Stocks in the news: Bank of America, Pfizer, U.S. Steel

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The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Bank of America (BAC) and CItigroup (C) have been told by regulators that "stress test" results show they may need to raise additional capital, The Wall Street Journal reported. While each have received $45 billion in government bailout funds already, the Fed stressed that a bank's need for more capital reserves to meet the requirements should not be considered a measure of the "current solvency or viability of the firm." That didn't seem to have boosted investors' confidence in any way as both BAC and C have plunged in pre-market trading, 8.6 and 6 percent respectively. Other banks declined as well.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) reported financial results for first-quarter 2009. The big pharmaceutical company's adjusted net income declined 11 percent to $3.7 billion or 54 cents per share, beat estimates of 49 cents per share. Revenues declined 8 percent to $10.9 billion as foreign exchange unfavorably impacted revenues as well as generic competition. Top line was below estimates. The company also reaffirmed guidance. Shares were up 1.4 percent in pre-market trade.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) said first-quarter profit fell on negative foreign exchange factors and falling sales of its cancer medicine, offsetting higher revenue from other medicines. The company still managed to beat estimates by a penny though.

U.S. Steel Corp. (X), the nation's largest steelmaker, reported a first-quarter net loss that was more than twice analysts' estimates and cut its dividend as prices plunged. Moody's Investors Service downgraded about $1.6 billion of the company's debt to junk status. X shares declined 8.5 percent in pre-market trade.

U.S. Airways (LCC) and American Airlines (AMR) are just two airlines that continued to drop in the wake of swine flu concerns. An industry body said that as it was, airlines suffered an 11.1 percent fall in passenger numbers in March year-on-year, and swine flu stands to compound financial problems and suppress traffic even more. LCC declined before the bell 7.5 percent, AMR over 4 percent.

Sotheby's (BID), the world's largest auctioneer by sales, said it will slash its dividend to 20 cents a year from 60 cents and tat it plans further job cuts to reduce costs because of a decline in the art market and the wider economy.

In brief:

  • Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB), Germany's biggest bank, returned to profit in the first quarter. DB shares declined 5.7 percent in pre-market trade.
  • Daimler AG (DAI) posted its first back-to-back quarterly losses in at least 10 years as the recession led to a drop in sales of Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks. DAI dropped 6.7 percent before the bell.
  • BP (BP) returned to profit, but reported a 64% profit fall. Shares gained 2 percent in pre-market trading.
  • Honda Motor (HMC) said its annual profit dropped 77%.
  • Baidu.com (BIDU) late Monday said its first-quarter profit rose 24 percent on higher-than-expected revenue. Shares gained 3 percent in pre-market trade.
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