Stocks in the news: Home Depot, Citigroup, New York Times

The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Home Depot Inc. (HD) this morning raised its full year earnings from continuing operations guidance, saying they may come in better than previously forecast at flat to a 7 percent decline, or $1.27 to $1.37 per share. Similarly, it upped its range for adjusted earnings to $1.32 to $1.42 per share. A few weeks ago, rival Lowe's (LOW) raised its full-year outlook. Home Depot maintained its sales and comparable sales outlook. Shares advanced 2.6 percent ahead of the opening bell.

Citigroup Inc. (C) this morning finally began a long-delayed $58 billion stock swap that could leave the government with a 34 percent stake in the nation's third-largest bank. Citi said the swap could make it one of the world's best-capitalized banks. Existing shareholders who will see their holdings diluted by 76 percent. Shares jumped over 3 percent in pre-market trade.
The New York TImes (NYT) has hired Goldman Sachs (GS) to manage the possible sale of the financially struggling Boston Globe. That was before the Boston Newspaper Guild rejected Monday a $10 million in pay and benefit cuts demanded by the company.

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. (CBG) said Wednesday that it expects to report adjusted second-quarter earnings of between break-even and 7 cents a share, below estimates. The commercial real estate services firm also announced it will offer $400 million of senior subordinated notes. Stocks gained over 5 percent before the bell.

Ameriprise Financial (AMP) said it plans a $900 million stock offering for general corporate purposes and possible acquisitions. Shares fell over 5 percent in pre-market trade.

Brown-Forman (BF), the wine and spirits maker, said Wednesday that fiscal fourth-quarter earnings fell and sales were down 12 percent. Still, the results beat estimates on both counts.

Lloyds Banking Group (LYG) is in talks to sell part of its Insight Investment Management fund management arm for up to 300 million pounds ($490 million), the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL) said it settled a shareholder class action lawsuit for $72 million. As a result, Marvell updated its first-quarter loss to 18 cents a share from its previously reported loss of 6 cents a share.

Analyst calls:

  • BP (BP) was upgraded at ING to Buy from Hold. ING said it sees large-cap oil companies as defensive against a likely falling equity market in the second half of 2009.
  • SAP (SAP) was downgraded at Merrill Lynch to Neutral from Buy, saying the stock will struggle to maintain its momentum as the focus shifts to recovery scenarios.
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