Stocks in the news: Time Warner, Bank of America, Aetna

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Time Warner Inc. (TWX), parent of this Web site, continues to be hurt by a drop-off in advertising sales as it reported net income fell 14 percent in the first quarter to $661 million. Revenue dropped 7 percent to $6.9 billion. Excluding some items, profit was 45 cents, beating the 40-cent estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Time Warner also reiterated its full year 2009 outlook. TWX shares jumped about 7.5 percent before the bell.

Bank of American (BAC) is holding a shareholder meeting at 10 a.m. Eastern, with a major vote to decide the fate of CEO and Chairman Ken Lewis. He may be pushed off the latter position. BAC shares gained 3 percent in pre-market trading.

Aetna Inc. (AET) reported a slight 1 percent increase in its first-quarter profit to $437.8 million, or 95 cents per share, due to membership gains and premium increases, even though the company saw higher-than-expected medical costs. Revenue, which excludes investment losses, rose 11 percent to $8.6 billion. Operating earnings were 96 cents per share and topped Wall Street expectations for earnings of 93 cents per share on $8.5 billion in revenue. AET shares declined 6 percent in premarket trade.

Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q) first quarter earnings rose 37 percent to $206 million, or 12 cents per share, as the phone company was helped by cost-cutting and strong results from its business services unit. According to Thomson Reuters, analysts had been expecting earnings of 8 cents per share. Qwest shares rose 7.3 percent in premarket trading. Q shares advanced some 5 percent ahead of the bell.

Citigroup (C) wants to pay some "key" employees big bonuses and it is seeking government approval to do so, according to the The Wall Street Journal. Citi shares were 3.8 percent higher in premarket trading.

E-Trade Financial (ETFC) reported a higher than expected net loss of $232.7 million, or 41 cents a share, largely due to rising delinquencies and charge-offs that compelled it to raise its loan-loss provisions. The loss was higher than the 39 cents per share many analysts were expecting. ETFC shares plunged some 25 percent before the bell.

Morgan Stanley (MS) will hold its own shareholder meeting at 9 a.m. Eastern.

Wyeth (WYE), which is being acquired by Pfizer (PFE) posted a flat first-quarter profit but beats analysts' expectations, as cost cuts and a lower tax rate offset lower revenue.

In brief:
  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT) -- posts quarterly loss, shares traded 3.8 percent lower in pre-market action.
  • General Dynamics (GD) -- profit tops estimates, shares gained 3.7 percent before the bell.
  • Visa (V) -- is set to report results this morning.
  • Siemens (SI), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), Banco Santander (STD) and Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) all topped estimates.
  • SAP (SAP) reported a 16 percent fall in net profit, missing analysts forecasts.
  • Starbucks (SBUX) reports after the close of trade.
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