Stocks in the news: JPMorgan Chase, Intel, Abbott Labs

Some of the companies making headlines today:

Intel (INTC) reported late Tuesday earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street's estimates. While earnings declined 8 percent, it said gross margins were 57.6 percent and would grow to 62 percent this quarter. It also issued an upbeat outlook, repeating what it has been saying for months, that the PC market is rebounding. Shares jumped over 4 percent ahead of the bell.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) said Wednesday morning third-quarter earnings climbed over 3 percent. Its reported 82 cents earnings per share is much more than the 49 cents EPS that was expected by Street analysts. However, somewhat sobering were its loan losses, which are still high and are expected to remain that way for the foreseeable future. Shares gained over 4 percent before the bell, taking other financials higher with it.


Abbott Laboratories Inc. (ABT) on Wednesday said third-quarter profit rose 37 percent to $1.48 billion, or 95 cents per share on strong demand for two of its drugs and gains from a settlement with Medtronic Inc. (MDT). Excluding special items, it beat estimates by 2 cents. Sales rose 3.5 percent to $7.78 billion, in line with expectations. Abbott slightly raised its full-year 2009 profit forecast. Shares were up 1.3 percent in premarket trade.

ASML Holding (ASML) beat expectations. The Dutch chipmaker said its profit in the third quarter fell to 19.7 million euros ($29 million), or 5 cents a share, from 73.3 million euros, or 17 cents.

American International Group Inc. (AIG) -- Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the $700 billion financial rescue program, will answer questions on Capitol Hill today about how official missteps and misunderstandings led to massive bonus payments for executives at AIG. It seems the Treasury's "pay czar" has informed AIG management that some portion of the "total of $198 million should be reduced."

PepsiCo (PEP) and Anheuser-Busch Inbev said they have entered into a joint purchasing agreement for certain indirect goods and services to cut costs.

CSX Corp. (CSX) reported a lower third-quarter profit of $293 million, or 74 cents a share as sales fell 23 percent to to nearly $2.3 billion due to lower volume and lower fuel surcharge recovery. Results beat estimates and shares jumped 2.8 percent in pre-market trade.

Blackstone Group's (BX) CEO Schwarzman said the worst of the industry's problems were behind it, and dealflow and IPO opportunities were opening up again. He added he was seeing "more than green shoots" of economic recovery.

BioMimetic Therapeutics, Inc. (BMTI) announced late Tuesday positive top-line results from its late-stage trial comparing its bone growth factor product, Augment Bone Graft, to autograft for use in hindfoot and ankle fusion surgery. Shares jumped about 22 percent before the bell.

More company earnings in brief:
Select analyst calls:
  • Barclays Capital upgraded AMR Corp. (AMR) to overweight from equal-weight and Continental Airlines (CAL) to equal-weight from underweight while it cut JetBlue (JBLU) to equal-weight from overweight.
  • CSC (CSC) was upped to neutral from sell by Goldman Sachs and the price target raised to $54 from $46 on the increased likelihood that it will be bought.
  • Valero (VLO) was downgraded to sell from buy at Soleil Securities in the face of weak refining margins.
  • UBS upgraded Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) from sell to neutral.
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