Stocks in the news: Time Warner, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Sprint Nextel

The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Time Warner Inc. (TWX), the parent of this site, said Wednesday its second-quarter profit shrank 34 percent as the ad slump and slow DVD sales hurt revenue in the company's publishing, movie and online properties. Revenue fell 9 percent. Still the company beat earnings estimates of 37 cents per share with a 45 cents EPS excluding items.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) have finally reached an Internet search partnership. The 10-year deal gives Microsoft access to the Internet's second-largest search engine audience, adding to its arsenal in its all-out assault against online search and advertising leader Google Inc. (GOOG). YHOO shares dropped 7.5 percent at the open, MSFT shares were higher and GOOG declined about a percent.
ConocoPhillips (COP) said second-quarter profit fell 76 percent after the recession spurred a collapse in energy prices. Excluding items, COP's profit was about 85 cents share, 1 cent higher than analyst estimates, according to Bloomberg. Second-quarter revenue tumbled 50 percent. COP declined about 2 percent.

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) on Wednesday said its loss widened to $384 million, or 13 cents per share, in the second quarter as revenue fell 10 percent and shed over a quarter million subscribers. Results were below analyst forecasts. Shares dropped nearly 5 percent.

General Dynamics Corp. (GD) said Wednesday its second-quarter net earnings fell slightly to $618 million, or $1.60 a share, but that revenue rose 11 percent to $8.1 billion. Earnings from continuing operations beat analyst estimates. Shares declined 1.8 percent.

WellPoint Inc. (WLP) said Wednesday its profit fell 7.6 percent in the second quarter as it felt the effect of investment losses, but it topped analyst estimates and reaffirmed its full-year guidance. Shares fell over 3 percent.

Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q) on Wednesday said second-quarter earnings climbed 18 percent, helped by tight cost controls.Qwest topped analyst estimates on the bottom line, but not the top.

Sanofi-Aventis SA (SNY) agreed to buy Merck & Co. (MRK)'s stake in their Merial animal-health venture in a deal that was much anticipated as regulators told Merck, which is in the process of acquiring Schering-Plough Corp. (SGP) it would have to sell some assets in that market. The deal, possibly worth $2 billion, could help Sanofy tweather generic competition to its best-selling drugs.

UBS (UBS) is being sued in Hong Kong for allegedly duping a 77-year-old woman into buying highly risky derivative investments that cost her nearly $26 million in losses. Meanwhile, a U.S. judge agreed on Wednesday to hold another status conference Friday in the U.S. government's ongoing tax evasion case against UBS.
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