Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Buzz Stocks: Verizon Communications, Caterpillar, Exxon Mobil, and Southwest Airlines

Among today's stocks in the news to watch are VZ, CAT, XOM, and LUV

by 1/22/2013 9:22 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

With a slew of earnings due today, investors are playing it safe ahead of the open, sending stock futures just below breakeven. Meanwhile, here are some stocks to watch in the news:

  • Earnings news: Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) posted fourth-quarter earnings of 38 cents per share (excluding items), falling short of analysts' per-share expectations of 50 cents. Revenue edged 5.7% higher to $30 billion, narrowly exceeding the consensus view (Bloomberg Businessweek); In the fourth quarter, Du Pont (NYSE:DD) earned 11 cents per share on an adjusted basis, a 70% decline from the previous year thanks to rising costs. These results were 4 cents above analysts' expectations. Revenue was largely unchanged at $7.33 billion, slightly topping the average estimate.(MarketWatch)

  • Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) recently discovered "deliberate multi-year coordinating accounting misconduct" at a subsidiary of a Chinese company it purchased last year, and will suffer a blow to its quarterly profits as a result. In response to the findings of the investigation into ERA Mining Machinery Ltd (and its Siwei subsidiary), CAT will absorb a noncash goodwill impairment charge of 87 cents per share in its 2012 fourth quarter. (CNBC)

  • The head of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) traveled to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki. At issue was one of Iraq's largest oilfields, the rights to which are under scrutiny after Exxon signed a secondary contract with the Kurds. The XOM CEO emerged from the meeting with hopes to continue expanding its reach in Iraq. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

  • Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) passengers willing to pay an extra $40 per flight can secure one of the top 15 spots in line when boarding. These coveted spots are on a first-come, first-served basis for those who want early access to carry-on storage and seats with more legroom. (Los Angeles Times)

  • A Detroit-area McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) franchise, along with the parent company, will share the burden of a $700,000 fine to settle charges that food was mistakenly described as meeting the requirements of Islamic dietary law. The fast-food giant has not admitted wrongdoing in the lawsuit, which stems from the September 2011 purchase of a chicken sandwich that was reportedly not halal (sanctioned under Islamic law). (USA Today)

  • Finally, iconic video-game maker Atari has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after more than four decades in the gaming business. The company plans to break off from its French parent company and focus on developing and licensing digital titles. (USA Today)

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