Stocks in the news: General Motors, Citigroup, Sears

General Motors Corp. (GM) reported fourth quarter financial results. As many feared, the losses were deep. The nation's largest automaker lost $9.6 billion in the fourth quarter and a staggering $30.9 billion loss for the full year. The per share loss was $9.65 excluding items -- far higher than analyst estimates of $7.40 per share according to Thomson Reuters. GM shares are declining over 6% in pre-market trading.

Citigroup (C) may be close to a deal with regulators. According to reports, the government may end up with as much as a 40% stake, the Wall Street Journal reported. The exact details aren't known, but the government could convert its $45 billion in preferred shares into common equity. Shares jumped over 8.7% in pre-market trading.

Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) reported a 55 percent drop in its quarterly profit due to store closing, impairment and severance charges. Adjusted results of $360 million, or $2.94 per share, however, beat analysts' estimates of $2.68 EPS, according to Thomson Reuters. Sales fell 12 percent to $13.28 billion, below estimates. SHLD shares are up 5.8% in pre-market trade.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) reported a $34.4 billion annual loss, which wasn't as steep as what it had warned it could be. It unveiled a massive restructuring plan that will offload many of its international businesses and dump 325 billion pounds of toxic assets into a government insurance program, a step that could result in the state increasing its stake to as high as 95 percent. RBS shares are soaring 20% in pre-market trade.

J.P. Morgan (JPM) said it expects losses of $1 billion to $1.4 billion in each quarter of 2009 tied to its "non-credit-impaired" home equity loan portfolio. JPMorgan projects a total of 12,000 job cuts from the WaMu integration. It is also close to selling Bear Wagner Specialists LLC to Barclays Capital, according to The Wall Street Journal. JPM opened 8.5% higher.

American International Group (AIG) and U.S. authorities are examining radical restructuring that would split the insurer into at least three government-controlled divisions in an attempt to keep it afloat, the Financial Times reported. AIG opened nearly 18% higher.

Bank of America (BAC) is looking to sell First Republic Bank, a private bank it inherited in the Merrill Lynch deal, The Wall Street Journal reported. BAC opened about 10% higher.

UBS (UBS) named Oswald Gruebel as CEO, replacing Marcel Rohner, who's resigning. Gruebel is the former head of rival Credit Suisse. UBS opened nearly 12% higher. Inc. (CRM) reported a fiscal fourth-quarter income of 11 cents a share, beating estimates for earnings of 7 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters. CRM slumped some 6.7% a little after the open.

Yahoo (YHOO)'s CFO Blake Jorgensen said at a conference that the company wasn't opposed to selling its search business. Microsoft (MSFT) has repeatedly expressed its interest in Yahoo's search business. YHOO is up about 3.6% a little after the open.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, who has taken a leave of absence due to health reasons, still expects to return from his medical leave at the end of June, according to an Apple director speaking during the company's annual shareholder meeting Wednesday.

Companies reporting today include:
  • Dell (DELL)
  • The Gap Inc. (GPS)
  • Kohl's Corp. (KSS)
  • Limited Brands Inc. (LTD)
  • Novell (NOVL)
  • Safeway Inc. (SWY)
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