Stocks in the News: AIG, Hewlett-Packard, McDonald's

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

American International Group (AIG) said Monday it will sell its overseas life and health insurance unit, Alico, for $15.5 billion to MetLife (MET) -- $6.8 billion in cash, and the rest in stock and equity units. This sale follows last week's sale of AIA to Prudential PLC (PUK), as AIG attempts to repay billions in government aid. The cash portion of the sale will be used to reduce a $47.9 billion investment in AIG by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. AIG shares climbed 2.5% and MetLife shares jumped over 4% ahead of the bell.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and PetroChina (PTR) have sent Australian Arrow Energy Ltd. a takeover bid worth $3.3 billion Australian dollars ($3 billion). The proposal consists of AU$4.45 per share plus a share in a new entity comprised of Arrow's international business. Shell Energy Holdings Australia Ltd. confirmed it was considering acquiring the Australian company. Shares in Arrow Energy surged more than 40% to AU$4.98.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) said late Friday it is cutting its first-quarter earnings by 3 cents a share due to a lawsuit involving subsidiary Electronic Data Systems in the U.K.

McDonald's (MCD) said Monday that same-store sales climbed 4.8% in February as consumers continued to patronize the world's biggest hamburger chain, especially for its breakfast dollar menu, McCafe drinks and a Chicken McNugget promotion centered around the Winter Olympics. Sales were especially strong overseas. Shares were nearly 1% higher in premarket trading.

Daimler (DAI) is selling its 5.34% stake in Indian car maker Tata Motors (TTM) for as much as $429 million, according to media reports on Monday, citing unnamed sources. Tata shares dropped over 6% in premarket trading.

Toyota Motor's (TM) president said on Monday he believed that sales in North America could recover in March after a sharp decline last month as the automaker suspended sales of some recalled models.

Bank of New York Mellon (BK), the world's largest custodian of financial assets, said it agreed to acquire Germany's BHF Asset Servicing GmbH for about $343 million.

Roche Holding (RHHBY) and Biogen Idec (BIIB) said Monday they suspended the joint development of ocrelizumab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis because of safety concerns.

AstraZeneca (AZN) said Monday that its cancer drug Recentin, an oral pill, failed in a head-to-head late-stage trial with Roche's injectable Avastin in tests for use as an initial treatment against colon cancer. Shares fell 1.6% before the bell.

Apple's (AAPL) iPad commercials premiered at the Oscars. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT) is going to launch a multimillion-pound TV ad campaign for its search engine Bing, as part of a major marketing push designed to challenge Google's (GOOG) dominance of the U.K. search market, MediaGuardian.co.uk reveals.

Kraft Foods (KFT) is being probed by Britain's Panel on Takeovers and Mergers after the company opted to close Cadbury's Somerdale candy factory in Keynshaw, according to Wall Street Journal sources.

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (LXRX) on Monday said it would sell $95 million of common stock in an underwritten public offering.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reduced its CEO's pay package 14% last year in response to falling sales.

Ford Motor Co (F) stock may be under pressure Monday after Barron's on Sunday said that following the 800% rise Ford shares have seen in a little more than a year, it could be time to take profits.

Yahoo! (YHOO) was upgraded at JMP Securities from market perform to market outperform. Shares advanced 1.6%.
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