BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Wednesday, July 21, 2010.
Wednesday's Earnings Roundup
- Wells Fargo (WFC) said it had a second-quarter profit of 55 cents a share on revenue of $21.39 billion, compared to the Thomson Reuters average estimate for earnings of 48 cents a share on revenue of $21.4 billion. The bank touted a "significant reduction in credit losses," noting that net charge-offs were down 16% from the first quarter of 2010 and down 17% since last year's peak quarter.
- Morgan Stanley (MS) reported second-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share, well above the Thomson Reuters average estimate for a profit of 46 cents a share. Revenue jumped 53% from a year ago to $7.95 billion, the bank said.
- Abbott Labs (ABT) posted second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.01 a share, a penny better than analysts' estimates. Revenue of $8.83 billion was in line with consensus. Looking ahead, Abbott reaffirmed its full-year earnings guidance range of $4.13 to $4.18 a share, compared with the Thomson Reuters average estimate of $4.15 a share.
- Altria (MO) notched a second-quarter adjusted profit of 50 cents a share, matching analysts' expectations. Net revenue excluding excise taxes totaled $4.34 billion, which was slightly below the $4.36 billion consensus target. Looking ahead, Altria upped its full-year earnings guidance range to $1.87 to $1.91 a share from the previous range of $1.85 to $1.89 a share. Analysts are forecasting a full-year profit of $1.88 a share.
- Coca-Cola (KO) said it had second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.06 a share on revenue of $8.67 billion. Analysts were looking for a profit of $1.03 a share on sales of $8.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
- United Technologies (UTX) reported a second-quarter profit of $1.20 a share on revenue of $13.89 billion, coming in ahead of the consensus estimate for earnings of $1.16 a share on revenue of $13.56 billion. For the full year, United Tech said it expects earnings of $4.60 to $4.70 a share on revenue of $54 billion. The Thomson Reuters average estimate is for earnings of $4.66 a share on revenue of $54.33 billion.
- Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) posted a second-quarter profit of $1.40 a share on revenue of $3.86 billion. Analysts were looking for a quarterly profit of $1.28 a share on revenue of $3.66 billion.
- EMC (EMC) said it had second-quarter adjusted earnings of 28 cents a share on revenue of $4.02 billion, coming in ahead of the Thomson Reuters average estimate for earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $3.98 billion. Looking ahead, EMC said full-year earnings and revenue should exceed its previous outlook of $1.18 a share on revenue of $16.5 billion.
- Apple (AAPL) late Tuesday posted fiscal third-quarter earnings of $3.51 a share on sales of $15.7 billion, blowing past Wall Street's average estimate for a quarterly profit of $3.11 a share on revenue of $14.75 billion. Mac, iPhone and iPad sales exceed analyst targets, although iPod sales were below estimates. Apple offered conservative guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter, as it typically does. The company expects earnings of approximately $3.44 a share on revenue of roughly $18 billion.
- Yahoo! (YHOO) also reported quarterly numbers late Tuesday, notching a profit of 15 cents a share on revenue of $1.13 billion. That compares to the Thomson Reuters average estimate for earnings of 14 cents a share on revenue of $1.16 billion. Looking ahead to the third-quarter, YahoO! Said it expects revenue of $1.105 billion to $1.165 billion excluding traffic acquisition costs, compared with the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $1.16 billion.
Wednesday's Early Headlines
- Senate Democrats Move Forward on Unemployment Benefits -- Senate Democrats on Tuesday broke a Republican filibuster on a bill that aims to extend unemployment benefits to the 2.5 million Americans who have been jobless for six months. Three critical votes from Maine Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, as well as West Virginia Democrat Carte Goodwin, should ensure the bill's passage. A full Senate vote on the legislation should come Wednesday, and it is expected that the House will take up the bill later this week.
- BP Deals Assets to Apache -- BP (BP) has completed a sale of assets in North America and Egypt to Apache (APA) for $7 billion. The assets sold by BP to Apache and the amount raised differ from earlier press reports that BP would sell its stake in the Prudhoe Bay, Alaska operations to Apache for $10 billion to $11 billion. BP confirmed on Tuesday that it was hoping to sell assets in Vietnam and Pakistan, also.
- Refinancing Activity Spurs Mortgage Application Increase -- The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose a seasonally adjusted 7.6% last week, as refinancing activity rose 8.6% and purchasing applications climbed 3.4% from the prior week. "The refinance index is up almost 30% over the past four weeks, but is still well below the peak seen last spring," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. "The strength in purchase applications comes from government loans, likely indicating that prospective buyers are drawn by the lower downpayment requirements." The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slid to 4.59% last week from 4.69% the previous week, the MBA said.
- SEC Was Aware of Repos in Bank Accounting: Report -- The Securities and Exchange commission knew about the use of an accounting practice where repurchase agreements are classified as sales instead of borrowings, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a report by research firm AuditAnalytics.com. The report shows that since 2004, the SEC questioned 115 transactions by 102 different companies about the accounting of repurchase agreements, or repos, which came under fire after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008 brought the accounting issue to light.