Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday Pre-market. Happy anniversary!!! 1year after last year's market low... (TXN, KR, TM,CSCO,CVX)

Stock futures are flat just ahead of the open, on the one year anniversary of last year's market low.

Cisco (CSCO) shares are up 1% to 26.35, adding to yesterday's gains, on excitement about today's announcement that will "will forever change the Internet."

Texas Instruments (TXN) is down 1.5%, after giving its mid-quarter update last night. The street is nudging 2010 earnings estimates up a few pennies based on the update, to about 2.10. Netting out TXN's 2 per share in cash, the stock trades at less than 11times this year's expected earnings...

Grocery store operator Kroger (KR) is down 2.6%, despite beating earnings estimates and increasing 2010 estimates.

The Associated Press reports that class-action lawsuits could cost Toyota over $3billion....for a great analysis of this ridiculous situation be sure to read Holman Jenkins' WSJ piece form a few weeks back.

Oil-major Chevron (CVX) updates the world on its "Future Growth." While upstream (oil and gas exploration and production) prospects look good, the company is taking action to improve downstream (refining and marketing...think gas stations) results. With little prospects for improving these results, the company is exiting parts of the business.

Mike Wirth, executive vice president, Global Downstream, highlighted Chevron’s strong refinery reliability performance, cost reduction efforts and successful market exits achieved during 2009.
Commenting on plans to deal with a challenging environment, Wirth stated, “Downstream market conditions are likely to be difficult for the next several years. We intend to further concentrate our downstream portfolio in North America and Asia-Pacific. These are markets in which we have our greatest competitive strength. We are also rapidly and aggressively lowering costs, reducing capital spending, improving efficiency and simplifying our organization.”
Wirth outlined plans to improve returns and further streamline Chevron’s downstream portfolio and organization. The activities include soliciting bids for certain operations in Europe (including the Pembroke refinery), the Caribbean and select Central America markets; reviewing operations in Hawaii and Africa, outside of South Africa; and further reducing the downstream workforce. First quarter 2010 charges for severance are currently estimated to be in the range of $150 million to $200 million on an after-tax basis. Staff reductions will occur through 2011 with about 2,000 positions eliminated this year.
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