Stocks in the news: Research in Motion, Apple, Microsoft

The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Research In Motion (RIMM) reported results that beat Wall Street estimates Thursday after the close, but shares declined ahead of the bell as the the BlackBerry maker gave a disappointing outlook. Still, RIMM shares, that at first plunged as much as 5 percent, declined about half a percent by 8:40 AM.

Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) new iPhone launches today. Smaller crowds are gathering outside AT&T and Apple stores, but fans are still there to greet the latest iPhone with new features and faster speeds. AAPL shares gained over 1.5 percent in pre-market trade.
Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) got 180,000 orders for the new Prius hybrid in Japan in just a month, far surpassing its target of 10,000 vehicles in monthly sales, the automaker said Friday. The reason is partly because of tax-breaks and other new government incentives.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) was added to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s "conviction buy" list. The broker cited better revenue drivers, expense management, and sizable cash balances as opportunities for bottom-line beats. Shares gained about 2.5 percent ahead of the bell.

CarMax (KMX) says its fiscal first-quarter profit fell 2.7 percent on a double-digit sales drop. Its results still beat Wall Street expectations.

E-Trade (ETFC) said it priced a public offering of 435 million shares at $1.10 each, for gross proceeds before underwriting discounts and commissions of $478.5 million. Shares plunged 13 percent ahead of the bell.

Del Monte Foods Co. (DLM) said Friday that its board has approved a 25 percent increase in the quarterly dividend to 5 cents a share from its previous payout of 4 cents.

Hershey Co. (HSY) was added by Citigroup to its Top Pick Live list. Citi also raised its price target from $42 to $43 and reiterated the Buy rating.

UBS upgraded SunPower (SPWRA) rating from Neutral to Buy and upped its target on the stock from $26 to $38. It also downgraded LDK Solar (LDK) from Buy to Neutral. Both solar companies' shares gained in pre-market trading.
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