Ultimate Market Recap: Facebook Rocks the Vote, eBay Boasts Strong Q2

BUZZ Before the Bell: IBM Profit IGNITES, Qualcomm and EBay POP

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) shares are recovering this morning after dropping almost 5 percent on Wednesday. For the second quarter, the bank posted a profit of $2.46 billion (19 cents per share), compared to a net loss of $8.83 billion a year earlier. “In a challenging global economy, we still see opportunities to do more with our customers and clients. Lending to commercial businesses increased for the sixth straight quarter — with small business lending and commitments up 23 percent in a year — and consumer credit is in the best shape in years,” said Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer.

Shares of International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) are up 2.52 percent in pre-market trading today. The company announced yesterday that earnings increased 5.9 percent to $3.88 billion ($3.34 per share) in the second-quarter, compared to $3.66 billion ($3 per share) a year earlier. However, revenue fell 3.3 percent to $25.78 billion, missing estimates of $26.28 billion.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares are up 5.80 percent this morning after the company yesterday announced third-quarter net income of $1.21 billion (69 cents per share), compared to $1.03 billion (61 cents per share) a year earlier. “Adoption of 3G and 3G/4G technologies continues around the world, driving strong year-over-year growth in our chipset and licensing businesses this quarter,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. “Looking forward, our growth estimates for 3G/4G device shipments in calendar 2012 have moderated slightly, and we now expect the demand profile of the calendar year to be more back-end loaded as new devices are launched for the holiday season.” Revenue also gained 27.7 percent to total $4.63 billion, topping expectations of $4.68 billion.

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American Express (NYSE:AXP) shares are down 0.50 percent in pre-market trading today. The credit card company earned $1.34 billion ($1.15 per share) in the second-quarter, compared to $1.33 billion ($1.10 per share) a year earlier. Although American Express beat the mean earnings estimate of $1.09 per share, it missed revenue estimates of $8.10 billion. Revenue increased 5 percent to $7.97 billion, compared to $7.62 billion a year earlier.

Shares of eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) popped 6.28 percent this morning following yesterday’s second-quarter earnings release. Net income for the company more than doubled to $692 million (53 cents per share), compared to $283.4 million (22 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue also increased 23.1 percent to $3.4 billion. “We delivered a great second quarter, driven by eBay Marketplaces’ best performance in years, strong growth at PayPal and strong same-store-sales growth for GSI’s large retail customers,” said John Donahoe, eBay Inc. President and CEO. “Our entire company is strong, but we’re particularly pleased with eBay Marketplaces, which delivered its strongest organic growth in gross merchandise volume, excluding vehicles, since 2006.”

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Wall St. Brief: IBM Profit SOARS, Nokia Sales BEAT Estimates, GM DUMPS Assets

IBM’s (NYSE:IBM) second-quarter net profit increased six percent to $3.9 billion as earnings per share of $3.51 exceeded expectations. Revenue fell three percent to $25.78 billion and missed estimates. It was affected by economic problems in some markets, lowered hardware sales and a rising dollar. IBM increased its 2012 earnings per share guidance from $15 to $15.10, higher than analysts’ forecasts.

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In pre-market trading, Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) shares increased 8.70 percent after the company announced it sold four million Lumia phones in the second quarter. But it wasn’t all good news as Nokia’s net loss expanded to EUR 1.41 billion from EUR 369 million from the previous year; revenue tanked 24 percent to EUR 14.8 billion but increased on the quarter. In a statement by CEO Stephen Elop, he said, “We believe the Windows Phone 8 launch will be an important catalyst for Lumia.”

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will report their earnings after the bell today and it could be a tale of stories: Google remains a growth one while Microsoft is status quo. For Google, its second quarter earnings per share has been estimated to rise to $10.04 from $8.74 from the previous year with revenue up 21.6 percent to $8.41 billion. Microsoft has a fiscal fourth quarter earnings per share estimate declining to $0.62 from $0.69 on revenue growth of 4.4 percent to $18.13 billion.

GM (NYSE:GM) will sell its illiquid private-equity assets from its underfunded pension plan to the Chinese government for $1.5 billion to $2 billion, reported the Financial Times. GE’s pension plan has $109 billion in assets and $134 billion in obligations; this large liability is a huge risk to the company.

United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) is conducting final talks to sell its Rocketdyne business to Gencorp (NYSE:GY), reported Reuters, as United Tech works to unload its non-core units so it can close its $16.5 billion Goodrich purchase. For Rocketdyne, the deal could bring in more than $400 million and be finalized either this week or some afterwards.

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Facebook To PIONEER Online Voting and 4 Hot Stocks Turning Heads Now

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC): Millionaires took on U.S. stocks more than any other asset in the past year as run-of-the-mill investors were drawn to bonds, a survey by Fidelity Investments demonstrated. In second place came cash, then exchange-traded funds, individual U.S. bonds or domestic stock funds, Bloomberg writes. Shares of BofA are trading 0.13 percent higher today.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNLF) has requested a San Jose, CA federal judge to limit references by Apple’s lawyers to the company’s late founder Steve Jobs at a jury trial regarding mobile-device patents, according to Bloomberg. Apple shares are trading 0.45 percent higher today.

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Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB): Washington will be the first American state to permit eligible residents to register to vote via Facebook, and will launch this initiative this month, reports Brian Zylstra, a spokesman for the Washington secretary of state’s office. Washington has featured online voter registration for four years, but this initiative is a move toward increasing voter participation.

AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T): BGR reports confirmation that Apple’s iPhone 5 will include nano-SIMs and that carrier partners, AT&T among them, are now testing how the novel devices work. Shares of AT&T are trading 1.41 percent lower today.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) said, “We are executing with urgency on our restructuring program. We are disposing of non-core assets like Vertu. We are taking the necessary steps to restructure the operations of the company, which included the announcement of a new program on June 14. Faster than anticipated, we have already negotiated the closure of the Ulm, Germany R&D site, and the negotiations about the planned closure of our factory in Salo, Finland are proceeding in a collaborative spirit.” Nokia shares are trading 8.67 percent higher today.

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Piedmont Natural Gas ACCEPTING Grant Apps and 4 and Hot Stocks To Notice

eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) turned in second quarter earnings of 51 cents including share-based compensation (SBC), which surpassed the Zacks Consensus by three cents. Earnings without SBC were 70 cents, notably better than the Street. An advantageous tax ruling in Korea had a $29 million positive affect on revenue, a two percent positive affect on earnings. eBay shares traded 8.57 percent higher today.

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W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWW): SPX five day major winners are W. W. Grainger Inc., 17.62 percent; Amphenol Corp (NYSE:APH), 13.72 percent; and Sprint Nextel Corp (NYSE:S), 13.31 percent. SPX five day major losers are Lexmark International (NYSE:LXK), -23.96 percent; Dean Foods Company (NYSE:DF), -13.41 percent; and Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), -8.29 percent. Shares of W.W. Grainger are trading 1.77 percent lower today.

Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE:JCI) reported Power Solutions sales amounting to $1.3 billion, Building Efficiency sales of $3.8 billion, Automotive Experience sales amounting to $5.5 billion, and North American automotive sales of $2.3 billion. Shares are trading 8.51 percent lower today.

Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (NYSE:PNY) has begun the application process for its 2012 Environmental Stewardship and Energy Sustainability Competitive Grant Program, which bestows funds on nonprofit organizations and government or educational institutions working in the communities it services in Tennessee and the Carolinas. Consideration is granted to applications that encourage the greatest possible impact for the funds invested, according to Piedmont’s press release. Company shares are trading 0.19 percent higher today.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. (NYSE:ARE), the prime owner, operator and developer of high-quality, sustainable real estate and technical infrastructure for the extensive and varied life science industry, and Verenium Corporation, a major industrial biotechnical business focused on the development and commercialization of high-performance enzymes, today commemorate the grand opening for Verenium’s new office and laboratory building in the Torrey Pines region of San Diego, CA. Local government officials and business leaders will be in attendance. Shares of Alexandria Real Estate Equities are trading 0.08 percent lower today.

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Afternoon BUZZERS: IBM and eBay POP, Walgreen and Express Scripts Team-Up Again

International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) shares were up 3.92 percent in afternoon trading. Late Wednesday, the company announced that net income in the second-quarter increased 5.9 percent to $3.88 billion ($3.34 per share), compared to $3.66 billion ($3 per share) a year earlier. “In the second quarter, we delivered strong profit, earnings per share and free cash flow growth. This performance reflects continued strength in our growth initiatives and investments in higher value opportunities,” said Ginni Rometty, chief executive officer.

Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) dropped 5.29 percent this afternoon. The bank reported that net income for the second-quarter fell 50.5 percent to $591 million (29 cents per share), compared to $1.19 billion (38 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue also declined 24.5 percent to $6.95 billion. Morgan Stanley fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 44 cents per share.

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eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) shares climbed 8.38 percent this afternoon. Late Wednesday, the company reported that net income in the second-quarter more than doubled to $692 million (53 cents per share), compared to $283.4 million (22 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue also increased 23.1 percent to $3.4 billion. “We delivered a great second quarter, driven by eBay Marketplaces’ best performance in years, strong growth at PayPal and strong same-store-sales growth for GSI’s large retail customers,” said John Donahoe, president and chief executive officer. “Our entire company is strong, but we’re particularly pleased with eBay Marketplaces, which delivered its strongest organic growth in gross merchandise volume, excluding vehicles, since 2006.”

Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) shares surged 11.92 percent today. The pharmacy chain finally reached a deal with Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) and will begin filling prescriptions in the network starting in mid-September. “We are in the business of providing a broad range of pharmacy, health and wellness services to help meet the needs of all of our customers,” said Greg Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreens, in a statement. “I am pleased that Walgreens and Express Scripts have been able to reach an agreement that works for both parties and is consistent with our company’s principles.

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Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) and Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) have announced a multi-year pharmacy network agreement including rates and terms under which Walgreens will be part of the broadest Express Scripts retail pharmacy network offered to new and existing clients. The companies have not revealed the new contract’s terms, and Walgreens will be included in the largest pharmacy network available to Express Scripts clients, as of September 15, 2012. Express Scripts intends to ensure a smooth transition for the plan sponsors who will wish to include Walgreens in their network.

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Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MLNX) reports a Q2 revenue of $133.5 million, consensus $133.5 million. The company has also reported a GAAP EPS of 74c. The earnings were reported last night following the close.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) sustained its nearly decade-long earnings growth streak as it shook off economic fears which have undercut a number of other technology companies. The earnings increased 6 percent during the April to June period, although there was a 3 percent revenue drop. This marks the 38th consecutive quarter that IBM’s net income has grown from the previous year.

Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ:ROVI) has announced its DivX Plus streaming will be used for the  “UniPhier” series of digital television and Panasonic Corportation’s (NYSE:PC) Semiconductor Business Group Blu-ray Disc integrated circuit solutions.

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