Stocks in the news: Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple, Boeing

The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) on Friday said it swung to a second-quarter loss of $26.7 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with profit of $77.8 million, or 87 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The loss included a $24.4 million charge. Quarterly sales fell 23 percent, while same-store sales plunged 30 percent. Shares jumped over 5 percent ahead of the bell.

J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) also swung to a fiscal second-quarter loss. It posted a loss of $1 million, or break even a share, compared with a profit of $117 million, or 52 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The results included 28 cents a share to cover pension costs. Sales fell 7.9 percent and same-store sales declined 9.5 percent. The company also raised its full-year profit forecast. Shares fell about 2 percent in pre-market trade, despite beating estimates.

Colonial Bank (CNB) is on the verge of failure, a federal judge said in granting a request made by Bank of America (BAC) to freeze Colonial's assets. CNB shares fell 8.5 percent. BofA also said on Thursday it is dropping a requirement that forces consumers with disputes on credit cards and other accounts into an arbitration process, which critics say favors card issuers. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports BofA may expand its metals and energy team by 25 percent in the next two to three years, expecting a rebound in commodities that would attract investments.

Ford Motor Co. (F) said on Thursday it was increasing production after a surge in sales fueled by the U.S. "Cash for Clunkers" program. The actions take Ford's third-quarter output 18 percent higher over a year ago.

Blackstone Group LP (BX) CEO Stephen Schwarzman was the highest-paid executive in the U.S. last year, according to the Corporate Library. His compensation package totaled $702 million.

Apple Inc. (AAPL)'s board plans to meet next Tuesday and discuss potential replacements for Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt, who stepped down from the board earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Apple's board currently has seven members, of which only one, CEO Steve Jobs, is an officer of the company. Meanwhile, All Things Digital says that "Multiple music industry sources say Apple executives have told them the company is planning one of its famed keynote events for the week of Sept. 7." But what Apple will be showing off, or the date, is unclear.

Schering-Plough Corp. (SGP) said Friday that the FDA has approved Saphris tablets for acute treatment of schizophrenia in adults and treatment for episodes associated with bipolar I disorder in adults.

Boeing Co. (BA) supplier Alenia Aeronautica halted production of two major 787 structural components due to manufacturing flaws, an aviation industry blog said. Shares fell 3 percent in pre-market trade.

CIT Group (CIT) made an out-of-court settlement with apparel maker Scherr Inc that sued to end its relationship with the company, the New York Post said. The lender is still teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

Reported late Thursday:
Analyst calls:
  • Amgen (AMGN) was downgraded at Citigroup from Buy to Hold and price target lowered from $71 to $68.
  • Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. (PVH) was upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan, which also lifted their price target on the stock to $37 from $27. Shares were up 3 percent.
  • UBS (UBS) downgraded itself from Neutral to Sell.
  • Avery Dennison (AVY) was upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan, and price target upped from $25 to $33.
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