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  • Six banks fall short on capital. As news of the preliminary stress test results continues to leak out, sources say at least 6 of the nineteen largest U.S. banks will need additional capital. Some may get extra money from the government, but most of the capital will likely come from the conversion of preferred shares to common equity. The Federal Reserve is in the process of hearing appeals from banks (including Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)) that were told they need a larger capital cushion. Final test results are due to be released next week.
  • Citigroup tries to plug capital hole. Citigroup (C) is trying to convince the government that the bank doesn't need more capital beyond recent plans to shore up its balance sheet and cut costs. However, executives have also told regulators that a capital shortfall identified in the stress tests could be filled by selling large businesses (potentially including core business units), further reducing its balance sheet or asking more investors to convert preferred shares into common stock. In short, anything but accepting additional government aid. Separately, Citigroup has reportedly asked the Treasury for permission to pay bonuses to many key employees. Shares +6.6% premarket (7:00 ET).
  • Lewis on the line. Bank of America (BAC) holds its annual meeting today, and shareholders will vote on whether CEO Ken Lewis should be re-elected as the company's chairman of the board. Though Lewis is likely to win re-election to the board by a wide margin, a separate shareholder proposal forcing Lewis to give up his position as chairman is still too close to call. The votes come amid news that the company could require up to $70B in extra capital as a result of the government's stress tests. Shares +3.9% premarket (7:00 ET).
  • New mortgage mod rules. The White House unveiled new guidelines in its foreclosure-prevention program to address borrowers with home-equity loans and other second mortgages. The original plan didn't address this group of borrowers, despite the fact that roughly half of seriously delinquent borrowers have a second mortgage. Under the revised plan, companies participating in the loan modification program must automatically modify the second mortgage when the first is reworked. The government will share in the cost of reducing the interest rate on second mortgages for five years.
  • Chrysler reaches debt deal. Chrysler's largest lenders and the government reached a major breakthrough on debt reduction, agreeing to write down $6.9B in debt to just $2B ahead of Chrysler's bankruptcy deadline tomorrow. Despite the progress, "there is still some way to go in the negotiations," said a White House spokesman, "so I wouldn't rule anything in or out."
  • SEC's fraud-fighting team. After a series of high-profile failings, the SEC is creating a team of specialists to focus on fighting fraud and to make the agency "more smart, more swift and more successful." The idea is a major shift for the SEC, which traditionally has relied on enforcement personnel who were generalists. Details of the new plan are not yet finalized.
  • AIG tries to lower default risk. Less than a month after resigning, senior AIG (NYSE:AIG) executive James Shephard has reportedly decided to stay on as the deputy chief of Paris-based Banque AIG. Insiders say Shephard was pressed to stay in order to help stave off the risk of default on $234B of derivatives; his continued presence at the unit will likely deter several European banks that bought derivatives from taking legal action to force AIG to repay them.
  • Verizon, MSFT team up on iPhone rival. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is said to be holding talks with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) over a touch-screen music-playing mobile phone that could compete with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone. Talks are still in the early stages, but a phone could be introduced next year. Verizon is also reportedly in talks with Apple about selling a version of the iPhone.
  • Falling demand, prices hurt ArcelorMittal. ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss (see details below) as demand slumped and falling metals prices forced the company to lower the value of its inventories. Steel consumption is expected to drop another 15% in 2009, and the company is bracing for market conditions to 'remain challenging.' Shares -2.0% premarket (7:00 ET).
  • Dendreon shares yo-yo on prostate drug. Dendreon's (NASDAQ:DNDN) shares plunged dramatically yesterday, falling 45% before trading was halted. The sudden drop was in advance of a meeting at which the company presented data on prostate cancer drug Provenge. As it turns out, Dendreon executives reported that Provenge extended the median survival of prostate cancer patients by 4.1 months and improved 3-year survival by 38%. The findings raise fresh expectations of FDA approval, and sent the stock soaring in premarket trading (+127% at 7:00 ET).
  • IBM boosts dividend. IBM (NYSE:IBM) raised its dividend by 10%, and authorized another $3B in stock buybacks. Despite losing Sun Microsystems (JAVA) to Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), IBM executives said the company absolutely still has the flexibility to make a major acquisition.
  • Retail sales. Retail chain store sales fell 0.7% from a week ago, ICSC reported, and dropped 1.7% Y/Y. Consumer traffic fell for most segments, including grocery, drug, department stores and discounters. Redbook recorded that chain store sales gained 1.6% in the first three weeks of April, better than the 1.3% rise expected. Strong seasonal sales drove the improvement.
  • Home prices fall (.pdf). S&P/Case-Shiller's 20-city home price index fell 18.6% in February from a year ago, slightly better than the 19% drop seen last month. All 20 areas were still lower from a month ago, but 16 of the 20 saw an improvement in their annual returns. It's the first time since Oct. 2007 that the index didn't post a record annual decline.
  • Confidence ticks up. Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index improved considerably in April, rising to 39.2 from March's 26.9. Expectations rose to 49.5 from 30.2. "The sharp increase in the Expectations Index suggests that consumers believe the economy is nearing a bottom, however, this Index still remains well below levels associated with strong economic growth."
  • Mfg contraction slows. The Richmond Fed's Manufacturing Index contracted more slowly in April, rising to -9 from March's -20. Shipments gained twelve points to -3, new orders rose eighteen points to -2, and the jobs index edged up two points to -26.
  • Mortgage apps fall. Mortgage applications fell 18.1% from a week ago, MBA reported. The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages inched down to 4.62% from 4.73%.

Earnings: Wednesday Before Open

  • Aetna (NYSE:AET): Q1 EPS of $0.96 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $8.6B (+10.5%) vs. $8.5B. Reaffirms FY '09 EPS guidance of $3.85-$3.95. (PR)
  • American Tower (NYSE:AMT): Q1 EPS of $0.15 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $409M (+6.9%) vs. $408M. Issues in-line guidance for FY '09, see revenue of $1.64-$1.77B vs. $1.68B consensus. (PR)
  • ArcelorMittal (MT): Q1 EPS of -$0.78 misses by $0.39. Revenue of $15.1B (-49.3%) vs. $15.9B. (PR)
  • Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI): Q1 EPS of $0.82 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $2.7B (-0.1%) vs. $2.6B. (PR)
  • Burger King (BKC): FQ3 EPS of $0.34 in-line. Revenue of $600M (+1.0%) vs. $607M. Sees FY '09 EPS of $1.39-$1.42. (PR)
  • Endo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ENDP): Q1 EPS of $0.67 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $335M (+15.5%) vs. $338M. (PR)
  • FTI Consulting (NYSE:FCN): Q1 EPS of $0.60 beats by $0.08. Revenue of $348M (+13.3%) vs. $341M. (PR)
  • General Dynamics (NYSE:GD): Q1 EPS of $1.54 beats by $0.08. Revenue of $8.3B (+18%) vs. $7.8B. (PR)
  • Hess (NYSE:HES): Q1 EPS of -$0.18 beats by $0.09. Revenue of $6.9B (-35.8%) vs. $5.6B. (PR)
  • IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI): Q1 EPS of -$0.02 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $332M (-10.4%) vs. $330M. (PR)
  • Jones Apparel Group (NYSE:JNY): Q1 EPS of $0.28 beats by $0.18. Revenue of $891M (-8.6%) vs. $875M. (PR)
  • MeadWestvaco (NYSE:MWV): Q1 EPS of -$0.46 misses by $0.22. Revenue of $1.35B (-10.8%) vs. $1.44B. (PR)
  • MedcoHealth Solutions (NYSE:MHS): Q1 EPS of $0.63 in-line. Revenue of $14.8B (+14.4%) vs. $13.7B. Sees FY '09 EPS of $2.67-$2.77 vs. $2.73 consensus. (PR)
  • MGIC Investment (NYSE:MTG): Q1 EPS of -$1.49 misses by $0.12. Revenue of $435M (+2.7%) vs. $436M. (PR)
  • Moody's (NYSE:MCO): Q1 EPS of $0.41 beats by $0.07. Revenue of $409M (-5.1%) vs. $393M. Declares a quarterly dividend of $0.10/share. (PR)
  • PepsiAmericas (PAS): Q1 EPS of $0.20 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $1.1B (-3.7%) in-line. Issues upside guidance for FY '09, sees EPS of $1.83-$1.90 vs. $1.80 consensus. (PR)
  • Praxair (NYSE:PX): Q1 EPS of $0.93 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $2.1B (-20.3%) vs. $2.4B. Sees FY '09 EPS of $3.85-$4.15, revenue of around $9B. (PR)
  • Qwest Communications International (NYSE:Q): Q1 EPS of $0.12 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $3.2B (-6.6%) in-line. (PR)
  • Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI): Q1 EPS of $1.00 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $1.92B (-6.6%) vs. $1.97B. Sees FY '09 EPS guidance of $4.15-$4.45. (PR)
  • Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK): FQ2 EPS of $0.29 in-line. Revenue of $1.1B (-24.8%) in-line. (PR)
  • Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A): Q1 EPS of $0.54 misses by $0.54. Revenue of $58.2B vs. $55.2B. Q1 dividend +5% to $0.42/share. "Industry conditions remain challenging, and our focus is on capital discipline and costs." (PR)
  • SAP AG (NYSE:SAP): Q1 EPS of $0.22 misses by $0.07. Revenue of $2.4B (-4%) vs. $2.6B. (PR)
  • Sealed Air (NYSE:SEE): Q1 EPS of $0.33 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $988M (-16.3%) vs. $1.03B. (PR)
  • Siliconware Precision Industries (NASDAQ:SPIL): Q1 EPS of $0.01 beats by $0.01. (PR)
  • Southern Company (NYSE:SO): Q1 EPS of $0.42 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $3.7B (-0.3%) vs. $3.5B. (PR)
  • SPX (NYSE:SPW): Q1 EPS of $0.81 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $1.2B (-13.9%) in-line. (PR)
  • Talisman Energy (NYSE:TLM): Q1 EPS of $0.30 beats by $0.16. Revenue of $1.8B (-21.5%) vs. $1.7B. (PR)
  • Time Warner (NYSE:TWX): Q1 EPS of $0.45 beats by $0.07. Revenue of $6.9B (-7%) vs. $6.8B. Reaffirms FY '09 guidance of $1.98 EPS. (PR)
  • Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC): Q1 EPS of $0.75 beats by $0.14. Revenue of $4.4B (+4.9%) in-line. (PR)
  • Tyco Electronics (NYSE:TEL): FQ2 EPS of $0.14 beats by $0.10. Revenue of $2.5B (-32.9%) vs. $2.4B. Sees FQ3 EPS of $0.01-$0.06, revenue of $2.35B-$2.45B. (PR)
  • United Microelectronics (NYSE:UMC): Q1 EPS of -$0.09 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $319M (-59.6%) vs. $337.5M. (PR)
  • ViroPharma (VPHM): Q1 EPS of -$0.77 misses by $0.93. Revenue of $60M (+18.2%) vs. $65M. (PR)
  • Waste Management (WMI): Q1 EPS of $0.42 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $2.8B (-14.1%) vs. $3.0B. (PR)
  • Wyeth (WYE): Q1 EPS of $0.89 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $5.4B (-5.8%) vs. $5.5B. Reaffirms FY '09 guidance, sees EPS of $3.33-$3.53 vs. $3.50 consensus. (PR)
  • Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE:WYN): Q1 EPS of $0.41 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $901M (-11%) vs. $839M. Reaffirms FY '09 EPS guidance of $1.61-$1.85, FY '09 revenue of $3.5-$3.9B. (PR)

Earnings: Tuesday After Close

  • Ace Ltd. (NYSE:ACE): Q1 EPS of $1.99 beats by $0.03. Shares flat AH. (PR)
  • Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD): Q1 EPS of $0.47 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $131.6M (+35.3%) vs. $129.1M. Shares -11.1% AH. (PR)
  • Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG): Q1 EPS of $0.41 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $234M (+6.5%) vs. $213M. Shares +4% AH. (PR)
  • Carter's (NYSE:CRI): Q1 EPS of $0.19 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $357M (+33.6%) vs. $335M. Sees Q2 EPS of $0.07-0.10 vs. $0.10. Shares -5.3% AH. (PR)
  • Cemex (NYSE:CX): Q1 operating income of $36M (-29%). Revenue of $3.7B (-32%) vs. $4.03B consensus. (PR)Dreamworks Animation SKG (NASDAQ:DWA): Q1 EPS of $0.68 beats by $0.23. Revenue of $263.5M (+67.6%) vs. $211.5M. Shares +14.6% AH. (PR)
  • Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN): Q1 EPS of $0.52 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $392M (+1.9%) vs. $418M. Full-year guidance in-line. Shares -3.5% AH. (PR)
  • Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI): Q1 EPS of $0.51 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $1.3B (-10%) vs. $1.25B. Shares +17.9% AH. (PR)
  • CommScope (CTV): Q1 EPS of $0.14 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $742M (-26.1%) vs. $753M. Q2 revenue guidance in-line. Shares +3.8% AH. (PR)
  • E*TRADE Financial (NASDAQ:ETFC): Q1 EPS of -$0.41 misses by $0.01. Revenue of $497M (+6%) in-line. Allowance for loan losses increased $120M to $1.2B. Says it will need to further boost its capital position, through selling shares and/or a private cash injection. Shares -27.6% AH. (PR)
  • Hertz Global (NYSE:HTZ): Q1 EPS of -$0.25 misses by $0.03. Revenue of $1.56B (-23.3%) vs. $1.8B. (PR)
  • Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL): Q1 EPS of -$0.47 misses by $0.40. Revenue of $494M (-12.4%) vs. $541M. Decreases semi-annual dividend to $0.10 from $0.25. Assets under management fell 11% to $41B. Shares flat AH. (PR)
  • Life Technologies (NASDAQ:LIFE): Q1 EPS of $0.72 beats by $0.15. Revenue of $785M (+124.1%) vs. $749M. Shares -0.7% AH. (PR)
  • Massey Energy Company (NYSE:MEE): Q1 EPS of $0.51 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $768M (+19.2%) vs. $739M. Says it has taken meaningful action to cut costs, and expects positive cash flow this year. Shares +0.6% AH. (PR)
  • Nalco (NYSE:NLC): Q1 EPS of $0.17 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $868M (-13.1%) vs. $933M. "We are pushing aggressively on productivity to help offset the impacts of weaker end markets." Shares flat AH. (PR)
  • Psychiatric Solutions (OTCPK:PSYS): Q1 EPS of $0.50 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $450M (+6.3%) in-line. Sees full-year EPS of $2.24-2.32 vs. $2.21. Shares +8.5% AH. (PR)
  • RF Micro Devices (RFMD): FQ4 EPS of -$0.10 misses by $0.05. Revenue of $172.3M (-21.9%) vs. $166.1M. Sees FQ1 EPS of flat vs. consensus of -$0.02. Shares -4.15% AH. (PR)
  • Stericycle (NASDAQ:SRCL): Q1 EPS of $0.47 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $277M (+8.8%) in-line. Shares flat AH. (PR)
  • Sun Microsystems (JAVA): FQ3 EPS of -$0.07 beats by $0.12. Revenue of $2.61B (-20%) vs. $2.86B. Shares -0.2% AH (company is being acquired by Oracle (ORCL)). (PR)
  • Superior Energy Services (NYSE:SPN): Q1 EPS of $0.72 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $437M (-1%) vs. $418M. Shares +1.7% AH. (PR)
  • Textron (NYSE:TXT): Q1 EPS of $0.26 beats by $0.25. Revenue of $2.53B (-23.6%) vs. $2.78B. Sees full-year EPS of $0.45-0.75 vs. $0.97 consensus, and revenue of $11B vs. $11.8B. Launches sale of 19M shares, and $300M in convertible senior notes. Shares -5% premarket. (PR I, II)
  • Total System Services (NYSE:TSS): Q1 EPS of $0.26 misses by $0.04. Revenue of $409M (-2.6%) vs. $474M. Sees full-year revenue of $1.63-1.66B vs. $1.95B consensus. Sees net income down 11-13% vs. a previous 0-3%. Cardholder transaction volume was down 4.3%. Shares -8.3% AH. (PR)
  • Trimble Navigation (NASDAQ:TRMB): Q1 EPS of $0.28 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $289M (-18.7%) vs. $297M. Sees Q2 EOS of $0.32 vs. $0.35 and revenue of $285-315M vs. $320M. Shares -3.6% AH. (PR)
  • Trustmark (NASDAQ:TRMK): Q1 EPS of $0.41 beats by $0.12. (PR)
  • V.F. Corp. (NYSE:VFC): Q1 EPS of $0.91 misses by $0.03. Revenue of $1.72B in-line. Sees full-year EPS of $4.70-5.00 vs. consensus of $5.31. Shares -8.2% AH. (PR)

Today's Markets

Overseas markets were broadly higher Wednesday, fueling gains in overnight futures trading.

  • Asia: Hang Seng +2.76% to 14,956. Shanghai +2.78% to 2,468. BSE +3.65% to 11,403. Nikkei closed.
  • Europe at midday: London +1.15%. Paris +1.2%. Frankfurt +0.8%.
  • Futures: Dow +0.9% to 8038. S&P +1% to 860. Nasdaq +0.9%. Crude +1.5% to $50.66. Gold +0.3% to $896.50. Euro +0.8% vs. dollar. Yen -0.6%. Pound +1%.

Wednesday's Economic Calendar

Seeking Alpha editor Eli Hoffmann contributed to this post.


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