Stocks in the news: Lowe's, Cisco, General Electric

General Motors Co. reported a $1.2 billion loss Monday for the period since it left bankruptcy protection through Sept. 30, far better than previous quarters, and a sign that the auto giant is starting to turn around. GM also said it will begin repaying $6.7 billion in U.S. government loans with a $1.2 billion payment in December, and expects to repay the full amount by 2011.

Lowe's (LOW) said Monday its third-quarter profit fell 30% to $344 million, or 23 cents per share, as revenue declined 3% to $11.38 billion and same-store sales fell 7.5%. Customers continued to delay large purchases amid a weak economy, but Lowe's said some of the hardest-hit home markets are stabilizing. Excluding items, profit was 24 cents per share, inline with estimates.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) said Monday it had raised its bid for Norway's Tandberg ASA to 170 kroner ($30.46) per share after only a fraction of Tandberg shareholders agreed to Cisco's initial offer of 153.5 kroner per share. The new bid values Tandberg at 19 billion kroner ($3.4 billion), up from the previous 17.2 billion kroner ($3 billion) offer.

General Electric Co. (GE) shifted its strategy and has set its sights on some stimulus funds, according to the The Wall Street Journal. GE has high hopes for the strategy, which it says could bring in as much as $192 billion over the next three years. Also, GE and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) have agreed on the structure of the board for their proposed NBC Universal joint venture.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) said on Sunday that in order to focus on its biopharmaceutical business, it plans to split off its 83% stake in Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) in a deal that lets Bristol shareholders exchange their shares for Mead Johnson common stock.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD) said Monday that it saw an average of 420,000 client trades a day in October, a 2% increase over October 2008.

Boeing (BA) and Airbus are in talks with Dubai-based Emirates Airline for "tens" of new aircraft orders as the Middle East's largest carrier emerges from the economic downturn, according to The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, Airbus parent EADS on Monday said it swung to a loss of 87 million euros ($130 million) in the third quarter; EADS has been battling damaging delays to its A400M military transport program, rising costs and unfavorable foreign exchange rates.

Citigroup Inc. (C) said on Sunday it has agreed to sell its stake in Japanese telemarketer Bellsystem24 to U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital for 93.5 billion yen ($1 billion).

Sprint Nextel (S) was upgraded at Credit Suisse from Neutral to Outperform.

FedEx Corp (FDX) had a positive writeup in Barron's over the weekend, which said the company is well positioned to benefit from a global economic recovery.
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