Stocks to Watch: Big Banks, DRI, EA & More
Take a look at some of Friday's morning movers:
Darden Restaurants - The parent of Olive Garden and Red Lobster matched estimates with quarterly profit of $1.15 per share, but announced a 16 percent dividend increase to $0.50 per share. CEO Clarence Otis told CNBC that sales growth is not as robust as he would like, as consumers remain cautious about the overall economy.
Big Banks - Financial stocks are in the spotlight after Moody’s downgraded 15 global banks, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Bank of America. Morgan Stanley shares are getting a boost as its rating is cut only two notches instead of the three that Moody’s had previously warned was possible.
Electronic Arts - Citi has downgraded the videogame maker's shares to "neutral" from "buy," saying several of its previous hopes for EA haven't panned out. That includes strong revenue from its “Star Wars” multiplayer online games, and continuing traction on the social/mobile front.
Microsoft - The company is considering making its own smartphone, according to veteran Wall Street analyst Rick Sherlund of Nomura. Microsoft has not confirmed or denied Sherlund’s assertion, which comes just after Microsoft unveiled its Windows Phone 8 software and its own tablet computer.
Medtronic - Medtronic has raised its quarterly dividend by 7.2 percent to $0.26 per share. It was the 35th consecutive year that the medical device maker has boosted its quarterly payout.
Ryder - The truck leasing company has cut its quarterly earnings forecast, as demand for commercial rental services slumps. Ryder plans to cut costs and reduce its rental fleet on expectations that weakness will continue throughout the year.
Monster Beverage - The stock will replace Sara Lee in the S&P 500 index after the close of trading on June 28. That comes as Sara Lee spins off its international coffee and tea business and changes its name to Hillshire Brands. Hillshire stock will move to the S&P MidCap 400.
Johnson & Johnson - J&J's blood clot drug Xarelto has been rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for wider use. J&J had applied for approval to use Xarelto to reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients with acute coronary syndrome.
Wynn Resorts - The casino operator has won a court decision that moves its legal battle with Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada back to Nevada state court. That same court had previously blocked Okada’s attempts to access Wynn’s financial records in the ongoing battle between the two sides.
AMR Corp. - A bankruptcy court judge has postponed his decision on a request by American Airlines to reject its union agreements. The ruling had been scheduled for Thursday, but will now come on June 29. The delay had been requested by both sides in hopes of working out an agreement.
Interpublic Group, Omnicom - Nomura Securities has cut estimates for the advertising agencies, citing the impact of unfavorable exchange rates.
—By CNBC’s Peter Schacknow
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