Stocks in the news: MetLife, McDermott, Intel, Nvidia

MetLife Inc. (MET) issued profit forecasts for the fourth quarter and 2010 that could beat average Wall Street expectations. Fourth-quarter operating earnings per share are now expected to be between 90 cents and 95 cents, compared to the average analyst forecast of 91 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

McDermott International Inc. (MDR) said Monday that it plans to split into two publicly traded companies within a year. The company expects to spin off Babcock & Wilcox and rename the remaining company J. Ray McDermott. Shareholders will own 100% of the two companies. Shares rallied over 11% in pre-market trading.

Celgene Corp. (CELG) will buy privately held Gloucester Pharmaceuticals for as much $640 million to expand further into cancer medicines, the companies said on Monday.

Citigroup (C) -- The Kuwait Investment Authority, the Gulf nation's sovereign wealth fund, said Sunday it sold its $4.1 billion stake in Citigroup, making a $1.1 billion profit on the deal. Meanwhile, if Citi doesn't repay $20 billion of its TARP bailout money within 10 days, it may have to wait for more than a month.

Intel Corp. (INTC) said it is canceling the first chip based on a novel design dubbed Larrabee as its plans to move into a new semiconductor market with chips designed for complex graphics for videogames and other high-performance computing chores suffered a setback. Nvidia (NVDA) is expected to benefit from this setback, as is AMD (AMD), Citigroup said. NVDA shares soared over 11% in pre-market trading.

Five senior executives at American International Group (AIG) told the insurer last week they may quit if their compensation is cut significantly by the U.S. pay czar, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

ExxonMobil Corp (XOM) has finalized a gas sales contract with Japan's Tokyo Electric Power for its project in Papua New Guinea, putting the $15 billion development on track for approval on Tuesday.

Research in Motion (RIMM) announced a Blackberry distribution deal in China with Digital China. The Blackberry is still relatively uncommon in China, though it has been available there for several years, so this deal could help Research in Motion with its attempts to expand its market there.

Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM) on Monday lifted its fourth-quarter revenue and earnings guidance, saying trading in the first two months of the quarter has exceeded its expectations. Shares jumped over 4.5% in pre-market trading.

Select analyst calls:

  • UBS upgraded Agrium Inc. (AGU) to buy from neutral. Shares traded 1.8% higher in pre-market action.
  • Bernstein upgraded AMD (AMD) from underperform to outperform. Shares advanced 4.5% ahead of the bell.
  • Oppenheimer upgraded Brocade (BRCD) from perform to outperform. Shares were nearly 3% higher before the bell.
  • Barclays Capital upgraded Sunpower (SPWRA), Suntech Power (STP) and JA Solar (JASO) from equal weight to overweight. In pre-market trading, SPWRA and JASO shares gained more than 4%, and STP shares rose more than 2%.
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