Stocks in the news: Wal-Mart, Kohl's Corp, LDK Solar

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The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) reported second quarter earnings this morning, posting a surprise rise in profit, even if it was by a penny a share. Wal-Mart earned $3.45 billion, or 88 cents a share, up from $3.4 billion, or 87 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales, however, fell to $100.9 billion from $102.3 billion. This was above estimates for profit of 86 cents a share, but below sales estimates of $103.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Wal-Mart raised the bottom end of its full-year profit forecast. Shares climbed nearly 2 percent ahead of the bell.

LDK Solar (LDK) reported a bigger-than-expected $217 million loss and the company's third-quarter sales missed estimates. Shares fell over 12 percent in pre-market trading.
Kohl's Corp. (KSS) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as its sales grew with shoppers attracted to its stores with cheaply-priced and trendy merchandise. Shares declined about 2.5 percent in pre-market trading.

Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) reported a much higher-than-expected quarterly profit Thursday of 62 cents per shares vs. consensus estimate of 50 cents per share. It also raised its full-year outlook, helped by easing packaging and ingredient costs. Shares jumped 6.7 percent ahead of the bell.

Estee Lauder Cos. (EL) swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter loss as sales fell 16 percent. Still, excluding charges it came in-line with estimates.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) reported a 14 percent lower second-quarter net profit even as net sales were up 1 percent. Results topped estimates. Shares climbed over 7 percent before the bell.

Monsanto Co. (MON) reaffirmed Thursday that it expects its 2009 profit to come in at the low end of its prior forecast of $4.40 to $4.50 a share.

Citigroup (C) has been forced by U.S. regulators to hire external consultants to review the company's current management, the Financial Times reported. Meanwhile, its energy trader Andrew Hall is proposing to modify his contract in an effort to avoid a confrontation with the Obama administration's pay czar, The Wall Street Journal reported.

UBS (UBS) shares gained nearly 5 percent in pre-market trading following its settlement agreement with the U.S. government regarding the disclosure of names of wealthy American clients suspected of tax evasion.

Some analyst calls:
  • D.R. Horton (DHI) was downgraded to Sell from Hold at Citi.
  • Nokia (NOK) was downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Hold from Buy and removed it from its conviction list.
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