Stocks in the news: Microsoft, Honeywell, Fortune Brands, Whirlpool

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) on Friday reported lower quarterly earnings of 40 cents a share, but that surpassed analyst estimates by 8 cents a share. The maker of Windows software and Xbox games reported fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 18 percent to $3.57 billion from $4.37 billion a year ago. Revenue fell 14 percent to just under $13 billion. On Thursday, the iconic software maker unveiled the latest version of its Windows operating system and opened its first-ever retail store in Scottsdale, Ariz. Shares of the company were higher ahead of Wall Street's open, up more than 9 percent to $29.08 a share.

Honeywell International Inc. (HON) reported that earnings slipped in the third quarter amid a decline for demand of its products within all its divisions. The industrial conglomerate earned $608 million, or 80 cents a share, in the three months ending Sept. 30, down 15 percent from $719 million, or 97 cents a share, a year ago. Still, per-share earnings exceeded analyst expectations of 72 cents a share, according to a consensus estimate of 19 analysts, polled by The company said it expects to earn 91 cents a share in the fourth quarter. Honeywell shares were up 1.4 percent to $39.05 in pre-market trading.

Fortune Brands Inc. (FO), maker of Moen faucets and Titleist golf equipment, reported that net income fell 63 percent to $124.1 million in the third quarter, down from $335.9 million a year ago. On a per-share basis, the company earned 82 cents a share, compared to $2.21 a year ago. Sales slipped 11 percent to $1.72 billion in the latest quarter, because of continued weakness in the home-products market.

Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) said Friday its third-quarter earnings fell by nearly half to $87 million, or $1.15 a share, from $163 million, or $2.15 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues slipped 8 percent to $4.5 billion. Still, the company far exceeded analyst estimates of 77 cents a share. The world's largest appliance manufacturer also raised its full-year earnings guidance to $4.25 a share, from the previously stated range of $3.50 to $4.

Exelon Corp. (EXC) reported that third-quarter net income rose 8 percent to $757 million, or $1.14 a share, up from $700 million, or $1.06 a share, a year ago. Adjusted net income fell to 96 cents a share from $1.07 a share. Analysts expected the company to earn 95 cents a share, according to a Zacks estimate.

Investment adviser T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (TROW) said it earned $132.9 million, or 50 cents a share, on revenues of $498.1 million in the third quarter. Those results are lower than the $152.8 million, or 56 cents a share the company earned a year ago, when revenues totaled $554.8 million. The company said revenues derived from investment advising fell 10.4 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

Select analyst calls:

  • Inc. (AMZN) raised to outperform at FBR Capital (new target $130); raised to overweight at Barclays; raised to buy at Jefferies; raised to buy at Janney Montgomery.
  • Chubb Corp. (CB) cut to hold at Stifel Nicolaus.
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) cut to hold at Jefferies.
  • PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC) raised to overweight at Wells Fargo.
  • Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) raised to overweight at Barclays.
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