Stocks in the news: Bank of America, Take-Two Interactive, Big Lots

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Bank of America (BAC), true to its plans to repay TARP funds, raised $19.3 billion Thursday selling securities at $15 apiece in the biggest sale of stock or preferred shares by a U.S. public company since at least 2000. Shares declined 3.4% in pre-market trading.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) warned late Thursday that its results for the past quarter and the fiscal year would fall far below expectations and that it would post a loss in the first fiscal quarter. It blamed release delays, high development costs and low baseball game sales. Take-Two shares fell more than 26% ahead of the bell.

Big Lots Inc. (BIG) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit of $30.3 million, or 37 cents per share, as initial markups and lower freight costs boosted gross margins. Big Lots raised its outlook for the holiday fourth quarter, and also said it will buy back $150 million of common shares, starting immediately. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 27 cents a share, while analysts were looking for a gain of 18 cents. Shares jumped nearly 11% before the bell.

Citigroup (C) is finding it hard to repay the remaining $20 billion worth of bailout funds it owes the U.S. government while the Treasury Department refuses to sell its 34% stake in the bank, people familiar with the bank said, according to Bloomberg.

LDK Solar (LDK) shares climbed more than 10% after it agreed with German firm Q-Cells to drop legal action over the a contract and announced that Q-Cells will continue its wafer supply contract with LDK.

Sun Microsystems (JAVA) shares gained more than 6% in premarket trading on news that a top legal expert on open-source software has told European antitrust regulators that their analysis of the deal with Oracle (ORCL) is partly flawed. Oracle intends to buy Sun for $7 billion.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd (MRVL) forecast a sharply better than expected fourth quarter as it reported strong demand for its storage, mobile and networking chips. Shares gained more than 7% ahead of the bell.

Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO) said it has control over 90% of Norwegian target Tandberg, allowing it to squeeze out the remaining shareholders and create the world's leader in videoconferencing equipment.

FedEx (FDX) will raise ground and home delivery rates by an average of 4.9% starting Jan. 4. It had previously said it was hiking express shipping rates by 5.9%. The price increases follow a similar move by UPS (UPS).

Select Analyst Calls:

  • Citigroup upgraded Akami (AKAM) from hold to buy and upped the target from $23 to $31.
  • Citigroup also upgraded Reynolds American (RAI) from hold to buy and raised target from $52 to $59.
  • Citigroup downgraded AK Steel (AKS) and Netflix (NFLX) from buy to hold.
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