Stocks in the news: Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, CIT Group

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The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Goldman Sachs (GS) posted a second-quarter earnings of $3.44 billion, or $4.93 a share. That's compared to the $3.65 a share forecast by analysts. As Tim Catts reports "not only did it eclipse the $2.05 billion profit it reported in the same period a year ago, but it surpassed its previous record of $3.22 billion logged two years ago." The trading desk and stock underwriting propelled revenue.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) meanwhile reported lower profit of $3.2 billion, or $1.15 per share compared to the same period a year ago, but also managed to top estimates of $1.11 per share. Revenue also beat analyst projections.
CIT Group Inc. (CIT), which plunged Monday on concerns of its viability, jumped 27 percent in pre-market trading after it said it's in "active discussions" with regulators about a rescue.

Intel Corp. (INTC) is scheduled to report earnings for after the market closes.

CSX Corp. (CSX) reported late Thursday a 20 percent drop in second-quarter profit to $308 million, or 78 cents a share, as a weak economy and declining industrial activity weighed heavily on freight demand. Excluding items, earnings were 72 cents a share, still better than the 64 cents a share analysts expected. Stock traded 3 percent higher ahead of the bell.

Sun Microsystems Inc. (JAVA), which is being bought by Oracle (ORCL), says it expects fiscal fourth-quarter results below Wall Street estimates. It predicts a loss of 6 cents to 16 cents per share excluding one-time items, higher than the penny a share loss analysts had projected.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) said late Monday that it was cutting its forecast for the next two quarters and that it was delaying the release of its most highly anticipated game title. Shares plunged 10 percent in pre-market trading.

Dell Inc. (DELL), on the other hand, said it sees a slight sequential increase in its second-quarter sales, but that its profit margins are likely to decline from its first quarter. Shares declined 4 percent ahead of the bell.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) said Tuesday it allied with Synthetic Genomics to launch a new algae-based biofuels program valued at up to $600 million in the oil major's biggest move so far into alternative energy as a hedge against challenges facing the fossil-fuel business.

Aetna Inc. (AET) and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) received multibillion-dollar contracts to provide health-care services for active and retired members of the U.S. military.

LDK Solar Co. (LDK) said it acquired 70 percent of Solar Green Technology S.p.A., the Milan, Italy, system integrators for solar-power projects. Terms weren't disclosed.

Novellus Systems Inc. (NVLS) reported a wider second-quarter loss as sales of the company's semiconductor manufacturing equipment fell amid a slump across the sector.

Unilever (UL) was upgraded at J.P. Morgan to Overweight from Neutral.
Prudential (PRU) was also upgraded at J.P. Morgan to Overweight from Neutral.
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