Stocks in the News: Goldman Sachs, AIG, Kraft

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

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) may be in settlement talks with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Shares rose 2.2% in premarket trading.

American International Group (AIG) reported Friday $1.21 adjusted earnings per share, handily beating Wall Street expectations of 48 cents per share. Also, according to the New York Times, AIG plans to dismiss Goldman Sachs from its advisory role.

AES Corp. (AES) said Friday that its first-quarter net income fell 14% even as revenue climbed 26%, hurt by lower energy prices and declining North American volume. Adjusted results topped estimates by a penny. AES also cut its full-year adjusted profit guidance to a range below analysts' estimates.

Kraft Foods (KFT) reported late Thursday first-quarter net income nearly tripled from a year ago to $1.88 billion, or $1.16 a share, as it sold its frozen pizza business, acquired chocolate maker Cadbury, and grew sales by 26% to $11.3 billion. Excluding items, Kraft earned 49 cents a share, above estimates for earnings of 43 cents a share on sales of $10.98 billion. Shares were 1% higher ahead of the bell.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) reported late Thursday results that easily surpassed analysts' forecasts on continued strong sales of "Call of Duty" and a steady stream of revenue from "World of Warcraft" subscribers. Net income doubled and revenue rose 33%.

HSBC Holdings (HBC) reported first quarter results, with its first pretax profit in the U.S. since 2007. Shares advanced 1.7% before the bell.

CGI Group (GIB) said Friday it will acquire Stanley Inc. (SXE) for $37.50 a share in a cash transaction valued at $1.07 billion. The price offered is at a 29% premium over Stanley's Thursday closing price of $29. As both boards approved the deal, it is expected to close during the fall of 2010, subject to regulatory approvals.

eBay Inc. (EBAY) and Gmarket, a South Korean online marketplace that eBay bought last year, are forming a joint venture to expand Gmarket's footprint in Japan and Singapore.
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