Stocks in the News: Hewlett-Packard, Deere, Symantec

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

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) reported late Tuesday that net income jumped 28% in the latest quarter as stronger demand for personal computers helped drive revenue 13% higher. The company beat estimates and raised its 2010 forecast. Shares rose 2.5% ahead of the bell.

Target (TGT) said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit rose 29% to $671 million, or 90 cents a share as sales rose 5.5% to $15.2 billion. The company beat estimates of 86 cents a share. Same-store sales rose 2.8% in the quarter. Shares traded over 2% higher in premarket action.

Deere & Co. (DE) said Wednesday its fiscal second-quarter profit rose 16% to $547.5 million, or $1.28 a share as sales rose 6% to $7.13 billion. On an adjusted basis, it earned $1.58 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet Research were looking for earnings of $1.09 a share, on average. Shares jumped 3.2% in premarket trading.

BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ) said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit rose 7.5% to $26.1 million, or 49 cents a share as sales rose 13% to $2.55 billion, with same-store sales increasing by 7.8%. Earnings beat analysts' estimates and the company raised its full-year forecast.

Yahoo (YHOO) is buying Associated Content, a five-year-old, low-cost publisher that employs thousands of freelancers to write how-to and reference stories. While financial terms weren't disclosed, Advertising Age reports the sale price as more than $100 million. Shares dropped over 1% before the bell.

Companies reporting quarterly earnings on Wednesday include Target (TGT), Polo Ralph Lauren (RL), Limited Brands (LTD), Autodesk (ADSK), Applied Materials (AMAT) and Hormel Foods (HRL).

Goldman Sachs (GS) racked up trading profits for itself every day last quarter. Clients who followed the firm's investment advice fared far worse, Bloomberg reports, with seven of the bank's nine "recommended top trades for 2010" losing 14% for investors.

Google's (GOOG) Android took fourth place in the first quarter in the smart phone market, overtaking Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Mobile, showing the increasing success of the search group's push into cellphones.

Analog Devices (ADI) said its fiscal second-quarter net income more than tripled as revenue for the period rose 41%, beating analysts' estimates. Shares were 2.3% higher in after-hours.

Symantec (SYMC) has reportedly agreed to buy VeriSign (VRSN) security authentication business for about $1.3 billion. VRSN shares fell 3% after closing over 5% higher Tuesday on rumors of the deal.

L-3 Communications (LLL) said Tuesday it priced an offering of $800 million in senior notes due July 15, 2020.

Amazon.com (AMZN) said Tuesday it is launching a book imprint to publish foreign-language literature translated into English.
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