Earnings scorecard: Upside surprises lift stocks

The latest slew of third-quarter earnings reports gave stocks a lift Wednesday, and well that they should. Yahoo (YHOO) said its profit more than tripled, white-shoe financial giant Morgan Stanley (MS) swung to the black for the first time in a year and Wells Fargo (WFC) blew past Street estimates. Sure, Dow component Boeing (BA) crashed and burned, but it's a wonder why anyone would be surprised. Oh, well.

To help investors keep their eyes on the prize of earnings, revenue and outlooks, here's a recap of some of the biggest names reporting in time for today's trading session:
Good Show: Yahoo turned in a very solid quarter after an extended run of poor performance, lifting shares Wednesday. The company's income more than tripled to $186.1 million, or 13 cents a share, from $54.3 million, or four cents a share, the previous year, easily topping analysts' expectations.

Financial titan Morgan Stanley swung to it's first profit in a year, helped by higher fees from underwriting stock and bond issues and real estate investments. The bank reported net income of of $757 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with a loss of $159 million, or $1.37 a share, a year ago. Shares soared on the news.

US Bancorp (USB) said earnings rose 4.7 percent in the third quarter to top Street estimates. Bad loans increased, but the rate at which charge offs and sour loans hit its balance sheet slowed from the the second quarter, helping the stock soar.

Mixed Bag: Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest U.S. bank, reported its third-straight record quarterly profit as lending and deposits increased. The San Francisco-based lender said third-quarter net income for common shareholders rose to $2.6 billion, or 54 cents a share, compared with $1.6 billion, or 49 cents a share a year ago. Results topped expectations, but loan losses keep mounting.

Disappointments: Boeing reported a bigger loss than analysts forecast but the biggest shocker was the huge drop in its guidance for 2009 earnings. Not only did Boeing cut its earnings forecast by about 71 percent but its new expectations -- $1.35 to $1.55 a share -- fall as much as 42 percent below what Wall Street expected. Shares skidded.

American Airlines parent AMR Corp. (AMR) swung to a deep quarterly loss as the worldwide economic downturn continued to hurt global air travel, especially among business customers. The airline reported a net loss of $359 million, or $1.26 a share, versus a year-ago profit of $31 million, or 12 cents. Shares fell sharply Wednesday.
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