Stocks in the news: Intel, UBS, Abbott Labs, Infosys Techonologies

Intel Corp. (INTC) shares declined after the world's largest chip maker posted results that trounced analyst expectations, with earnings coming in at 11 cents a share, versus expectations of 3 cents a share. Sales also topped estimated. But the problem was a very cautious outlook and sketchy guidance and investors didn't seem much impressed with its proclamation that slumping personal computer sales have "bottomed out." INTC shares declined 4.5 percent before the bell.

UBS AG (UBS), Switzerland's largest bank, added some concerns to financials this morning when it said it expects a first quarter loss of nearly 2 billion Swiss francs ($1.75 billion) and that it will cut 8,700 jobs worldwide by the end of next year. UBS shares declined 2.5 percent in pre-market trade.

Infosys Technologies (INFY) on Wednesday reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, but said it expects its first-ever decline in annual earnings and revenue. INFY shares dropped 5.8 percent in pre-market trade.

eBay (EBAY) said Tuesday it would spin off its Skype unit via an initial public offering. This will conclude a controversial $2.6 billion acquisition of the unit three and a half years ago. Investors hope this action may perhaps help eBay to focus on its core business. EBAY shares were up over 1 percent before the bell.

General Motors Corp. (GM) talks with debtholders have slowed as it faces looming government deadline to cut its debt in order to stay out of bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Chrysler talks with its debtholders have picked up. At GM, a group representing bondholders is still waiting for a counteroffer from the company, according to AP sources. GM shares gained 5.6 percent in pre-market trade.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) is reportedly about to start a third round of mass layoffs in 14 months, signaling the long-slumping Internet company is still struggling to snap out of its financial malaise despite recent management changes. Yahoo is scheduled to release earnings on April 21.

Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) said it's going to buy privately held cancer drug maker BiPar Sciences for as much as $500 million. BiPar focuses on new cancer drugs.

Abbott Labs (ABT) reported first-quarter earnings of $1.4 billion, or 92 cents a share. Revenue fell to $6.7 billion from $6.8 billion. Excluding various items, Abbott earned 73 cents a share, beating estimates. Abbott confirmed its 2009 forecast of earnings per share. ABT shares dropped some 4.4 percent before the bell.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (SIRI) and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. had their corporate credit rating raised to CCC+ from CCC by Standard & Poor's. The corporate credit rating outlook is stable.

CSX Corp. (CSX) reported its first-quarter net income fell to $246 million, or 62 cents a share, and that revenue decreased 17 percent to $2.2 billion, but it beat analyst estimates. CSX shares jumped 6 percent in pre-market trade.

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) increased the quarterly dividend by 10 percent to 44 cents from 40 cents.

Analyst calls:

  • Yum Brands Inc. (YUM) was upgraded at J.P. Morgan to Overweight from Neutral, citing valuation in part for the move.
  • Goldman Sachs (GS) was downgraded at J.P. Morgan to Neutral from Overweight and left its price target unchanged at $120, saying the stock is now fully valued.
  • Starbucks (SBUX) was downgraded at Deutsche Securities from Hold to Sell. SBUX shares declined 6 percent in pre-market trade.
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