Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News

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by: SA Eli Hoffmann
SA Eli Hoffmann
Seeking Alpha's flagship daily business news summary, gives you a rapid overview of the day's key financial news. It is published before 7:00 AM ET every market day and delivered to over 900,000 email subscribers.

  • CIT snags $4.5B lifeline. A group of hedge funds including many of its bondholders offered to lend CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) $4.5B to build creditor support for a controversial debt exchange, pitting them against activist investor Carl Icahn, who wants the swap voted down. The lifeline comes as CIT's lenders must decide by midnight tonight whether to support its proposed debt exchange, a pre-packaged bankruptcy plan, or neither. Sources say the funds bought up CIT debt last summer on a bet the government would bail out the troubled lender, and stand to lose from a freefall bankruptcy, which Icahn is pushing for.
  • Mutual funds use Fed bucks to buy bonds. Mutual funds - including those run by T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ:TROW) and BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) - are using Fed financing to reap 15%-plus returns with limited risk. The Fed's TALF (Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility) offers low-cost financing to buy AAA-rated bonds backed by consumer and business loans, as well as commercial mortgages. Investors can borrow up to 95% of the bonds' value by pledging the securities and some additional collateral, and have no obligation to repay the loan beyond the collateral - in essence shifting most of the potential losses to the government. In the words of one fund manager: "This is one of those opportunities that, as an investor, we have to take advantage of."
  • IMF boosts Asia growth outlook. The IMF raised its 2009-2010 growth forecast for Asia's economy, but warned that a fragile recovery in advanced economies and lingering problems in the global financial system still pose risks. IMF now sees Asia growth of 2.8% and 5.8% this year and next, up from previous estimates of 1.2% and 4.3% - far higher than the 1.25% growth expected from G-7 economies, but well short of the region's 6.66% average. The report says the region is outpacing other parts of the world, with 'green shoots' of recovery appearing earlier and taking firmer root than elsewhere. (IMF Asia Outlook)
  • U.S.-China trade talks open on sour note. China/U.S. trade talks opened on a discordant note Thursday as fresh frictions surfaced after China announced plans to investigate dumping allegations against Detroit's Big Three automakers. Punitive measures are unlikely to cause much harm since most of the vehicles they sell are made in China, but another row - on top of disputes over steel pipes, chicken, movies and music - could further stress their tenuous relationship ahead of Obama's Nov. 15 visit.
  • Economists shave GDP estimates after weak orders. Durable goods orders rose 1% in September, short of the 1.5% gain economists expected, but a reverse of August's 2.4% drop. Following the weaker-than-expected gain, Goldman Sachs economist Ed McKelvey dropped his Q3 GDP growth estimate - due out this morning - to 2.7% from a previous 3%. "The headline gain in orders was in line with expectations but not as firm as we had thought," he said. Later, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch followed suit, with Morgan shaving its outlook to 3.8% from 3.9%, and Merrill to 2.3% from 2.5%.
  • AIG recoups CDS losses. AIG (NYSE:AIG) is seeing billions of dollars in inflows from recovering credit-default swaps - the very securities that helped level the insurer. Q2 inflows may have topped $3B, including at least $1B from Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). Credit-default swaps - a type of insurance policy on securities backed by assets such as mortgages - required AIG to put up huge amounts of collateral when the investments they backed fell in value. Many of the sour trades were closed out last year by the government, a move that saved AIG, but may have deprived it of billions of dollars.
  • Homebuyer credit extension nears approval. Key senators voiced support for extending and expanding the soon-to-expire homebuyer tax credit, and a vote on the measure could come next week. The current plan would see the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, set to expire at the end of November, extended through April 2010, and would allow for people who have been in their home for at least five years to receive a $6,500 tax credit if they purchase a new primary residence. The income limit on the credit would also rise to $125,000 from $75,000.
  • House panel approves credit rating rules. The House Financial Services Committee signed off (49-14) on legislation aimed at ratings agencies, including barring them from consulting for companies they're also rating, and requiring raters to have outsiders on their boards. The bill also enables investors to sue firms for failing to carry out their duties.
  • Fed: To grow or to shrink? A draft bill of new financial-regulation legislation moving through Congress would give the Fed substantial new powers, including the authority to force large firms to shrink if their size threatens the broader economy. The view is likely to conflict with the Senate's, where financial regulation is moving at a much slower pace, and members of both parties remain wary of offering the Fed - seen by many as partially responsible for the collapse - any new authority.
  • New home sales flatline. New home sales fell 3.6% in September to an annual rate of 402K, well short of economist consensus of 440K and last month's downward-revised 417K. Months' supply rose to 7.5 from 7.3 in August. Sales were down 7.8% year-over year, and, from the peak of the residential construction boom back in mid-2005, sales are down 71.1%. After adjusting for population growth since the pre-2009 all-time low in 1981, sales are now 15% below previous records. (Census Bureau's New Home Sales (.pdf))
  • Norway tightens rates. Norway became the first European country to hike interest rates post-crisis, lifting its key rate by 25 bps to 1.5%. Governor Svein Gjedrem noted inflation is higher than expected, while unemployment was "considerably lower than previously projected," and indicated rates would rise gradually. On Oct. 6, Australia became the first G-20 nation to tighten. (Norges Bank statement)

Earnings: Thur. Before Open

  • ABB Ltd. (NYSE:ABB): Net income of $1.03B (+12%). Sales $7.9B (-10%). Orders $7.06B (-21%). "It remains unclear when and how quickly capital investments by customers will recover from the downturn. In addition, the volatility of raw material prices and the limited availability of project funding continue to influence the timing of many power and industrial investment decision." ABB preannounced on Oct. 19. Shares -2.1% premarket. (PR)
  • Aetna (NYSE:AET): Q3 EPS of $0.69 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $8.72B (+14.4%) in-line. Sees full-year EPS of $2.75 vs. $2.86 consensus. (PR)
  • Allegheny Energy (AYE): Q3 EPS of $0.59 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $794M (-6.6%) vs. $952M. (PR)
  • Allergan (NYSE:AGN): Q3 EPS of $0.70 in-line. Revenue of $1.13B (+4.2%) vs. $1.08B. Shares +0.8% premarket. (PR)
  • American Electric Power Company (NYSE:AEP): Q3 EPS of $0.93 beats by $0.08. Revenue of $3.5B (-16.7%) vs. $3.97B. (PR)
  • AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN): Q3 EPS of $1.46 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $8.2B (+5.5%) vs. $7.9B. Sees full-year core EPS of $6.20-6.40 vs. consensus of $5.99. Shares +0.7% premarket. (PR)
  • AutoNation (NYSE:AN): Q3 EPS of $0.36 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $2.92B (-13.2%) vs. $3.13B. "Cash for Clunkers was a highly effective stimulus program that provided a much needed lift in auto sales and has set the stage going forward for a gradual recovery of new vehicle sales." Says CARS boosted Q3 EPS by $0.07. Approves $250M buyback. (PR)
  • Avon (NYSE:AVP): Q3 EPS of $0.42 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $2.55B (-3.5%) in-line. (PR)
  • Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX): Q3 EPS of $0.54 beats by $0.07. Revenue of $2.1B (+11.6%) in-line. Significantly reduced gold hedges, and will eliminate within 12 months. (PR)
  • BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX): Q3 EPS of -$0.28 misses by $0.06. Revenue of $10.5M (+18%) vs. $4.6M. BioCryst recently received FDA approval to use its flu I.V. drug peramivir as an emergency treatment against H1N1. (PR)
  • Brookfield Properties (NYSE:BPO): Q3 FFO of $0.34 in-line. Revenue of $657M (-7.1%) vs. $580M. (PR)
  • Burger King (BKC): FQ1 EPS of $0.34 misses by $0.03. Revenue of $637M (-5.4%) vs. $653M. Expects the unpredictable consumer environment will persist in fiscal 2010. (PR)
  • Brunswick (NYSE:BC): Q3 EPS of -$1.53 misses by $0.19. Revenue of $666M (-35.9%) vs. $701M. Shares -5.1% premarket. (PR)
  • CME Group (NASDAQ:CME): Q3 EPS of $3.35 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $650M (-17.4%) in-line. "As the economy continues to stabilize, there is room for further organic growth in our core business. At the same time, we are actively working to ensure that the benefits our business model brings to the financial system are communicated to the legislators and regulators who are charged with regulatory reform." (PR)
  • CNOOC (NYSE:CEO): Q3 revenue of 23.8B yuan ($3.47B, -23.1%) vs. estimate of 21.6B. Avg. selling price -36.6% to $67.83/barrel. Net daily production +18.4% to 647K. Capital expenditure +10.3% to 11.24B yuan. Shares -0.9% premarket. (Bloomberg, PR)
  • Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL): Q3 EPS of $1.12 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $4B (+0.3%) in-line. (PR)
  • Corinthian Colleges (NASDAQ:COCO): FQ1 EPS of $0.37 beats by $0.09. Revenue of $388M (+34.2%) vs. $378M. Total student population +25% to 93.5K. Sees full-year EPS of $1.55-1.60 vs. $1.35. Shares +5% premarket. (PR)
  • Cott (NYSE:COT): Q3 EPS of $0.18 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $405M (-3.7%) in-line. To sell $200M in senior notes due in 2017, and use proceeds to fund a previously announced tender offer for notes due in 2011. (PR)
  • Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB): Q3 net profit €1.4B from €414M a year ago. Pre-tax profit of €1.3B from €93M. Net writedowns of €300M. Risk provision of €544M, up from €236M a year ago, but down from €1B in Q2. Return on equity 15% vs. 1% last year. Says it reduced levels of trading risk, "even at the expense of short-term revenue gains." DB released preliminary results last week. Shares -2.6% premarket. (PR)
  • Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR): Q3 FFO of $0.74 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $163M (+14.9%) in-line. Shares (PR)
  • Eastman Kodak (EK): Q3 EPS of -$0.23 misses by $0.04. Revenue of $1.78B (-25.9%) vs. $1.89B. Sees revenue decline at high-end of previous 12-18% range. (PR)
  • Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE): Q3 EPS of $0.48 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $852M (+2.3%) vs. $829M. "Travelers are clearly responding to our improving value proposition, as we broaden our fee cuts and increase the depth and breadth of our global supply." Shares +6.8% premarket. (PR)
  • ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM): Q3 EPS of $0.98 misses by $0.05. Revenue of $82.3B (-40.3) vs. $85.2B. Shares -1.5% premarket. (PR)
  • France Telecom (FTE): Q3 Ebitda of €4.56B (-8%), in line with consensus. Revenue of €12.69B (-6.4%) vs. €12.85B. Expects Q4 to be similar to Q3, and will thus continue to implement cost savings plans to prevent its Ebitda margin from declining further. Shares -0.5% in Paris. (PR, WSJ)
  • GrafTech International (GTI): Q3 EPS of $0.15 beats by $0.09. Revenue of $165M (-47.8%) vs. $162M. (PR)
  • Kellogg Company (NYSE:K): Q3 EPS of $0.94 beats by $0.10. Revenue of $3.28B (-0.3%) in-line. "The current economic environment has placed significant pressure on our consumers." (PR)
  • KBR Inc. (NYSE:KBR): Q3 EPS of $0.45 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $2.84B (-5.9%) in-line. (PR)
  • Mack-Cali Realty (NYSE:CLI): Q3 FFO of $0.81 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $194M (-5.3%) vs. $175M. (PR)
  • Monster Worldwide (NYSE:MWW): Q3 EPS of $0.01 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $215M (-35.2%) vs. $223M. (PR)
  • Moody's (NYSE:MCO): Q3 EPS of $0.43 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $452M (+4.2%) vs. $417M. Declares quarterly dividend of $0.10. (PR I, II)
  • Motorola (MOT): Q3 EPS of $0.01 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $5.45B vs. $5.54B. Appoints Edward Fitzpatrick as CFO. Sees Q4 continuing operations EPS of $0.07-0.09 vs. $0.06. Shares +4.3% premarket. (PR)
  • MPS Group (MPS): Q3 EPS of $0.06 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $408B (-29.4%) vs. $403B. MPS is being acquired by Adecco. (PR)
  • Mylan Laboratories (NASDAQ:MYL): Q3 EPS of $0.32 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $1.26B (-23.7%) in-line. Sees 2010 EPS of $1.24-1.28 vs. $1.17. (PR)
  • Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM): Q3 EPS of $0.79 beats by $0.24. Revenue of $2.05B (+49.5%) vs. $1.72B. (PR)
  • Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY): H1 net profit of ¥69.5B ($768M, -52%). Sales of ¥548B (-34.5%). Cuts H1 dividend by 37% to ¥270. Sold 5.75M Wii consoles (-43%) and 11.7M DS hand-held player sales (vs. 13.7M last year). Sees full-year net income of ¥230B vs. ¥270B consensus, full operating profit of ¥370B (-33%), sales of ¥1.5T (-18%), and Wii sales of 20M (vs. previous 26M). (PR I, II, III, Bloomberg)
  • Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL): Q3 EPS of $1.10 beats by $0.28. Revenue of $621M (-43.4%) vs. $657M. (PR)
  • NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG): Q3 EPS of $1.02 misses by $0.12. Revenue of $2.92B vs. $2.18B. (PR)
  • Office Depot (NYSE:ODP): Q3 EPS of -$0.08 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $3.03B (-17.2%) in-line. (PR)
  • OfficeMax (NYSE:OMX): Q3 EPS of $0.08 misses by $0.06. Revenue of $1.83B (-12.6%) in-line. Same-store sales -11.5%. Continues to anticipate macro employment trends will not turn positive until well into 2010. (PR)
  • Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN): Q3 EPS of -$0.12 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $176M (-71%) vs. $163M. (PR)
  • PG&E (NYSE:PCG): Q3 EPS of $0.93 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $3.23B (+12.3%) vs. $3.48B. (PR)
  • PPL Corp. (NYSE:PPL): Q3 EPS of $0.52 beats by $0.07. Revenue of $1.8B vs. $3B. (PR)
  • Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG): FQ1 EPS of $1.06 beats by $0.07. Revenue of $19.8B (-6%) in-line. (PR)
  • Shell (NYSE:RDS.A): Adjusted net income of $2.62B vs. consensus of $2.5B. Revenue of $75B, down from $131.6B a year ago. "Q3 results were affected by the weak global economy. Upstream and downstream profitability has been sharply reduced compared to year-ago levels. We see some indications that energy demand and pricing are improving, but the outlook remains very uncertain, and we are not expecting a quick recovery." Shares -3.5% in London. (PR)
  • Smith International (SII): Q3 EPS of $0.07 misses by $0.08. Revenue of $1.88B (-34.1%) in-line. (PR)
  • Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S): Q3 EPS of -$0.17 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $8.04B (-8.8%) in-line. Net subscribers -135K. Post-paid churn 2.17% vs. 2.05% in Q2, due to seasonality and heightened competition. Pre-paid churn 6.65% vs. 6.38% in Q2. (PR)
  • Taiwan Semi (NYSE:TSM): Q3 EPS of $0.18 in-line. Revenue of $2.74B (-8.1%) in-line. Gross margin +1.5 points from Q2 to 47.7%. Sees Q4 revenue of NT$90-92B vs. consensus of NT$85.8B. (PR)
  • Ventas (NYSE:VTR): Q3 EPS of $0.66 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $236M (+0.3%) vs. $230M. (PR)
  • Virgin Media (NASDAQ:VMED): Q3 operating cash flow of £348M (+7%) vs. consensus of £337M. Ebitda of £348M. Revenue of £953M (+1.3%) vs. £942M. Net additions of 8,100 vs. 8,000. (PR)
  • Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB): Q3 EPS of $0.24 beats by $0.05. Shares +2.2% premarket. (PR)
  • Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL): Q3 EPS of $0.48 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $2.31B (-18.8%) vs. $3.01B. (PR)

Earnings: Wed. After Close

  • AFLAC (NYSE:AFL): Q3 EPS of $1.25 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $4.5B (+23%) vs. $4.7B. Shares -0.2% AH. (PR)
  • Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM): Q3 EPS of -$0.11 vs. estimate of $0.20; results include foreign exchange loss and other items accounting for cost of $0.14/share. Revenue of $159M (+91%) vs. $183M. Shares -8.3% AH. (PR)
  • Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM): Q3 EPS of $0.38 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $207M (+5%) vs. $199M. Shares +9.6% AH. (PR)
  • Annaly Mortgage Management (NYSE:NLY): Q3 EPS of $0.75 beats by $0.03. Net interest income of $436M (+24%). Shares +2.3% AH. (PR)
  • AvalonBay Communities (NYSE:AVB): Q3 FFO of $1.09 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $224M (+0.3%). Sees Q4 FFO of $0.61-0.64 vs. $0.97 and full-year FFO of $3.86-3.90 vs. $4.19. (PR)
  • Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE:BDN): Q3 FFO of $0.44 beats by $0.08. Revenue of $147M (+2%) vs. $141M. Raises full-year FFO guidance to $1.82-1.85 from $1.75-1.80, vs. $1.78. Sees fiscal 2010 FFO of $1.23-1.34 vs. $1.38. Shares -1.9% AH. (PR)
  • Cadence (NASDAQ:CDNS): Q3 EPS of $0.03 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $216M (-7%) vs. $215M. Sees Q4 EPS of $0.02-0.04 vs. $0.01, and full-year EPS of -$0.08 to -$0.10 vs. -$0.14. (PR)
  • Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN): Q3 EPS of $0.61 in-line. Revenue of $409M (-3%) vs. $421M. Sees Q4 EPS of $0.68-0.74 vs. $0.74. Shares -1.9% AH. (PR)
  • CB Richard Ellis Group (NYSE:CBG): Q3 EPS of $0.08 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $1B (-23%) in-line. Shares -4% AH. (PR)
  • Duke Realty (NYSE:DRE): Q3 FFO of $0.32 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $224M (+4.1%) vs. $219M. (PR)
  • Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR): Q3 FFO of $0.53 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $493M (-4%) vs. $487M. Sees Q4 FFO of $0.49-0.53 vs. $0.49. (PR)
  • Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX): Q3 EPS ex-items of $0.99 beats by $0.19. Revenue of $5.6B (+3%) vs. $5.5B. Sees full-year EPS of $3.76-3.82 vs. $3.49. Shares +0.8% AH. (PR)
  • First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR): Q3 EPS of $1.79 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $481M (+38%) vs. $529M. Shares -15.9% AH. (PR)
  • Genco Shipping & Trading (NYSE:GNK): Q3 EPS of $1.09 beats by $0.08. Revenue of $93M (-14%) vs. $91M. Shares -2.9% AH. (PR)
  • Helix Energy Solutions Group (NYSE:HLX): Q3 EPS of $0.04 misses by $0.01. Revenue of $216M (-65%) vs. $249M. Shares -0.3% AH. (PR)
  • LSI Logic (NASDAQ:LSI-OLD): Q3 EPS of $0.18 beats by $0.14. Revenue of $578M (-19%) vs. $556M. Sees Q4 EPS of $0.07-0.13 vs. $0.06 and Q4 revenue of $605M-645M vs. $587M. Shares +7% AH. (PR)
  • Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC): Q3 EPS of $0.84 beats by $0.08. Revenue of $2.1B (-8%) vs. $2.4B. Shares +9.2% AH. (PR)
  • O'Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY): Q3 EPS of $0.63 beats by $0.07. Revenue of $1.26B (+13%) vs. $1.23B. Comparable store sales up 5.3%; "Continued improvement in our gross margin results fueled by improved acquisition costs as the result of our increased purchasing power." Shares -0.2% AH. (PR)
  • Owens-Illinois (NYSE:OI): Q3 EPS of $0.74 misses by $0.19. Revenue of $1.9B (-7%) in-line. Shares -6% AH. (PR)
  • Questar (NYSE:STR): Q3 EPS of $0.60 beats by $0.09. Revenue of $600M (-21%) vs. $542M. Raises full-year EPS guidance to $2.45-2.55 from $2.35-2.45, vs. $2.57. (PR)
  • Realty Income (NYSE:O): Q3 FFO of $0.47 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $82M (flat) in-line. Sees full-year FFO of $1.86-1.92 vs. $1.83. Shares +2.3% AH. (PR)
  • Ryland Group (NYSE:RYL): Q3 EPS of -$1.20 misses by $0.31. Revenue of $328M (-40%) vs. $352M. Shares -0.5% AH. (PR)
  • Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC): FQ2 EPS of $0.36 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $1.48B (-3%) vs. $1.43B. Shares +6.1% AH. (PR)
  • Teck Resources (TCK): Q3 EPS of $0.59 beats by $0.09. Revenue of $2.1B in-line. Sees 2009 coal sales of 19.5-20.5M tons, slightly higher than previous guidance. Shares +4.1% AH. (PR)
  • Teradyne (NYSE:TER): Q3 EPS of $0.14 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $262M (-12%) vs. $256M. Sees Q4 EPS of $0.12-0.17 vs. $0.12 on Q4 revenue of $255M-270M vs. $252M. Shares +2.2% AH. (PR)
  • Trinity Industries (NYSE:TRN): Q3 EPS of $0.29 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $557M (-52%) vs. $564M. Sees Q4 EPS of $0.08-0.13 vs. $0.06. Shares -1.3% AH. (PR)
  • XL Capital (NYSE:XL): Q3 EPS of $0.89 beats by $0.26. Revenue of $1.5B (-15%) vs. $1.7B. Shares +5.2% AH. (PR)

Today's Markets

Asia markets moved sharply lower Thursday, but losses in Europe were mild and U.S. futures have moved higher overnight following Wednesday's losses.

  • Asia: Nikkei -1.8% to 9891.1. Hang Seng -2.3% to 21265. Shanghai -2.3% to 2960. BSE -1.4% to 16053.
  • Europe at midday: FTSE -0.1% to 5073. CAC -0.1% to 3661. DAX flat at 5496.
  • Futures: Dow +0.4% to 9748.00. S&P +0.5% at 1043. Nasdaq +0.3%. Dec. crude +0.4% to $77.78. Gold +0.4% to $1,034.70. 30-year Tsy -0.16% to 119-20. 10-year -0.04%. Euro +0.2% vs. dollar. Yen flat. Pound +0.4%.

Thursday's Calendar

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