Stocks in the News: Caterpillar, BlackRock, Hertz


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

Caterpillar (CAT) just reported a first-quarter net income ex-items of 50 cents per share, beating estimates for a profit of 39 cents per share. The heavy machinery company also raised its 2010 earnings and revenue outlook far above Wall Street's forecasts, as it is seeing strong order activity related to mining and energy. CAT shares jumped over 3% in premarket trading.

Citigroup (C) -- The Treasury Department announced Monday it will begin selling 1.5 billion shares of the nearly 7.7 billion shares of Citigroup common stock it currently owns. In 2009 the government exchanged preferred shares for common stock at a price of $3.25 per common share. C traded 1.5% lower in premarket action.

Humana Inc. (HUM) said Monday its profit jumped 26% in the first quarter as revenue grew 10%. Gains were due to an increase in past medical claims reserves and greater Medicare Advantage membership. Results topped estimates, especially the top line. Shares were 3.8% higher ahead of the bell.

Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) reported Monday that its first-quarter profit more than doubled as sales of its appliances improved both domestically and abroad, growing 20%. Results far exceeded estimates. Shares jumped over 9% in premarket trading.

BlackRock Inc. (BLK) said Monday its first-quarter net income more than quintupled as its revenue more than doubled, yet results were below analyst estimates.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (HTZ) agreed to buyDollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. (DTG) for about $1.2 billion in cash and stock. The offer is worth $41 per share, a 5.5% premium on Dollar's last traded price. HTZ shares gained over 10% and DTG's over 6% ahead of the bell.

Emerson Electric Co. (EMR) said Monday it has made a hostile £723 million ($1.1 billion) offer to acquire Chloride Group PLC (LSE: CHLD). The per-share offer represents a premium of 34% above the closing price on April 22, but Chloride rebuffed the offer as too low. Shares of Chloride shot up 42% in London.

Charles River Laboratories International Inc. (CRL) agreed to buy WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. (WX) for about $1.6 billion to expand in China. CRL shares are down 4.5% in premarket trading, WX's are soaring over 20%.

UAL Corp.'s United Airlines (UAUA) and Continental Airlines Inc. (CAL) disagree on how to value their planned no-premium stock merger, with negotiations focused on what time period to use for the stock-swap ratio, Bloomberg reports.

CKE Restaurants Inc. (CKR) has accepted a higher buyout offer from Columbia Lake Acquisition Holdings Inc., an affiliate of Apollo Management VII LP, worth $694 million, or $12.55 per share. Shares fell 3.8% before the bell.

Reporting after the close Monday are Texas Instruments (TXN), Research in Motion (RIMM) and Oracle (ORCL).

International Paper (IP) announced today that it is increasing its quarterly dividend from 2.5 cents per share to 12.5 cents per share, effective for the dividend payable June 15, 2010 to shareholders of record on May 17, 2010.