Stocks in the news: Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, CIT Group

Some of the companies making headlines today:

Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) profit increased 1 percent in the third-quarter to beat analyst estimates despite competition from generics that hurt its sales. J&J earned $3.35 billion in the quarter, or $1.20 per share. Revenue fell 5 percent to $15.08 billion, just shy of expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of $1.13 per share on revenue of $15.19 billion. Shares fell nearly 2 percent ahead of the bell.

Goldman Sachs (GS) shares this morning fell nearly 2 percent in pre-market trading after it earned itself a downgrade from banking analyst extraordinaire Meredith Whitney, who downgraded Goldman to Neutral from Buy. Jim Cramer doesn't necessarily agree she deserves the Street's cred. Goldman Sachs reports earnings Thursday.
Bank of America (BAC) plans to turn over documents showing legal advice it received on its purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. to the office of the New York attorney general, the AP reports a source familiar with the matter said Monday. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have similar repots.

American International Group Inc. (AIG) said late Monday it has agreed to sell its nearly 98 percent stake in Taiwan unit Nan Shan to an investor group led by Hong Kong's Primus Financial for about $2.15 billion.

CIT Group Inc. (CIT) said Tuesday its chairman and CEO Jeffrey M. Peek plans to resign at the end of the year. CIT has been trying to avoid bankruptcy for months as it restructures its operations. Shares of CIT fell over 15 percent in premarket trading.

United Refining Energy Corp. (URX) and privately-held Chaparral Energy Inc. will merge in a deal valued at $1.8 billion. The new Chaparral Energy Inc. and will continue to trade on the NYSE Amex until it can transfer the listing to the NYSE with the ticker CPR.

Johnson Controls (JCI) gave quarterly outlook above estimates and 2010 earnings and revenue outlook below Wall Street's expectations.

Pier 1 Imports Inc. (PIR) said same-store sales rose 9.9 percent in September and merchandise margins continue to improve. Shares jumped over 14 percent before the bell.

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWR) traffic in September declined and same-railroad traffic in the month was down 17.9 percent.

Siemens (SI) said Tuesday that its energy business has received six new wind turbine orders in North America valued at a total of more than 600 million euros ($887 million).

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VNDA) licensed the right to commercialize and develop Fanapt, a schizophrenia treatment, in the U.S. and Canada to Novartis (NVS), which will pay Vanda $200 million up front and as much as $265 million as the drug achieves development and commercial milestones. Shares jumped over 16 percent in pre-market trade.

Vascular Solutions Inc. (VASC) said late Monday it received FDA approval to sell the new Guardian II hemostasis valve, its blood clotting device used to reduce blood loss during certain surgical procedures. Shares jumped 17 percent ahead of the bell.

Select analyst calls:
  • Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN) was upgraded to Outperform by FBR Capital Markets Tuesday. Shares soared 6.8 percent before the bell.
  • Advanced Micro Decives (AMD) was upgraded at JMP Securities from Market Underperform to Market Outperform. Shares were over 2 percent higher in pre-market.
  • Benchmark upgraded Yahoo! (YHOO) from Hold to Buy.
  • Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Sapient (SAPE) from Hold to Buy.
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets downgraded Joy Global (JOYG) from Buy to Hold.
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