Stocks in the News: GE, Bank of America, Google, Oracle


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

General Electric Co.
(GE) says its first-quarter earnings fell 30% to $1.9 billion, or 17 cents per share, due to lower profits in its big industrial divisions and ongoing struggles at GE Capital. The results still beat Wall Street expectations and CEO Jeff Immelt says the company sees "potential for upside" to 2010 results. Meanwhile, the SEC is reviewing GE's 2008 disclosures after ex-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the firm told him at the peak of the financial crisis it struggled to sell debt. Shares jumped nearly 3% in premarket trading.

Bank of America (BAC) said Friday its earnings during the first quarter fell to $2.83 billion even as revenue rose 11% as strong trading revenue helped the bank offset continuing losses on consumer loans. Results have topped expectations. Shares rose over 2% ahead of the bell.

Google Inc. (GOOG) reported late Thursday its earnings rose 37% and revenue surged 23%. But while growth at the company resumed to high levels, investors punished the stock because of the company's spending, whether on hiring employees or buying small companies. Shares fell over 4.5% in premarket.

Oracle (ORCL) is acquiringPhase Forward (PFWD), a provider of data management solutions for clinical trials and drug safety, for $17 a share. PFWD shares closed at $13.08 on Thursday.

Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX) said it is resuming U.S. shipments of most of its implanted defibrillators after regulators cleared manufacturing changes. Shares jumped over 5.5% ahead of the bell.

CF Industries (CF) is publicly offering about about 11.2 million shares at $89 apiece Friday, a day after closing on the $4.7 billion buyout of Terra Industries. The offering, which is priced at a 1% discount to Thursday's close of $90, is valued at about $1 billion.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) returned to profitability in the first quarter as revenue jumped 34% thanks to a strengthening computer market. Shares were down 3.6% ahead of the bell.

Mattel Inc. (MAT) surprised the market Friday, returning to a first-quarter profit as revenue rose 12% on the strength of core brands like Barbie and newly licensed toy lines. The results easily beat Wall Street's expectations. Shares were 3% higher before the bell.

Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) on Thursday said its first-quarter profit tripled as revenue jumped 74% on better sales of its minimally invasive surgical platform, da Vinci. Results far exceeded analyst estimates. Shares fell 2% in premarket trades.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (KKD) said Thursday that it recorded a fiscal fourth-quarter profit even though sales fell 6%. However, same-store sales rose for the quarter and the fiscal year. Shares sank over 7% in premarket trading.

Sony Ericsson, the joint venture of LM Ericsson (ERIC) and Sony Corp. (SNE), posted an unexpected net gain for the first quarter on Friday. Although sales dipped, new products focused more on the high-end market helped margins and the company continued efforts to trim costs.

MetLife Inc. (MET) will pay $13.5 million to settle a federal case for its role in making improper payments to a San Diego-based insurance broker.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said Thursday it will investigate reports of poor working conditions at a factory in southern China that makes some of its products.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) said Thursday it will partner with reagent maker Stemgent Inc. to make new reagents available to researchers. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.