Stocks in the news: Alcoa, Nokia, Apple

Alcoa (AA), the aluminum giant, said late Monday that it will chop its dividend to 3 cents a share from 17 cents a share, sell $1.1 billion worth of shares in a public offering and cut costs by more than $2.4 billion annually by 2010 to cope with the economic downturn. It hopes its actions will boost working capital by $800 million this year and reduce capital spending by an additional $1 billion in 2010. AA shares are down over 11 percent in premarket trade.

Nokia (NOK), the world's largest handset maker, said Tuesday it will lay off 1,700 people worldwide to cut costs. It will scale sales, marketing and technology management as the global economic downturn strikes deeper into the mobile phone sector.

Apple (AAPL) is due to announce new iPhone software, iPhone 3.0, in a special event scheduled for today at 1 p.m. ET. Speculations include copy and paste function, better mail program, and Bluetooth support.

Dell (DELL) is launching a new line of ultra-thin, high-end laptops designed to help boost the company's image.

The company also faces the challenge of getting consumers to pay up for high-end devices in the middle of an economic slump as the Dell Adamo is starting at $1,999 according to some. DELL shares are up about 1 percent in premarket trade.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) and Guess (GES) are reporting results after the close of trade today. ADBE is expected to report first-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share according to First Call, GES, 51 cents a share.

Sirius XM (SIRI) is expected to report a loss of 2 cents a share. SIRI shares are up 8.5 percent in premarket trade.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) reiterated a pledge to increase its first-quarter dividend by 5 percent. The oil producer expects 2-3 percent annual production in next decade. Shell also said it was under investigation by U.S. authorities for potential breaches of overseas bribery rules. Shell shares are down 2.5 percent in premarket trade.

American International Group (AIG) can't get away from the headlines. The insurer, which consumes bailout money like a black hole, now has the White House looking at restrictions on some $30 billion in taxpayers' money as it tries to reclaim or block millions of dollars in bonuses the struggling company awarded executives. AIG shares are jumping over 7 percent in premarket trade.

Target Corp. (TGT) will nominate for re-election four board members whose terms expire this year.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) will offer 7 million common shares. Wynn will also offer an option to sell just more than 1 million added shares. The casino operator plans to use proceeds for general corporate purposes and the repayment of debt. WYNN shares are down 4.3 percent in premarket trade.

  • Jefferies & Co upgraded the following companies: Best Buy (BBY), Target (TGT), Home Depot (HD) and Costco (COST), all from Hold to Buy.
  • Keefe Bruyette downgraded Goldman Sachs (GS) to Market Perform from Outperform.
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