NEW YORK (
) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Monday, April 26, 2010.
Monday's Early Headlines
- Treasury Begins Sale of Citigroup Stake -- The Treasury Department said it will initially sell up to 1.5 billion shares of Citigroup (C) - Get Report under a pre-arranged written trading plan with Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report. The Treasury said it will sell the remaining 6.2 billion shares of Citigroup after this initial amount. The Treasury received the Citigroup common shares last year as part of the Capital Purchase Program at a price of $3.25 per share.
- Bank of America Set to Name Chairman -- Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report directors Frank Bramble and Charles Holliday are the leading contenders to become chairman of the bank this week, The Wall Street Journal reports. Bank of America is expected to make a decision on Wednesday after its shareholder meeting, the Journal says, citing people familiar with the situation.
- United, Continental Merger Talk Slowed Over Price -- Talks for a merger between United Airlines (UAU) and Continental Airlines (CAL) - Get Report hit a snag over the weekend as both sides disagreed over the exact ratio of shares that United planned to pay for Continental in the stock-for-stock deal, people involved in the negotiations told The New York Times' DealBook. One person involved in the discussions said the disagreement could be a potential deal-breaker, the report said, though the companies are continuing to negotiate.
- Hertz Acquires Dollar Thrifty -- Hertz (HTZ) - Get Report signed a definitive agreement to acquire Dollar Thrifty (DTG) for $41 a share in a mix of cash and stock. The deal offers Dollar Thrifty shareholders a 5.5% premium to Dollar Thrifty's closing price Friday of $38.85.
- Stifel Buys Thomas Weisel For $300 Million -- Stifel Financial (SF) - Get Report has agreed to buy its investment bank rival Thomas Weisel Partners Group (TWPG) for more than $300 million. Each Thomas Weisel share will be exchanged for 0.1364 a common share of Stifel, which values Thomas Weisel shares at $7.60, a premium of more than 74% to their closing price of $4.36 on Friday.
Monday's Earnings Roundup
- Caterpillar (CAT) - Get Report posted a first-quarter adjusted profit of 50 cents a share, which was above the average analyst target of 39 cents a share. Revenue was down nearly 11% from a year ago to $8.24 billion, below the $8.84 billion consensus target. Looking ahead, Caterpillar upped its full-year earnings guidance to a range of $2.50 to $3.25 a share on revenue of $38 billion to $42 billion, compared to the Thomson Reuters average estimate of $2.69 a share on revenue of $37 billion.
- Humana (HUM) - Get Report reported a first-quarter profit of $1.52 a share, which was better than the Thomson Reuters average estimate for a profit of $1.14 a share. Revenue was up 9.5% to $8.44 billion, which was also above consensus. Human offered better-than-expected earnings guidance for the second quarter and full year, and said it expects full-year revenue of $33.5 billion to $34.5 billion, compared to the consensus target of $33.4 billion.
- Whirlpool (WHR) - Get Report said it had first-quarter earnings of $2.13 a share, which was well ahead of the Thomson Reuters average estimate of $1.33 a share. Revenue rose nearly 20% to $4.3 billion, also well ahead of estimates. Looking ahead, Whirlpool upped its full-year earnings guidance to $8 to $8.50 a share, above the Thomson Reuters average estimate of $7.08 a share.
- Blackrock (BLK) - Get Report posted an adjusted first-quarter profit of $2.40 a share, which was a nickel below the Thomson Reuters average estimate. Blackrock said revenue more than doubled to $2 billion, which fell short of the $2.2 billion consensus.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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