Movers: AIG, Microsoft, Pulte, JPMorgan, News Corp.
In response to CNBC report yesterday that it in talks with U.S. government to secure additional funds, American International Group (AIG) says it continues to work with U.S. government to evaluate potential new alternatives for addressing its financial challenges. It will provide a complete update when it reports finl results in near future. AIG received bids from MetLife (MET) and Axa SA (AXA) for its American Life Insurance Co. unit, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation. The report said MET made a preliminary offer of $11.2 billion for American Life Insurance Co., which might fall to $8 billion because of the deterioration of the unit's financial condition.
Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Ballmer said at an analyst meeting that conditions remain difficult and sales will be impacted by deteriorating PC demand and lower IT spending. He also expects online ad revenue to be pressured.
Pulte Homes (PHM) rises Credit Suisse raised its rating on the stock to neutral from underperform based on a fourth straight month of improving/reasonable traffic levels as well as attractive valuation.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) announces that it has reduced its quarterly common stock dividend from $0.38 to $0.05 per share, effective for the dividend payable April 30, 2009, to shareholders of record on April 6, 2009. This action will enable JPM to retain an additional $5 billion in common equity per year. Notes first quarter financial performance quarter-to-date is "solidly profitable" even after significant additions to reserves, and the outlook for the quarter is roughly in line with analyst expectations. S&P maintains hold.
News Corp. (NWS) president and COO Peter Chernin plans to leave the company, according to the WSJ, costing the media giant a key lieutenant at a tumultuous time. S&P maintains hold.
Home Depot (HD) posts better-than-expected $0.19 (excluding business rationalization charge and write-down of investment in HD Supply), vs. $0.40 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations on 13% drop in same-store sales, 17% total sales drop. Street was looking for $0.15. Sees fiscal year 2010 same-store sales decline in high single-digits, total sales decline of about 9%, 7% drop in EPS from continuing operations.
Foster Wheeler AG (FWLT%20) posts $1.03, vs. $0.56, fourth quarter EPS (excl. items) on revenue rise.
Macy's (M) posts $1.06 (excluding unusual items), vs. $1.73, fourth quarter EPS on 7.0% sales drop, 7.7% total sales drop. Notes fourth quarter fiscal year 2009 EPS exceeds its most recent guidance of $1.00-$1.02, excluding one-time costs associated with division consolidations announced in 2/08, store closings announced in January. Reiterates sales, EPS guidance provided in February; currently assuming same-store sales in fiscal year 2010 will be down 6%-8%; EPS of $0.40-$0.55, excluding restructuring-related costs.
Target (TGT) posts $0.81, vs. $1.23, fourth quarter EPS on 5.9% drop in same-store sales, 1.6% total sales drop.
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