Stocks in the news: AIG, Deere & Co., Tiffany, J. Crew, Microsoft

American International Group Inc. (AIG) has been authorized by its board to pay CEO Robert Benmosche's $7 million in compensation, after it laid to rest concerns that he might quit his post. This breaks down to an annual salary of $3 million in cash and $4 million in fully-vested AIG stock, which he can't sell for five years. With a performance bonus, the value of his pay package could reach $10.5 million.

Deere & Co. (DE) reported a quarterly net loss of $222.8 million, or 53 cents a share, on Wednesday on weak equipment sales, which fell 28% to $5.33 billion, and a series of one-time charges. Excluding charges, Deere would have earned 23 cents per share. The company also gave a fiscal 2010 outlook below analyst projections. Shares fell 1.3% in pre-market trading.
Tiffany & Co. (TIF) reported that its quarterly profit edged lower to $43.3 million, or 35 cents per share, as the upscale jeweler contained costs and benefited from stronger sales in Asia and Europe. Overall, sales fell 3% to $598.2 million, while same-store sales declined 6%. Excluding items, Tiffany earned 33 cents per share, much better than the 24 cents a share analysts had predicted. Revenue also exceeded expectations. Tiffany also raised its outlook for full-year profit guidance. Shares were 5.7% higher before the bell.

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) will replace the gas pedals on 3.8 million recalled vehicles in the United States to address problems with sudden acceleration or the pedal becoming stuck to the floor mat, the Associated Press reports.

J. Crew Group Inc. (JCG) said Tuesday its profit more than doubled in the third quarter to $43.9 million, or 67 cents per share, as sales rose by 14% to $414.1 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected profit of 58 cents per share on revenue of $408 million. Shares jumped over 6.5% ahead of the bell.

Halliburton (HAL) shares fell 2.2% in pre-market trading after the company said a reduction in activity in Mexico will hurt earnings in the fourth quarter.

EMC (EMC) lowered its fourth-quarter and full-year 2009 GAAP earnings expectations from previous projections due to a restructuring charge, but reaffirmed its consolidated adjusted earnings.

TiVo Inc. (TIVO) swung to a third-quarter net loss of $6.7 million, or 6 cents a share. Revenue from services and technology fell 9% to $47.1 million during the quarter. Analysts were expecting a loss of 6 cents a share on revenue of $49.7 million, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters.

Starbucks (SBUX) will see China become the company's next major market after the United States in the near future, the firm's China chairman said on Wednesday.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) CFO Chris Liddell will leave the company at the end of the year. He has indicated that he is looking for a bigger job at another company. He has been CFO at the world's largest software company since May 2005. He will be succeeded by Peter Klein, who is currently CFO of Microsoft's Business Division.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied a request to rehear the decision to uphold the U.S. Navy's termination of a 12-aircraft contract with General Dynamics (GD) and Boeing (BA). General Dynamics said it will appeal.

Incyte Corp. (INCY) said it licensed two investigational hematology-oncology therapies to Novartis (NVS). Novartis will pay Incyte $150 million up front, plus an immediate $60 million milestone payment, and may be eligible over time for as much as an additional $1.1 billion. Incyte shares jumped 7.5% in pre-market trading.

Calpers, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, is considering dumping asset manager BlackRock Inc. (BLK) as its real estate consultant, the The Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

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