Stocks in the news: General Motors, Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems

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The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

General Motors (GM) posted a $6 billion loss, but managed to lose less money than expected. The struggling American automaker also spent $10.2 billion more cash than it received. Excluding items, GM lost $9.78 per share -- far greater than a year ago when the firm lost 67 cents per share -- but better than the expected loss of $11.39 per share. GM's quarterly revenue dropped 47 percent to $22.4 billion from $42.4 billion a year ago. Also, it seems its market share collapsed. GM shares jumped 4.8 percent before the bell.

According to reports, what we know so far from leaks regarding the banks' stress test is that Goldman Sachs (GS), American Express Co. (AXP), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) will not be asked to raise more capital. CitigroupInc. (C) will need to raise about $5 billion, Bank of America Corp. (BAC) about $10 billion and Wells Fargo& Co. (WFC) will also be asked to raise capital. They will have one month to come up with a plan to raise the additional resources, federal regulators said Wednesday. BK and WFC traded about 6 percent higher in pre-market action, BAC and C about 14 percent higher.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) reported a 24 percent drop in quarterly profit and a 17 percent drop in sales late Wednesday as customers cut spending. Both sales and profit, though, beat Wall Street expectations. The company cut costs during the quarter, but said it sees signs of a turnaround. CSCO shares gained 2 percent in pre-market trade.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) same-store sales jumped 5 percent in April thanks to sales of Easter merchandise and higher traffic. Analysts expected a smaller 2.9 percent rise. Total first-quarter sales rose nearly 1 percent to $96.08 billion, a little lower than expectations of $96.82 billion. WMT shares jumped over 4 percent before the bell.

Other retail sales:
Unilever Plc (UL) reported a 45 percent drop in first-quarter profit as customers sought cheaper alternatives to its branded products. While volume fell, sales excluding acquisitions and currency swings grew 4.8 percent, helped by stronger pricing. UL shares jumped over 9 percent in pre-market trade.
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