Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Global Investing Roundups

Consumer Confidence Hits 5-Year Low; Citi to Offer $3 Billion in Common Stock; Denny's Satisfied by 1Q Earnings; IBM Bumps Dividend; Merck Drops on FDA Rejection; Airline Shares Take-off; MasterCard's "Priceless" Quarter; Gildan Shares Sacked for a 30% Loss
  • The Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell to 62.3 in April, a five year low, Bloomberg News reported. The Conference Board's index dropped from a revised 65.9 reading in March that was higher than previously estimated.

  • Citigroup Inc. (C) said it would sell about $3 billion of its common stock in a public offering yesterday (Tuesday). Citigroup Inc. says it is has already received "strong interest" in the issuance, the Associated Press reported.

  • Denny's Corp. (DENN) reported first-quarter net earnings of $5 million (5 cents a share), up from 1.16 million (1 cent per share) a year ago. The increase came despite a $40.8 million drop-off in revenue. The stock closed up 1 cent at $3.17, Thomson Financial reported.

  • IBM Corp. (IBM) increased its dividend payout 25% yesterday (Tuesday), reflecting the technology company's confidence that it can thrive even with an uncertain economy, according to the Associated Press. At IBM's annual shareholder meeting, the board of directors upped the quarterly dividend to 50 cents per share. For the past four quarters it had been 40 cents per share.

  • Shares of pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) shed 10% yesterday (Tuesday) with a decline of $4.30 to close at $37.14. On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration rejected Merck's cholesterol drug, Cordaptive, and analysts warned it could have an inverse impact on Merck's bottom line.

  • Airline shares soared yesterday (Tuesday) as crude oil dropped below $116 a barrel after reaching a record high on Monday of almost $120 a barrel, Reuters reported. Northwest Airlines Corp. (NWA) had the biggest gain with an increase of almost 23%, adding $1.74 per share to close at $9.36.

  • MasterCard Inc. (MA) shares gained 12% yesterday (Tuesday) after the world's second-largest credit card processing company announced first quarter earnings. First-quarter net income increased to $446.9 million, or $3.38 a share, from $214.9 million, or $1.57, a year earlier, Bloomberg News reported. The stock gained $31.48 to close at $273.98.

  • Shares of Canada-based sportswear maker Gildan Activewear Inc. (GIL) plunged yesterday (Tuesday) after management lowered its outlook. The stock dropped $10.99, a decline of over 30%, to close at $24.93, after the company lowered both second-quarter and full-year estimates due to production shortfalls and slow sales, Forbes reported.

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