Stocks in the News: Kraft Foods, Merck, Barclays

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:

Kraft Foods (KFT) said fourth-quarter profit more than tripled to $710 million, or 48 cents a share, as business improved in developing markets on price hikes and volume growth. Revenue rose 3% to $11.03 billion. Kraft beat earnings estimates of 45 cents per share, but revenue was lower than the $11.07 expected. Kraft expects comparable sales growth of 4% or more and long-term earnings growth at the high-end of its previous guidance. Shares declined 1.2% ahead of the bell.Merck & Co. (MRK) said its fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled to $6.49 billion, or $2.35 a share, mainly due to the purchase of Schering-Plough, but also as a result of higher sales of some key Merck products, including vaccines. Sales for the quarter grew by 66% to $10.09 billion. Adjusted earning were 79 cents per share, a penny below estimates. Shares jumped 2.8% in premarket trading.

J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) said Tuesday that it will acquire the oil, metals and European energy operations of RBS Sempra Commodities for around $1.7 billion in cash.

Barclays PLC (BCS) on Tuesday reported its fourth quarter profit soared eight fold to 6.9 billion pounds ($10.8 billion) due to gains on the sale of its Global Investors unit to a private equity company. Shares soared over 11% in premarket trading.

Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) reported on Tuesday a fourth-quarter profit of $379 million, or 42 cents per share, from a boost in sales of acquired Barr products and a mix of generic and branded drugs. Excluding one-off items, the company said it earned 94 cents per share, a penny below expectations. Sales surged 34% to $3.8 billion.

Qwest Communications (Q) said Tuesday its fourth-quarter net income fell some 40% to $108 million, or 6 cents a share, but excluding charges, was inline with estimates. Operating revenue fell nearly 10% to about $3 billion. Shares advanced 1.8% before the bell.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) says its fiscal fourth-quarter profit dropped 31% to $47.5 million, or 53 cents per share, partly on costs to close its Ruehl stores, but adjusted results topped analysts' expectations. Adjusted profit was 91 cents per share, above the 87 cents-per-share estimate. Sales slipped 5% to $936 million, short of Wall Street's $953.7 million. Shares were 1.2% higher.

Terra Industries (TRA) on Monday reached a $4.1 billion deal to be bought by Norway's Yara International (YARIY). Yara will pay $41.10 per Terra share in cash, a 24% premium to Terra's closing price Friday. TRA shares rallied over 21%.

AstraZeneca (AZN) on Tuesday said it's reached a pact to pay Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL) up to $1.25 billion before royalties to license a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis -- a $13 billion market. RIGL shares climbed over 6% ahead of the bell.

Simon Property Group (SPG), the nations' largest mall owner, is making a $10 billion offer to acquire its ailing rival, General Growth Properties (GGWPQ).

Morgan Stanley downgradedGap Inc. (GPS) to underweight from equal-weight and J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) to equal-weight from overweight, citing concerns about margins at both retailers. Shares of both fell in premarket trading.

UBS upgraded Target (TGT) from neutral to buy.
Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners