Stocks in the News: AIG, Dish Network, HSBC

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The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:

Britain's Prudential (PUK), which is not related to the American company of the same name, said Monday it will buy the Asian unit of American International Group (AIG) in a deal worth $35.5 billion that will allow AIG to pay back some of the money it owes U.S. taxpayers. AIG shares jumped over 15% in premarket trading. PUK shares skidded over 14%.

Dish Network (DISH) reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, even though its earnings declined 18% to $179 million, or 40 cents per share. Analysts had expected Dish to earn 32 cents a share. Dish also gained more subscribers for the third straight quarter. Shares advanced over 2.5% ahead of the bell.

HSBC Holdings (HBC) reported Monday that full-year profit rose 2% as sharply lower operating costs helped offset an increase in loan impairment charges, the Associated Press reported. Results, however, missed estimates as the group's Asia ex-Hong Kong business lagged the rest. Shares dropped over 7% in premarket action.

German's Merck KGaA (not U.S.'s Merck) said it's going to buy biotech Millipore (MIL) for $7.2 billion. MIL shares soared over 11% before the bell.

PepsiCo (PEP) said Monday it continues to expect 2010 through 2012 core constant currency earnings per share growth of 11% to 13% after it closed its $7.8 billion acquisition of its two largest bottlers.

MSCI (MXB) said it's going to buy RiskMetrics (RISK) for $1.55 billion, or $21.75 a share, in cash and stock. RISK shares rallied over 13% before the bell.

OSI Pharmaceuticals (OSIP) was offered $3.5 billion, or $52 a share, in cash in a hostile bid from Japan's Astellas Pharma. OSIP shares soared over 49% ahead of the bell.

EchoStar Satellite (SATS) and MVS Comunicaciones are acquiring Mexican satellite operator Satmex for $267 million in cash in a move to expand their direct-to-home TV service, Dish Mexico. EchoStar also said it narrowed its quarterly loss to $30.4 million, or 37 cents a share, as revenue rose to $557.9 million. Shares fell 2.7%.

Oshkosh (OSK) shares may be under pressure today after an unfavorable writeup in Barron's over the weekend, saying the stock price could decline by at least 20%, after huge gains in the past year and potential cutbacks in military spending. Shares dropped 2.9%.
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