Stocks in the News: Research in Motion, Oracle, Boeing, Take-Two

Research in Motion (RIMM) shares surged more than 10% in pre-market trading after the Canadian smartphone maker posted a big jump in profits Thursday and issued an even stronger outlook, topping analysts' estimates on both counts. Sturdy demand from holiday shoppers helped the BlackBerry maker fend off its competition.Boeing (BA) might feel the heat after Ryanair (RYAAY) broke off negotiations to buy 200 planes.

Oracle (ORCL) also surprised investors late Thursday when it reported an increase in new software sales and said growth could accelerate this quarter as corporate IT spending picks up. The company also said it expects the Sun Microsystem (JAVA) deal to close soon. Shares jumped more than 4% ahead of the bell.

Nike (NKE), too, managed to give investors more than they had expected as cost-cutting and recovering orders growth helped offset weak global sales. The athletic apparel and footwear maker forecast a return to sales growth this quarter as it expands market share and rides stronger consumer spending, it said Thursday. It also pledged to stand by Tiger Woods. Shares advanced 2% before the bell.

Palm (PALM) was one company that broke the trend of topping estimates. This smartphone maker reported a steeper than expected quarterly loss as consumers cooled to its new devices in favor of fresh competition. The company also revealed that Sprint Nextel (S) was selling fewer Pre and Pixi devices than expected. Shares sank over 7% in pre-market trading.

Activist investor Carl Icahn reported an 11.3% stake in Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) , according to a regulatory filing. Separately, Take-Two reported a wider quarterly loss, but in line with estimates, because of disappointing sales and high costs. Shares surged over 12% ahead of the bell.

Accenture (ACN) reported a 7% fall in first-quarter earnings and gave a revenue outlook for the current quarter that was weaker than analysts' expectations. Accenture dropped its sponsorship of Tiger Woods. Shares fell 2% in pre-market action.

Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) is to report earnings Friday. It could announce that it will resume paying dividends.

CarMax Inc. (KMX), the No. 1 U.S. retailer of used cars, said Friday that it swung to a third-quarter profit, beating analysts' estimates as same-store sales increased 8%. Shares soared over 6.5% before the bell.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) late Thursday reported a flat fiscal second-quarter profit growth as its restaurant traffic declined. The company cut its fiscal-year sales forecast but said favorable costs will help shore up its profit. Shares were 1% lower.

Micron Technology Inc. (MU) said Friday it plans to move its stock-exchange listing to the Nasdaq from the NYSE, effective Dec. 30. Shares were about 1.2% higher in pre-market trading.

Pepsi (PEP) announced late Thursday that it will not advertise in the 2010 Super Bowl, ending a 23 year run of doing so.

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN) said on Thursday that its Kindle electronic book reader posted its best sales yet in the month of December.

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