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  • Fateful Friday? Overseas markets were none-too-excited by AIG's massive loss (see below), and oil's surge to almost $126/barrel. U.S. futures are trading down in like, and portend a weak opening. See Today's Markets below for all the figures.
  • Citi's $600B garage sale. Citigroup (NYSE:C) CEO Vikram Pandit is considering a massive "non-core" asset sale of up to $400 billion in order to jump-start the troubled bank's recovery. Pandit will say at an analyst meeting that about 20% of Citi's $2 trillion balance sheet, including complete businesses and trading assets, are not crucial to its operations. He will also confirm plans to cut the bank's $60B cost base by 20%, and will reject calls for its breakup.
  • AIG aches. AIG posted a record $7.81B loss on the heels of a $9.11B writedown, prompting it to seek $12.5B to prop up its sagging balance sheet. AIG's total credit-crisis damage of over $30B puts it in the elite company of Merrill Lynch (MER), Citigroup (C) and UBS (NYSE:UBS). Credit default swaps on its debt surged 11% as its shares fell 7.1% in extended trading. "While we anticipated a difficult trading environment, the severity of the unrealized valuation losses and decline in value of our investments were beyond our expectations," CEO Martin Sullivan said.
  • Harris Corp. may be for sale. $7.3B electronics and defense company Harris Corp. (NYSE:HRS) is considering selling itself, among other options. Potential buyers include Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) BAE Systems (OTCPK:BAESY) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC). Shares ($54.41) trade at about the midpoint of their 52-week range.
  • Commodity surge not speculative. Economists say surging food and energy prices are not the result of unbridled speculation on world financial markets, but rather are firmly rooted in market fundamentals. 40% of those surveyed by the WSJ worry the Fed isn't doing enough about inflation. Most think the Fed's target rate will stay put at 2% at least until year-end.
  • Cash crunch easing. Commercial banks borrowed $11.49B from the Fed's (once stigmatized) discount window, down from $11.96B last week. Lending to investment banks totalled $16.26B, down quite a bit from $17.78B a week ago. The drops, together with a decline in the bids for the Fed's Term Securities Lending Facility auction loans, suggest dealers are becoming less pressed for short-term cash.
  • A friend in need... Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) executives sounded positive Thursday about a potential advertising partnership with Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), despite media reports that threw their support into question. "We have been talking to Yahoo and we are very excited to be working with them," co-founder Sergey Brin said. Chairman Eric Schmidt said he's happy the Yahoo/Microsoft threat has dissipated, and described Google's current relationship with Yahoo as "very, very friendly."
  • Microsoft abandons proxy threat. A source says Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has released candidates it signed on to serve as alternative directors in a proxy battle for Yahoo's (YHOO) board.
  • Port bottleneck. A shipping overload, due largely to a lack of containers and transportation equipment, continues to hurt U.S. exporters. Larger companies such as Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) may have the resources to weather the shortage better than small firms.
  • Warner shutters indie ops. Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) is closing two of its once-coveted boutique labels, Picturehouse and Warner Independent. Costs to produce nouveau passe indie films have grown to the extent that its business model no longer makes sense.
  • Home rescue plan in limbo. The federal homeowner rescue plan, part of which was passed Thursday by the House, is getting a lukewarm reception from both mortgage lenders and senior government officials. Lenders, MBA chairman David Kittle says, are in no rush to write down loans, and will likely only do so if home prices continue to decline steeply. Keith Hennessey of the National Economic Council says a current proposal to allow the FHA to refinance up to $300B in mortgages is way too costly to muster presidential approval.
  • Trade platinum. The first two U.S.-traded platinum ETNs (long and short) are set to launch today: UBS's (UBS) E-Tracs UBS Long Platinum ETN (NYSEARCA:PTM) and E-Tracs UBS Short Platinum ETN (NYSE:PRD). The ETNs will deal in futures contracts, and will not buy platinum. Platinum is up about 30% this year, and analysts say it could hit $2,400/ounce (futures closed Wednesday at $2,018.80). Norilsk Nickel (OTCPK:NILSY) is the world's number-one platinum producer.

Earnings: Thursday After Close

  • Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI): FQ4 EPS of $0.17 beats consensus of $0.05. Revenue of $602.5M vs. consensus of $269M. Shares: +3.4%.
  • AES Corp (NYSE:AES): Q1 EPS of $0.39 beats consensus of $0.27. Revenue of $4.1B vs. consensus of $3.34B. Shares: +3.6%.
  • AIG (NYSE:AIG): Q1 EPS of -$1.41 misses consensus of -$0.76. Shares: -7.1%
  • Assured Guaranty (NYSE:AGO): Q1 EPS of -$0.08 misses consensus of $0.65. Revenue of $108M vs. consensus of $112M. Shares: -9.4%.
  • Heelys (NASDAQ:HLYS): Q1 EPS of -$0.02 misses consensus of $0.05. Revenue of $13.1M vs. consensus of $14.8M. Shares: -4%.
  • Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW): Q1 EPS of -$0.02 misses consensus of $0.02. Revenue of $30M vs. consensus of $31M. Sees Q2 revenue of $28-30M vs. consensus of $32M. Shares: -8.5%.
  • Live Nation (NYSE:LYV): Q1 EPS of -$0.47 misses consensus of -$0.42. Revenue of $636.5M vs. consensus of $568M. Shares: -0.5%.
  • MoneyGram (NASDAQ:MGI): Q1 EPS of -$4.40 misses consensus of $0.03. Revenue of $263M vs. consensus of $230M. Loss includes $307M in investment portfolio losses. Shares: -8.9%.
  • Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL): Q1 EPS of $0.09 beats consensus of $0.08. Revenue of $1.07B vs. consensus of $1.13B. Sees full-year EPS of $0.40-0.50, short of consensus of $0.53, and full-year revenue of $4.3-4.6B vs. consensus of $4.77B. Shares: -4.1%.
  • Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA): Q1 EPS of $0.36 misses consensus of $0.38. Revenue of $1.15B in line. Shares: -3.6%.
  • priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN): Q1 EPS of $0.76 beats consensus of $0.60. Revenue of $403M vs. consensus of $377M. Sees Q2 EPS of $1.25-1.40, better than consensus of $1.30. Sees full-year EPS of $5.25-5.65, better than consensus of $5.12. Shares: +14.3%.
  • Quest Software (NASDAQ:QSFT): Q1 EPS of $0.21 beats consensus of $0.19. Revenue of $173M vs. consensus of $166M. Sees 2008 revenue of $705-720M vs. consensus of $712M. Shares: +6.65%
  • RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK): Q1 EPS of $0.02 beats consensus of -$0.03. Revenue of $148M vs. consensus of $142M. Sees Q2 EPS of -$0.04 to flat, in-line, and revenue of $151-155M vs. consensus of $150M. Sees full-year EPS of -$0.05 to flat, better than consensus of -$0.06. Shares: +11.1%.
  • Sapient (NASDAQ:SAPE): Q1 EPS of $0.06 beats consensus of $0.05. Revenue of $154M vs. consensus of $158M. Sees Q2 revenue of $159M or higher, vs. consensus of $162.1M. Shares: -1.8%.
  • Scientific Games (NASDAQ:SGMS): Q1 EPS of $0.24 beats consensus of $0.23. Revenue of $257M vs. consensus of $270M. Shares: -0.2%.
  • Sonus Networks (NASDAQ:SONS): Q1 EPS of $0.00 beats consensus of -$0.01. Revenue of $74M in line. Shares: +2.6%.
  • Stillwater Mining (NYSE:SWC): Q1 EPS of $0.03 misses consensus of $0.15. Revenue of $173M vs. consensus of $199M. Shares: -4.9%.
  • True Religion (NASDAQ:TRLG): Q1 EPS of $0.29 beats consensus of $0.26. Revenue of $53M vs. consensus of $46M. Sees full-year EPS of $1.52-1.56, better than prior $1.48-1.52, vs. consensus of $1.51. Sees full-year revenue of $220-225M, better than prior $210-215M, vs. consensus of $214M. Shares: +5%.
  • Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN): Q1 EPS of $0.21 beats consensus of $0.20. Revenue of $354M. Shares: +2%.
  • World Fuel Services (NYSE:INT): Q1 EPS of $0.61 beats consensus of $0.54. Revenue of $4.49B vs. consensus of $4.33B. Shares: +9.1%.

Earnings: Friday Before Open

  • Cinemark (NYSE:CNK): Q1 EPS of $0.05 misses consensus of $0.07. Revenue of $401M vs. consensus of $400M.
  • Clear Channel (CCU-OLD): Q1 EPS of $0.32 beats consensus of $0.21. Revenue of $1.56B vs. consensus of $1.53B.
  • Clear Channel Outdoors (NYSE:CCO): Q1 EPS of $0.04 misses consensus of $0.05. Revenue of $776M vs. consensus $738M.
  • Cogent Communications (NASDAQ:CCOI): Q1 EPS of -$0.21 misses consensus of -$0.18. Revenue of $52.1M vs. consensus of $52.5M. Sees 2008 EPS of -$0.20 to -$0.30, short of prior guidance of -$0.10 to -$0.20, vs. consensus of -$0.23. Sees 2008 revenue of $225-235M vs. consensus of $229M.
  • Gray Television (NYSE:GTN): Q1 EPS of -$0.08 beats consensus of -$0.10. Revenue of $71M vs. consensus of $70M.
  • Huntsman (NYSE:HUN): Q1 EPS of $0.07 misses consensus of $0.22. Revenue of $2.54B vs. consensus of $2.37B
  • Leap Wireless (LEAP): Q1 EPS of -$0.27 misses consensus of -$0.02. Revenue of $468M vs. consensus $459M.
  • PHH Corp (NYSE:PHH): Q1 EPS of $0.55 beats estimate of $0.26. Revenue of $642M.
  • Sotheby's (NYSE:BID): Q1 EPS of -$0.09 misses consensus of $0.10. Revenue of $129M vs. consensus of $141M. Shares: -1.7%.
  • Southern Union (NYSE:SUG): Q1 EPS of $0.64 beats consensus of $0.61. Revenue of $953M vs. consensus of $831M. Sees full-year EPS of $1.80-1.90 vs. consensus of $1.86.
  • Westar Energy (NYSE:WR): Q1 EPS of $0.33 beats consensus of $0.31. Revenue of $407M vs. consensus $396M. Sees full-year EPS of $1.50-1.65 vs. consensus of $1.53. Shares -3%.
  • Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN): Q1 EPS of $0.27 beats consensus of $0.25. Revenue of $812M vs. consensus $804M.

Today's Markets

  • Asian markets closed down Friday. Nikkei -2.06% to 13,655. Hang Seng -1.5% to 25,063. Shanghai -1.19% to 3,613. BSE Sensex -2.01% to 16,737.
  • In Europe, markets are down substantially at midday. FTSE -1.15% to 6,196. CAC -2.4% to 4,934. DAX -1.3% to 6,980.
  • On this side of the sea, equity futures aren't rosy. Dow -0.67% to 12,737. S&P -0.61% to 1,383.50.
  • Nasdaq -0.53% to 1,954.50.
  • Oil +1.14% to $125.11 (futures almost hit $126!). Gold +0.54% to $886.80.

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Source: Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News