Stocks in the news: Aetna, Honeywell, Verizon, Apple

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The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Aetna (AET) reported a 29 percent decline in its second quarter profit due to higher medical expenses in its commercial business, which it expects to continue for the rest of the year. The company's earnings were below analyst expectation even as revenue was above estimates. Aetna also cut its annual profit forecast -- the second time in two months. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported Aetna is shopping its pharmacy benefits management business. Shares skidded over 9 percent in pre-market trade.

Honeywell International (HON) reported that its second quarter earnings dropped 38 percent as troubled sectors like automobiles and construction continued to drag down its results. Revenue fell 22 percent. Results matched analyst expecations on the bottom line, but missed on the top.
Verizon Communications (VZ) reported its second-quarter profit fell 7 percent as rising costs outstripped an 11 percent increase in sales. Results matched analyst estimates.

Amgen (AMGN) is due to report results after the market close. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.16 per share on revenues of $3.58 billion.

Ryanair Holdings (RYAAY) posted a better-than-expected 550 percent rise in first quarter profit thanks to a large reduction in fuel costs but it cut its profit outlook, because of an expected drop in average fares. Shares declined over 7 percent ahead of the bell.

Corning Inc. (GLW) earnings plunged 81 percent but it still managed to earned $611 million in the second quarter on a rebound in demand for glass used in flat-screen televisions, beating Wall Street forecast on both top and bottom lines. Shares declined 2 percent before the bell.

Tellabs Inc. (TLAB) reported an 11 percent drop in second-quarter revenue as phone companies cut back on technology spending, but it was better than expected.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) "is working with the four largest record labels to stimulate digital sales of albums by bundling a new interactive booklet, sleeve notes and other interactive features with music downloads, in a move it hopes will change buying trends on its online iTunes store," the Financial Times reported. The paper added Apple is also "racing to offer a portable, full-featured, tablet-sized computer in time for the Christmas shopping season."

Medtronic Inc. (MDT) said Monday it will pay $400 milion to Abbott Laboratories (ABT) and $42 million to evYsio Medical Devices LLC, thus resolving all outstanding intellectual-property litigation with Abbott Laboratories (ABT).

Citigroup (C) said on Sunday some 99 percent of its stock was tendered in an exchange offer for publicly held securities, as it completed its $58 billion stock offering, in a move toward that would strengthen its balance sheet and would allow the U.S. government a 34 percent equity stake in the bank. Shares dropped over 3 percent in pre-market trade.

In brief:
RadioShack (RSH) beats Street on netbooks, lower costs, shares gain over 3.5 percent
Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) Q4 profit misses Street, shares drop 10 percent
Pearson (PSO) raises guidance, shares rise 9 percent
Alberto Culver (ACV) posts quarterly profit
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