Stocks in the news: Ford, AT&T, McDonald's

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The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Ford Motor Co. (F) shares jumped about 10 percent in pre-market trade after the automaker posted a surprise profit of $2.3, or 69 cents per shares in the second quarter, although it was mainly due to debt restructuring. While Ford would have reported a loss of $424 million, or 21 cents per share, without special items, the loss is still far smaller than the 50 cents analysts had expected. Ford also said it was on track to at least break even in 2011.

AT&T Inc. (T) posted a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly profit as strong sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone helped boost wireless subscriber growth. The company activated more than 2.4 million iPhones in the quarter and more than a third of these were new customers. Shares gained 2.6 percent ahead of the bell.
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) said second-quarter earnings fell 8.1 percent as currency translation blunted sales of Big Macs and fries outside the U.S. The company beat earnings estimates by a penny and missed revenues forecast. Shares declined 2.7 percent in pre-market trading.

3M (MMM) also topped the Street's expectation even as its second-quarter profit fell 17 percent on the back of its transportation, security and consumer electronic-related businesses. Shares gained 2.8 percent in pre-market trade.

UPS (UPS) reported about half the second quarter profit it reported last year due to the global economic slowdown and missed estimates. Shares fell nearly 3 percent ahead of the bell.

Credit Suisse (CS) reported a stronger-than-forecast profit for the second quarter. Shares moved some 3 percent higher in pre-market.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) reported results today, beating estimates, after announcing Wednesday it is buying biotech company Medarex (MEDX) for $2.4 billion. BMY shares gained 2.4 percent in pre-market trading. MEDX shares of course soared 89 percent.

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) is due to post results after the close, but it too announced a deal to buy shoe store Zappos.com for $847 million in cash and stock.

Microsoft (MSFT) and American Express (AXP) are scheduled to report after the close.

eBay (EBAY) narrowly beat second-quarter earnings estimates by a penny despite its earnings and revenue falling as a drop in sales in the main online marketplace overshadowed growth in its PayPal payments and Skype communications units. Shares climbed over 9 percent ahead of the bell.

Qualcomm (QCOM) on Wednesday beat earnings estimate, but issued a forecast that was well below analyst forecast. Shares declined about 4 percent in pre-market trade.

Wyeth (WYE) on Wednesday posted a 13 percent jump in second-quarter profit, trouncing Wall Street forecasts, as cost cuts overcame lower sales due to generic competition and the strong dollar.

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