Stocks in the news: Kraft, UBS, AIG, Archer Daniels

The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) said Tuesday that its first-quarter profit rose 10 percent even as sales declines due to consumers pulling back on their spending were offset by higher prices. The company earned 45 cents per share, beating analyst estimates by a penny. Revenue fell 6.5 percent to $9.4 billion, missing analysts' expectation for $9.67 billion. KFT shares gained over 6 percent in pre-market trading.

UBS AG (UBS) reported Tuesday a first-quarter net loss of 1.98 billion Swiss francs ($1.73 billion) and said it expects loan losses to keep rising. The bank was hit hard by the financial crisis and a U.S. legal probe into its American clients' offshore accounts. But results were better than the same quarter last year and taken as a sign that the new management is taking necessary steps to turn the business around. UBS shares declined 1.9 percent before the bell.

General Motors (GM) said Tuesday that sales in China soared 50 percent in April to a monthly record of 151,084 vehicles, thanks to strong demand for Buick brand cars and Wuling minivehicles. GM shares were 2.2 percent higher in premarket trade.

Ford Motor Co.'s (F) India operation, Ford India Pvt. Ltd., meanwhile, is planning to launch a small car on the India market by the first quarter of next year.

Another wave of earnings is expected today, and along with results from Monday evening, the plate is full. Here are a few:
  • Walt Disney Co. (DIS) will report after the close today and is expected to report earnings of 40 cents a share, according to FirstCall.
  • CVS Caremark (CVS) said first-quarter profit fell slightly to $738.4 million, or 50 cents per share, on charges and higher costs, outweighing a 12 percent jump in the drugstore operator's revenue from higher pharmacy sales. Excluding charges, CVS beat estimates.
  • Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) said its quarterly profit declined 72 percent from a year earlier to $8 million, or a penny per share, amid slowed in demand for ethanol and agricultural commodities. Excluding charges, ADM would have earned 37 cents per share, but analysts on average were expecting earnings of 49 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates. ADM shares dropped some 6.6 percent before the bell.
  • Legg Mason (LM) said its quarterly loss widened 27 percent to $325.1 million, or $2.29 per share, as it booked losses from paring toxic assets from its books, and the company cut its quarterly dividend sharply to 3 cents per share. Still, the company beat estimates. LM shares plunged over 10 percent ahead of the open.
  • Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) said its first-quarter loss widened significantly to 402 million euros ($536 million), or 0.18 euro a share, as operators around the world continued to curb spending on non-essential upgrades of their networks. The company reaffirmed its guidance to break even this year. ALU shares declined over 2 percent in pre-market trade.
  • MGM Mirage (MGM) reported after the close Monday, missing analyst estimates on the bottom line, but topping the top line forecast. MGM shares soared over 16 percent in pre-market trading.
AIG (AIG) -- while some banks may need to boost their capital, AIG is likely to post first-quarter results Thursday that will be strong enough to avoid triggering a new capital injection from the U.S. government. AIG shares jumped over 10 percent in pre-market trade.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) -- lots of chatter and rumors regarding Apple and possible acquisition this morning. heard chatter that Apple is eyeing Electronic Arts (ERTS) as a takeover target. Gawker says it heard Apple may be closest to buying Twitter, possibly for as much as $700 million.
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