Stocks in the News: UPS, Google, Mariner Energy

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

Google Inc. (GOOG) is expected to post earnings of $6.60 per share on 20% higher revenue of $4.95 billion after the close of trading.

UPS (UPS) said its adjusted first-quarter earnings would be much higher than anticipated and reported they were 71 cents a share, far exceeding analyst expectations of 57 cents a share. Revenue rose 7%. UPS raised its 2010 profit outlook to $3.05 to $3.30 a share from a range of $2.70 to $3.05 a share announced in January, again, far above projections. Shares jumped 5% ahead of the bell.

Apache Corp. (APA), the independent energy company, is buying Mariner Energy (ME) for $2.7 billion in a cash and stock deal to extend deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico. The deal values Mariner's shares at $26.22 per share, a 45% premium to Mariner's close Wednesday of $18.09. Apache also will assume $1.2 billion in debt. APA shares dropped 3% and ME shares soared nearly 40% in premarket trading.

Yum Brands Inc. (YUM) reported late Wednesday higher than anticipated adjusted earnings of 59 cents a share, up from 48 cents. Revenue rose 6% to $2.35 billion, largely thanks to growth in China. Shares jumped 2.5% before the bell.

MGM Mirage Inc. (MGM) said on Wednesday it expects to report a wider first-quarter loss than expected of about 22 cents a share in May due to weak results in Las Vegas. MGM estimates first-quarter revenue of about $1.46 billion. Shares fell over 5% ahead of the bell.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), whose share price already got a boost Wednesday after Intel's (INTC) strong report, is projected to report a loss of 3 cents a share in the first quarter.

TD Ameritrade (AMTD) is looking to use its $1.1 billion in cash for an acquisition, a dividend or a share buyback CEO Fred Tomczyk told Reuters. AMTD had told Reuters in November that it was eyeing smaller rival E*Trade (ETFC). ETFC shares rose about 3%.

Ford Motor Co. (F) said Thursday its European sales rose 16% to 192,500 vehicles in March, making it the best-selling brand on the continent.

Dollar General Corp. (DG) priced a secondary offering of 26 million shares of its common stock at $27 per share.

Other companies reporting include Fairchild Semiconductor International (FCS) and PPG Industries Inc. (PPG).

Macerich Co. (MAC) said it sees $2.70 to $2.90 a share in funds from operations for 2010 because of a secondary stock offering, below its previous estimate. Shares dropped 4.5%.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) is back atop the Fortune 500 list after losing the title to Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) for a while. Falling oil and gasoline prices hurt Exxon, while consumers' growing need for low-priced necessities helped Wal-Mart, reports the AP.

Zions (ZION) shares jumped over 5% on an upgrade to buy from neutral at SunTrust.
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