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Spotlight Stocks: Cigna, General Motors, Lehman, Nissan


Friday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.


Stocks to watch for Friday, August 1, 2008:

  • Cigna (CI) reported 2Q profits of $272 million, or 97 cents a share, up 37% from $198 million, or 68 cents a share a year ago. Excluding one-time gains and charges, the company earned $1.08 per share in the latest quarter. It cited a boost in membership due to the acquisition of Great West Healthcare for the gain. The company's revenue rose 11 percent to $4.86 billion from $4.38 billion. Results topped analyst expectations of 97 cents per share on revs of $4.76 billion.

  • General Motors (GM), a day after announcing further job cuts to its white collar workforce, reported a 2Q loss of $15.5 billion, or $27.33 per share, compared with net profit of $891 million, or $1.56 per share for the same period a year ago, citing dropping sales in North America and expenses due to labor unrest and restructuring. The loss included $9.1 billion in one-time charges, including $3.3 billion for the buyouts of 19,000 U.S. hourly workers, said the Associated Press. It also reported revenues of $38.2 billion, down $8.5 billion from a year ago. Due to a decline in its finance arm, GMAC's portfolio of trucks and SUVs, the company recorded $1.3 billion in writedowns.

  • Lehman Brothers (LEH) may sell about $30 billion in commercial mortgage assets and other "hard-to-value" securities to a domestic or foreign entity and perhaps providing funding for the sale, reported the New York Post.

  • Nissan (NSANY) reported its net profit dropped 43% in the latest quarter. Its net profit fell to 52.8 billion yen ($505 million). Sales at the automaker fell 4.1% to 2.3 trillion yen ($22.4 billion). The company said numbers dropped because of a strong yen ad accounting provisions for the declining value of leased vehicles. Nissan maintained its full fiscal year estimates (for March 2009) for a net profit of 340 billion yen ($3.3 billion) and sales of 10.4 trillion yen ($99 billion).

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.58%, Nikkei -2.11%, Sensex +2.10%, Taiwan -0.31% and Shanghai +0.94%.

  • Quickly checking Europe, we see the CAC -0.88%, DAX -0.64%, FTSE -0.26%, ATX -0.55% and Stockholm -0.66%.

  • Crude oil is trading lower -1.21 to 122.87 and gold is also down -2.2 to 911.7 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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