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Consumer Confidence Hits 5-Year Low; Citi to Offer $3 Billion in Common Stock; Denny’s Satisfied by 1Q Earnings; IBM Bumps Dividend; Merck Drops on FDA Rejection; Airline Shares Take-off; MasterCard’s “Priceless” Quarter; Gildan Shares Sacked for a 30% Loss
- The Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell to 62.3 in April, a five year low, Bloomberg News reported. The Conference Board's index dropped from a revised 65.9 reading in March that was higher than previously estimated.
- Citigroup Inc. (C) said it would sell about $3 billion of its common stock in a public offering yesterday (Tuesday). Citigroup Inc. says it is has already received "strong interest" in the issuance, the .
- Denny's Corp. (DENN) reported first-quarter net earnings of $5 million (5 cents a share), up from 1.16 million (1 cent per share) a year ago. The increase came despite a $40.8 million drop-off in revenue. The stock closed up 1 cent at $3.17, .
- IBM Corp. (IBM) increased its dividend payout 25% yesterday (Tuesday), reflecting the technology company's confidence that it can thrive even with an uncertain economy, . At IBM's annual shareholder meeting, the board of directors upped the quarterly dividend to 50 cents per share. For the past four quarters it had been 40 cents per share.
- Shares of pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) shed 10% yesterday (Tuesday) with a decline of $4.30 to close at $37.14. On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration rejected Merck’s cholesterol drug, Cordaptive, and analysts warned it could have an inverse impact on Merck’s bottom line.
- Airline shares soared yesterday (Tuesday) as crude oil dropped below $116 a barrel after reaching a record high on Monday of almost $120 a barrel, Reuters reported. Northwest Airlines Corp. (NWA) had the biggest gain with an increase of almost 23%, adding $1.74 per share to close at $9.36.
- MasterCard Inc. (MA) shares gained 12% yesterday (Tuesday) after the world’s second-largest credit card processing company announced first quarter earnings. First-quarter net income increased to $446.9 million, or $3.38 a share, from $214.9 million, or $1.57, a year earlier, Bloomberg News reported. The stock gained $31.48 to close at $273.98.
- Shares of Canada-based sportswear maker Gildan Activewear Inc. (GIL) plunged yesterday (Tuesday) after management lowered its outlook. The stock dropped $10.99, a decline of over 30%, to close at $24.93, after the company lowered both second-quarter and full-year estimates due to production shortfalls and slow sales, .