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Chevron, Coventry: Friday's Headlines

Friday's early headlines include earnings from Chevron, Coventry Health, Alcatel-Lucent, Sony and others.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Friday, Oct. 30, 2009.

Friday's Earnings Roundup

  • Chevron (CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report is expected to post a third-quarter profit of $1.39 a share on revenue of $48.96 billion, according to a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Both figures would be down sharply from year-ago levels, which would make Chevron's results similar to those of rivals Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report and ConocoPhillips (COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report.
  • Sony (SNE) - Get Sony Corp. Report reported a smaller-than-expected 26.3 billion yen ($289 million) quarterly loss as cost cuts combined with healthy sales of PlayStation 3 game consoles and Michael Jackson albums. Sony is now projecting a 95 billion yen ($1 billion) loss compared with an initial forecast of a 120 billion yen ($1.3 billion) loss. The new forecast is marginally better than the 98.9 billion yen loss it suffered the previous fiscal year.
  • Coventry Health Care (CVH) reported third-quarter adjusted earnings of 68 cents a share, easily topping the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 54 cents a share. Revenue climbed 17.7% from the year-ago quarter to $3.44 billion, coming in just shy of the $3.48 billion consensus target. Looking ahead, Coventry raised its earnings guidance for the full year, upping the range to $2.01 to $2.03 a share from the previous guidance range of $1.85 to $1.95 a share.
  • Duke Energy (DUK) - Get Duke Energy Corporation Report posted third-quarter adjusted earnings of 40 cents a share, coming in two cents better than the Thomson Reuters average estimate. Revenue slipped 3.2% from a year ago to $3.4 billion, below the consensus target of $3.8 billion. Duke did reaffirm its full-year earnings guidance of $1.20 a share, which is a penny better than the current average analyst estimate.
  • Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) reported a third-quarter loss of 182 million euros ($270 million), widening from the year-ago loss of 40 million euros. Revenue fell by 9% from a year ago to 3.69 billion euros, below expectations Alcatel would say it had revenue of 3.91 billion euros.
  • Constellation Energy (CEG) said it had third-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.23 a share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.07 a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue dropped 24.3% from last year to $4.03 billion, which disappointed analysts who were looking for revenue of $4.48 billion. However, Constellation offered strong guidance for the full year, saying it expects earnings in a range of $3.25 to $3.45 a share, better than the $3.10-a-share target analysts are looking for.

Friday's Early Headlines

  • Goldman Should Donate At Least $1 Billion: Peterson -- Bloomberg reports that billionaire philanthropist Peter Peterson said Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Report should donate "at least $1 billion" to mollify anger over bonuses paid to its employees. Goldman has already set aside $16.7 billion for compensation and benefits a year after receiving government aid, which has increased government scrutiny over executive pay practices. Goldman is considering a new charitable program and has been working with philanthropy consultant Bridgespan Group after reporting three quarters of rising profit, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • CIT Reaches Loan Amendment Agreement with Goldman -- The Wall Street Journal reports that CIT Group (CIT) - Get CIT Group Inc. Report has reached an agreement with Goldman Sachs to amend a $3 billion loan, trimming it to $2.13 billion to effectively eliminate the unused portion of the financing. In return, Goldman has agreed to not exercise its rights to terminate the financing if a bankruptcy filing is made, the report said. CIT also paid Goldman nearly $285 million as a termination fee as required under the deal's original terms. In addition, $250 million of collateral has been posted, the Journal reported.
  • JPMorgan Waved Red Flag on Galleon in 2001 -- The Financial Times reports that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report raised concerns about the business practices of hedge fund Galleon Group and founder Raj Rajaratnam as far back as 2001, according to an internal company document seen by the paper. Rajaratnam and others now face charges of insider trading. The 2001 "call note" written by an analyst at JPMorgan's alternative asset management arm said the unit "should reduce our allocation" in Galleon's flagship technology fund, citing what it described as "more negative news about Raj and his cohorts," the report said.
  • AIG Won't Sell Japan Units Edison and Star -- Reuters reports that American International Group (AIG) - Get American International Group, Inc. Report is no longer looking to sell two of its Japanese units, AIG Edison Life Insurance and AIG Star Life insurance, because it now believes they will help it improve its corporate value. The report said the move is the latest sign that new chief executive Robert Benmosche may be taking a slower approach to the insurer's restructuring.
  • Priceline.com Spikes on S&P 500 Addition -- Shares of Priceline.com (PCLN) were rising 4.5% in Friday's premarket session after word the company would replace Schering-Plough (SGP) in the S&P 500. Schering is set to be acquired by Merck (MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. Report.

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-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York

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