Stocks in the news: General Motors, Lear, J&J, Elan

The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

General Motors (GMGMQ) may file for an initial public offering of its stock in 2010, according to an adviser to the Obama Administration's auto task force. Bankruptcy court hearings are expected to continue Thursday. Creditors and other dissenters continue to press against GM's plan, which includes shedding old debt.

Lear (LEA) said Wednesday it's looking to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It's looking for a reorganization supported by key secured lenders and bondholders and it had obtained $500 million in bankruptcy financing. This is despite the fact that June sales data released Wednesday showed the smallest drop of the year for Ford Motor Co. (F). Still, the GM bankruptcy didn't help as 80 percent of its sales in 2008 were to Ford and GM. The stock plunged 20 percent in pre-market trade.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has reached a deal with Elan Corp. (ELN) regarding its venture with Wyeth (WYE) to develop medicines against Alzheimer's diseas. It will pay $1 billion for an 18.4 percent stake in the Irish drugmaker. Johnson & Johnson pledged an initial $500 million to pay for Elan's share of the future development costs for the Alzheimer's disease products. ELN shares jumped about 20 percent ahead of the bell.

Exelon (EXC) is holding a call to discuss its hostile bid for NRG Energy (NRG). It said Thursday it raised its hostile takeover bid for rival NRG to about $8 billion in stock, citing newly identified cost savings and NRG's acquisition of Reliant Energy's Texas retail business .

Walgreen Co. (WAG) reported Thursday that same-store sales rose 3.4 percent in June as consumers filled more prescriptions but bought less discretionary summer merchandise. The chain's total sales rose 9 percent in June.

Rite Aid Corp. (RAD) reported that its June same-store sales declined 0.6 percent. Total drugstore sales for the month decreased 2.5 percent. Shares dropped about 7 percent before the bell.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) and Pfizer Inc.'s (PFE) anti-smoking drugs will have to carry a Black Box safety warning over side effects including depression and suicidal thoughts.

Illumina (ILMN) warned it sees lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue as customers purchases of its genetic-testing-equipment declined. Shares fell 14 percent in pre-market trade.

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