Company News Update
- Drugstore chain, Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) reported a quarterly loss of 18 cents a share, in the fourth quarter ended March 3, on $7.1 billion in revenue, which was in line street expectations.
- An Arkansas judge ordered Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) to pay more than $1.1 billion in fines, after the jury found the company’s officials deceived doctors and patients about the risks of antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
- Drug wholesaler McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) won a contract to supply drugs, worth as much as $31.6 billion, to Department of Veterans Affairs facilities. The company was able to hold onto one of the most lucrative non-defense contracts, which has generated approximately $27 billion in orders since 2004.
- AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) was upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” at JPMorgan, with a price target of $33.
- Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Canaccord Genuity Corp. The 12-month share-price estimate is $73.
- Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX), the biggest U.S. operator of medical laboratories, has named Stephen H. Rusckowski as its new president and chief executive. He will succeed Surya N. Mohapatra, who will remain in his role till April 30 to ensure a smooth transition.
- Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ:TSCO), the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the United States, said first-quarter revenue climbed 22 percent to $1.02 billion, which is better than the $937.9 million analysts were expecting.
- Oaktree Capital Group LLC (OAK), the world’s largest distressed-debt investor, will start trading under the ticker OAK after it raised $380.2 million in an initial public offering on Wednesday. Oaktree sold 8.8 million shares at $43 apiece, at the bottom of the expected range.
- Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is scheduled to report first-quarter results after the market close.
- BHP Billiton plc (LON:BLT) (NYSE:BHP) rallied 1.9 percent in London trading after the miner said it was planning to shut-down a loss making coal mine in Australia, citing higher costs and lower coal prices.
- Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) (NYSE:RDS.A), the biggest European oil producer, tumbled 5 percent after an oil slick was reportedly spotted between its Mars and Ursa production areas in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Nokia Corporation (BIT:NOK1V) (NYSE:NOK) plunged 7 percent after a spate of brokerage downgrades following yesterday’s cut in profit forecasts. Societe Generale SA cut the biggest maker of mobile handsets by volume, to “hold” from “buy”, while Morgan Stanley decreased its price estimate to 2.60 euros from 3.80 euros.
- Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (AMS:PHIA) , the maker of electronic toothbrushes and patient-monitoring systems, said Steve Rusckowski, the chief executive officer of the company’s health care unit, will leave the company on April 30, and he will be replaced by Deborah Disanzo, who has worked at Philips for more than a decade.
- Banco Espirito Santo SA (ELI:BES), Portugal’s biggest publicly traded bank by market value, unveiled a rights offering of up to 1.01 billion euros ($1.3 billion), to increase its capital ratios.
- Europe’s biggest retailer, Carrefour SA, posted a rise of 0.9 percent in first-quarter sales, which stood at 22.5 billion euros ($30 billion).
- Roche Holding AG (ROG), the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs, today reported a 2 percent jump in first-quarter sales, largely on account of better than expected sales of key cancer drug Avastin.
- A record wind and solar output is squeezing profits of Germany’s two biggest utilities, E.ON AG (FRA:EOAN) and RWE AG (FRA:RWE).
- Japanese consumer electronics giant, Sony Corporation (TYO:6758) (NYSE:SNE), said it would cut 10,000 jobs worldwide as part of a restructuring, and was targeting sales of 8.5 trillion yen ($104.9 billion) by fiscal 2015.
- Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (TYO:6305) advanced 4.1 percent in Tokyo trading after a Nikkei newspaper report said the company is expected to report a consolidated operating profit of about Y80 billion for the current fiscal year ending March 2013, 40 percent higher from the estimated figure for the last fiscal period. The report said better than expected sales of dump trucks and excavators for coal mining will lead to the rise in profit.
- Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (TYO:9107), Japan’s third-biggest shipping line by sales, fell 2.3 percent amid rising concerns that oil cargoes from Iran won’t be covered by Japanese insurers because of sanctions on the country.
- Citic Securities Company Limited (SHA:600030) led gains among Chinese brokerages firms after Chinese authorities more than doubled the investment quota available to approved foreign institutional investors wanting to invest directly into China’s financial markets from $30 billion to $80 billion.
- Contract handset manufacturer, Foxconn International Holdings Limited (HKG:2038), plunged close to 8 percent in Hong Kong trading on news that one of its biggest customer’s, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), has announced a profit warning for the first half of the year.
- China National Building Material Co. Ltd (HKG:3323) gained 3.5 percent after brokerage CLSA upgraded the stock to an “outperform”, on expectations that cement prices will rise in North-east China.
- Australian media shares rallied after Ten Network chief James Warburton said advertising market was stabilizing and showing signs of decreased volatility. Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) closed 2.6 per cent higher, while APN News & Media Limited (ASX:APN) jumped 4.8 percent and Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ) gained 2.8 per cent.