Stocks in the news: Exxon Mobil, Motorola, General Electric

The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Exxon Mobil (XOM) profit tumbled 66 percent and missed Wall Street estimates by a mile. Analysts have been expecting Exxon Mobil to report a second-quarter profit of $1.02 a share, on sales of $71.3 billion, according to Thomson Reuters estimates. Exxon reported earnings of 84 cents per share, excluding items, but revenue beat analyst estimates, falling 46 percent to $74.5 billion. Shares declined over 2.5 percent ahead of the bell.

Dow Chemical (DOW) reported a loss of $486 million in the second quarter because of charges, but reported adjusted earnings of 5 cents per share, handily beating analyst estimates of a loss of 8 cents per share. Revenue slid 31 percent to $11.32 billion, below the $13 billion analysts have forecast, according to Thomson Reuters. Shares were initially down but at last check reversed direction and were over 2 percent higher.
Motorola (MOT) reported an unexpected profit in the second quarter after several quarters of losses, and sold more phones than in the first quarter. Sales fell 32 percent to $5.5 billion. Analysts were looking for $5.6 billion. Shares climbed over 8 percent in pre-market trade.

General Electric (GE) was upgraded at Goldman Sachs from Neutral to Buy. Goldman also raised its price target to $15 from $13. The upgrade came following comments made by U.S. House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank late Wednesday suggesting that regulatory reforms won't force the separation of GE Capital. GE shares have shot up over 6 percent in pre-market trade.

Sony Corp. (SNE) reported a narrower loss than expected, but maintained its forecast for full year losses, underscoring the risk consumer spending will remain slack even as other parts of the global economy recover. Shares opened up 7.8 percent.

MasterCard Inc. (MA) reported 26.4 percent higher quarterly earnings on Thursday, excluding items, as it increased prices and cut expenses. Shares shot up nearly 9 percent.

Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) today announced it would purchase Merck & Co.'s (MRK) 50 percent stake in their Merial animal-health venture.

Siemens (SI), Reuters reported, cast doubt on its key performance targets and said it was preparing for a long period of slow growth in its most developed markets. Shares fell half a percent.
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