), Eastman Kodak (EK) and Sandisk (SNDK) among others.

Blockbuster Inc. (BBI) delayed filing its financial results, as it needs more time to complete negotiation with its lenders. BBI shares declined over 8 percent in pre-market trade.

Sonic Corp. (SONC) posted a 7 percent fall in second-quarter profit that missed Wall Street estimates as same-store sales dropped 3.6 percent. SONC shares jumped over 10 percent in pre-market trade.
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