The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:
Lennar Corp. (LEN) reported Wednesday a narrower fiscal first-quarter loss of $6.5 million, or 4 cents per share, as the homebuilder offered fewer sales incentives and trimmed costs. Results were much better than expected. Lennar also said the housing market is stabilizing, adding it's on track to post a profit for fiscal 2010.
Adobe Systems (ADBE) reported a lower quarterly profit of $127.2 million, or 24 cents a share. Excluding items, Adobe earned 40 cents a share, better than expected, as revenue rose 9% to $858.7 million. Second-quarter outlook also topped estimates, with Adobe seeing strong revenue on new software launch. Shares jumped 5.6% ahead of the bell.
Starbucks (SBUX)shares climbed over 1% at the open Wednesday after the coffee company announced that its Board of Directors has approved the initiation of a cash dividend to its shareholders with a payout range of 35% to 40% of net income. The 10 cent a share quarterly dividend will be paid on April 23, 2010, to shareholders of record on the close of business on April 7, 2010. Starbucks's board also approved the repurchase of 15 million shares.
General Mills (GIS) said Wednesday its third-quarter net income rose 15% to $332.5 million, or 96 cents a share. Excluding items, it earned 97 cents a share as sales rose 3% to $3.63 billion. Results were above Wall Street expectations. Shares fell 1.4% in premarket trading.
MF Global (MF) named ex-New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs chairman Jon Corzine as chief executive. Shares soared over 15% before the bell.
Sprint Nextel (S) shares climbed nearly 4.5% in premarket trading after closing 3.4% higher on Tuesday. Sprint has unveiled a first 4G phone on Tuesday.
ConocoPhillips (COP) will be holding an analyst presentation.
European regulators are investigating whether the practice of posting photos, videos and other information about people on sites such as Facebook and Google's (GOOG) YouTube without their consent is a breach of privacy laws. Changes could shift the responsibility from users to the company.
OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals (OGXI) said Wednesday it appointed Jack Goldstein to the board of directors and named him chairman, while also appointing H. Stewart Parker.
eBay (EBAY) is preparing changes to its marketplace fees that are designed to reduce the up-front costs for sellers and improve the buying experience for shoppers.
Darden Restaurants (DRI) posted sharply higher fiscal third-quarter profit or $134.3 million, or 94 cents a share, boosted by the first increases in same-store sales in more than two years. Results and outlook topped views.
Jabil Circuit (JBL) swung to a profit for the second fiscal quarter as sales rose for the period. Shares dropped over 5% ahead of the bell.
Liz Claiborne's (LIZ) corporate credit rating was cut to B- from B by Standard & Poor's.
Carnival (CCL) posted better than expected quarterly results, and the company said it's regaining some pricing power despite concerns over rising fuel prices. Carnival raised outlook. Still, shares fell 1.3% in premarket trading.