Stocks in the news: Bank of America, Sprint, General Motors

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The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Bank of America Corp (BAC) is working on plans to raise more than $10 billion in fresh capital, even as it attempts to convince the U.S. government it does not need to bolster its balance sheets, the Financial Times reported. The bank received $45 billion in government aid. BAC shares were up 3 percent at the open.

Citigroup (C), too, aims to convince government to boost its stress test results at the same time it tries to raise $ 10 billion in capital. Citi is believed to be considering a plan to convert more than $15 billion in trust preferred shares – a hybrid of debt and equity – into common stock. C shares gained 4 percent shortly after the open.

General Motors (GM) may finally be able to sell some or all of its European operations as Fiat Group SpA's chief executive was expected in Berlin for discussions Monday with the German government over its plans to buy GM's Opel unit. Canadian car parts maker Magna International Inc. has also has expressed an interest in taking a stake in Opel. Reaction was muted at GM and shares were up only 2 percent at the open.

Sprint Nextel Corp (S) reported Monday that its first quarter loss grew by 18 percent, to $594 million, or 21 cents a share. Net operating revenue fell 12 percent to $8.21 billion. Excluding items, however, loss was 3 cents a share, beating Wall Street estimates by a penny, thanks to cost cuts and strong growth in subscribers for a new prepaid service. Shares jumped over 10 percent in premarket trade.

Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. (PBG) said its board rejected a proposal from PepsiCo (PEP) to acquire all outstanding shares not already owned by PepsiCo for cash and PepsiCo common stock. PBG said Pepsi's $6 billion offer for PBG and PepsiAmericas (PAS) was "grossly inadequate."

Tyson Foods (TSN) said it lost 24 cents a share in the quarter from contiuing operations on declining beef sales. The results were far below analyst estimates.

Estee Lauder (EL) said its net profit plunged 70 percent in the third quarter on charges, but adjusted earnings topped analyst estimates by a wide margin. Shares jumped over 5 percent at the open.

American International Group Inc. (AIG) is seeking to sell its Japan headquarters for about $1 billion, according to a Dow Jones Newswire report Monday.

Loews Corp. (L) reported a loss of $647 million, or $1.49 a share, in the first quarter. Total revenue for Loews fell 16 percent to $3.02 billion. Shares gained 4 percent at the open.

Intel (INTC) shares gained over 3 percent before the bell after Morgan Stanley upgraded it from Equal Weight to Overweight and raised the price target from $15 to $19, saying orders will start to grow and Street estimates are too low. UBS also upped its target price.

Research In Motion's (RIMM) price target raised at Goldman to $85 from $82 based on higher smartphone market unit growth. Maintained Buy rating. Meanwhile, RIM's co-CEO said the BlackBerry smartphones still has much room to grow, just as AT&T announced the early summer availability of the BlackBerry Curve 8900. Shares were up 3.3 percent.

Target Corp. (TGT) shares dropped 1.3 percent after it was cut to Underperform from Neutral at Bank of America, which said sales volume and the average price of items purchased at the company may fall.
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