Stocks in the News: Toyota, Humana, Ryanair, Exxon Mobil

The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:

Toyota (TM) provided details about its plan to fix recalled gas pedals in the United States early Monday morning. The carmaker has recalled 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. In a statement, Toyota explained that dealers should get parts for the repairs later this week. But the 4.2 million customers affected may have to wait a while for repairs.Humana Inc. (HUM) said Monday that its fourth-quarter profit rose as expenses related to prescription drug plans declined. Earnings met estimates, but sales were below expectations. And while the health insurer also lifted its full-year earnings outlook, the guidance fell short of analysts' expectations. Shares dropped 1.3% ahead of the bell.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported a 23% decline in fourth-quarter earnings as higher oil prices squeezed profit margins in its refining business. XOM posted earnings of $6.05 billion, or $1.27 a share, beating estimates of $1.19 a share. Shares climbed 2% in premarket trade.

Gannett Co. (GCI) turned a profit in the fourth quarter, helped by a drop in one-time costs and a smaller ad decline. But as revenue and advertising declined in double digits, shares fell some 3.5% ahead of the bell.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and Andarko Petroleum (APC) are also among those reporting today.

Citigroup Inc. (C) plans to sell or split off its $10 billion Citi Private Equity unit, expanding the list of money-management businesses the U.S. bank is disposing of to reduce debt, people familiar with the matter said, according to Bloomberg. Shares advanced over 1% before the bell.

Ryanair Holdings (RYAAY) reported a narrower fiscal third-quarter loss and lifted its fiscal-year earnings outlook due to falling fuel prices and better-than-expected average fares. Shares jumped 4.7% in pre-market trade.

UBS AG (UBS) shares fell after the Swiss justice minister underscored the risk to the Swiss economy should the bank lose its license in the U.S. following a tax dispute. Meanwhile, CEO Oswald Gruebel said he will not get a bonus for 2009 because his bank did not turn a profit, according to European reports on Sunday. (AMZN) says it will give in to Macmillan and agree to sell electronic versions of its books even at prices it considers too high. Shares fell over 1% in premarket trading.

Microsoft (MSFT) could get a lift today from a favorable writeup in Barron's. In premarket trading, shares were about 1% higher.

The top portfolio managers at leading mutual funds are betting on companies such as MasterCard Inc (MA), Southern Co. (SO), Target Corp (TGT), Pepsico Inc (PEP), and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM) for 2010, Barron's said in its February 1 edition.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) will become part of the S&P 500 index, the Standard & Poor's said Friday, replacing Affiliated Computer Services Inc. (ACS) that is being acquired by Xerox (XRX).

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) said Monday Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX) will pay the company $1.73 billion to settle two suits related to patents for stents.

Cephalon (CEPH) said Monday it will buy Swiss-based drug company Mepha AG for an estimated $590 million.
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