Stocks in the News: CIT, Hasbro, CVS Caremark

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

CIT Group Inc. (CIT), one of the nation's largest lenders to small and mid-sized businesses, appointed former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain as chairman and CEO. According to The Wall Street Journal, Thain will make a $500,000 base salary and receive $5.5 million in restricted stock. Thain brokered Merrill Lynch's controversial sale to Bank of America (BAC). The appointment could anger many, while others might just say it's a fitting match -- a disgraced banker who oversaw Merrill's decline and a struggling financial firm.Hasbro (HAS) says sales of action figures and other toys aimed at boys, along with strong entertainment and licensing revenue, helped push its fourth-quarter profit sharply higher -- 77% to $165.6 million, or $1.09 per share. Sales climbed 12% to $1.38 billion. Results topped analyst expectations.

CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) said Monday its fourth-quarter profit climbed 11% as results improved in its pharmacy business, beating estimates. Net revenue for the fourth quarter increased by $1.7 billion to $25.8 billion, not enough to top estimates. Shares jumped nearly 4% ahead of the bell.

Toyota Motor (TM) has told dealers that it is working on a solution to problems with the brake system of its Prius hybrid sedan. There are reports Toyota has decided to issue a recall for the Prius in Japan, a possible new embarrassment. Details about the fix are expected to be announced early this week.

Randgold Resources (GOLD) on Monday said its profit more than tripled during the fourth quarter to $32.1 million as it increased production and benefited from rising gold prices. Gold sales rose 34% to $139.2 million. Shares declined about 1% in premarket trading.

SAP AG (SAP) announced the sudden and immediate resignation of CEO Leo Apotheker. Investors of the world's largest business-software company were jittery about probable strategic disagreements at the top. Apotheker is being replaced by two co-CEOs who were already on the board. Shares dropped about 2.5% before the bell.

Nokia Corp. (NOK) said Monday it will lay off 285 people in Finland, as it strives to cut costs and streamline operations.

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) was upgraded to neutral from underweight at J.P.Morgan, citing "improving macroeconomic outlook." The broker also boosted the price target on the shares to $30 from $28.

Lorillard (LO) says its fourth-quarter profit fell as it faced higher manufacturing costs and other expenses. Still, the cigarette maker beat expectations by a penny.

Citigroup (C), according to the Financial Times, is negotiating the sale of $3 billion of car loans as part of its efforts to cleanse its balance sheet . It has opened talks with private equity groups and hedge funds.
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