Stocks in the news: eBay, Bank of America, Nokia, Starbucks, RIM

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Some of the companies making headlines today:

eBay (EBAY) may finally announce on Tuesday the anticipated deal to sell its Skype Internet calling division to a group of private investors, according to the New York Times. The paper, which cited two sources, said a price was not disclosed, but in the past eBay CEO Donahoe said he wants around $2 billion for Skype, which is expected to make more than $600 million in revenue this year. EBAY shares climbed on the news.

Bank of America (BAC) is looking to pay back some of the $45 billion in federal bailout aid it has received in an effort to get out from underneath the government's thumb as it awaits pay czar Feinberg's approval of its 2009 executive pay packages, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) board member Carl Icahn has cut back his stake in Yahoo to 4.48 percent, selling nearly 13 million shares since last Thursday, according to a regulatory filing on Monday. His stake was 5.38 percent as of June 30, according to Reuters data.

Nokia (NOK) said Tuesday the CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks has resigned and will be replaced by Rajeev Suri, head of the telecom equipment maker's key Services unit. Nokia was also downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at Credit Suisse. Shares declined about 3 percent ahead of the bell.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACAD) said that its Phase III trial of pimavanserin to treat patients with Parkinson's related psychosis did not meet its primary endpoint of antipsychotic efficacy. Biovail (BVF) is co-developing pimavanserin. The stock plummeted about 70 percent in pre-market trade.

Starbucks (SBUX) said it would acquire full control of its French operations from its joint-venture partner. Terms weren't disclosed.

PetroChina Co. (PTR) and Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. have signed agreements allowing the Chinese energy giant to purchase a 60 percent working interest in two oil sands projects in Western Canada for 1.9 billion Canadian dollars ($1.7 billion).

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) is reporting fiscal-third quarter today. It is expected to post a loss of 68 cents a share.

Boeing Co. (BA) said that the president and chief executive of its commercial airplane unit, Scott Carson, will retire at the end of the year. Boeing named Jim Albaugh as Carson's successor effective Sept. 1.

American International Group Inc. (AIG) said it agreed to terms of binding arbitration with former Chairman and CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg and former CFO Howard Smith to settle various legal disputes, according to a filing Monday with the SEC.

Analyst call:

  • Marvel Entertainment Inc. (MVL) was downgraded at J.P. Morgan to Neutral from Overweight following the shares' jump on the deal news with Disney (DIS).
  • Credit Suisse upgraded Research In Motion (RIMM) and Motorola (MOT) to Outperfrom from Neutral while cutting Qualcomm (QCOM) to Neutral from Outperform. Apple's (AAPL) target price to $200 from $175.
  • Coach Inc. (COH) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.
  • Credit Suisse downgraded Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) to Neutral from Outperform.
  • BNP Paribas downgraded Philips (PHG) to Underperform from Neutral and upgraded Siemens (SI) to Neutral from Underperform.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) was upgraded to Buy from Hold at UBS, which upgraded its commodity forecasts.
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