Stocks in the news: Staples, Lowe's, and Goldman Sachs

The following is a round-up of some of the companies making major headlines today:

Office products retailer Staples (SPLS) announced that second quarter earnings were $0.16 cents per share, excluding a one-time charge. That number was in-line with analyst estimates. Revenues of $5.5 billion were slightly below expectations.

Lowe's (LOW) is bringing its home improvement concept to Australia, teaming with Woolworths in a joint venture that expects to open its first stores in 2011. The Australian housing market is healthy, unlike its U.S. counterpart, and home improvement spending is still growing.

Goldman Sachs (GS) is in hot water over some of its client practices. The firm offers so-called "trade huddles" to favored clients where they get short-term trading ideas that other customers don't have the same access to. The Wall Street Journal reports that FINRA and the SEC are looking into the matter.

Burger King (BKC) saw its earnings rise to $0.43 cents per share, beating analyst estimates of $0.33, even though same-store sales were down 2.4 percent and overall revenues fell 2 percent as the company opened more stores.

Citigroup (C) is ramping up its mortgage modification division, Bloomberg says. The bank, which is 34 percent owned by the U.S. government, has hired 1,400 people to bolster its existing staff that handles delinquent borrowers. Mortgage servicers have been under pressure by the Obama Administration to delay or rework potential foreclosures, so that extra supply is not brought onto the housing market at a time of weak prices.

James Cullen edits and writes at CollegeAnalysts.com. He is the Vice-President of the Boston College Investment Club, which owns GS, but has no personal position in the stocks mentioned above.

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