Stocks in the news: Ford, Humana, CIT Group, Human Genome

Ford Motor Co. (F) is no doubt this morning's story. The automaker, the only one of the Big Three American car manufacturers that didn't take a direct government bailout and stayed out of bankruptcy protection, reported a surprising $1 billion profit Monday morning. Ford reported net income of $997 million, or 29 cents per share. On an adjusted basis, Ford reported a quarterly pretax profit of $1.1 billion, or 26 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $3 billion or $1.32. This handily beat analyst estimates ranging from 12 to 20 cents loss per share. Ford still faces obstacles in its turnaround, but so far proved to be able to weather the storm and, in fact raised its own forecast from a break-even or better 2011 to "solidly profitable" 2011. Shares of Ford shot up over 8 percent in pre-market trading.
Humana Inc. (HUM) said its third-quarter profit rose 65 percent to $301.6 million, or $1.78 per share, on a boost from government programs, mainly on higher enrollment and premiums from Medicare Advantage. Revenue jumped 8 percent to $7.72 billion. Results beat analyst estimates as polled by Thomson Reuteres of $1.77 per share on $7.82 billion in revenue. Shares traded nearly 1 percent higher ahead of the bell.

CIT Group (CIT) on Sunday filed for bankruptcy protection. According to the terms, bondholders will hold new CIT debt worth about 70 percent of the face value of the old debt. Preferred creditors, including the U.S. government which gave CIT $2.33 billion under TARP, will get money only after other creditors are paid back. Common shareholders will receive nothing.

Dean Foods Co. (DF) reported that its third-quarter profit rose 32 percent to $49.7 million, or 27 cents a share, even as sales declined 13% to $2.77 billion, missing forecasts. Excluding items, the company said it would have earned 34 cents a share, inline with estimates. DF raised its full-year profit forecast.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) is in talks to buy millions of dollars of tax credits from Fannie Mae (FNM), but the U.S. Treasury could block the deal, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Loews Corp. (L) said it swung to a third-quarter profit of $468 million, or $1.08 a share, handily beating analyst estimates. Shares rose about 2.7 percent in premarket.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) CEO Robert Kelly was recently approached about taking the CEO job at Bank of America Corp. (BAC), but he has shown no interest in the job, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Sysco Corp. (SYY) said its first-quarter net income rose 18 percent to $326.2 million, or 55 cents a share. Sales fell to $9.1 bililon. Analysts expected earnings of 45 cents a share, according to a survey by FactSet Research.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) announced its second round of price cuts on toys ahead of this shopping season.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) and General Electric Co. (GE) are closer to a deal to give Comcast a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal and a formal announcement may be made in the coming week, the New York Times reported.

Human Genome Sciences Inc. (HGSI) and its partner GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) said Genome's experimental lupus drug Benlysta was successful in a second large clinical trial, paving the way for approval of the first new treatment for the disease in 50 years. Shares of HGSO shot up over 33 percent ahead of the bell.

Ryanair Holdings (RYAAY) said its profit climbed 35 percent to 250.5 million euros ($369.8 million), even as revenue fell 4 percent to 992 million euros due to declining fuel prices. But shares fell over 4 percent as it missed estimates and repeated its concerns for the winter months. It also used the report to complain about its aircraft supplier, Boeing (BA).
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