Checking in on Capitol Hill, President Bush this morning signed the housing and mortgage relief bill into law. The new law will aid government-backed lenders Fannie Mae ( FNM: sentiment, chart, options) and Freddie Mac (FRE: sentiment, chart, options) , providing $300 billion in additional loan guarantees for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The new legislation will also offer a temporary tax credit to first-time homebuyers, and give money to local governments to purchase foreclosed properties before they can plague the neighborhood.
In earnings news, GPS-maker Garmin (GRMN: sentiment, chart, options) this morning reported that its second-quarter profit rose to $256.1 million, or $1.19 a share, from $214.4 million, or 98 cents per share, in the period a year ago. Excluding foreign exchange, earnings were $1.18 per share, up 18 cents from a year prior. Analysts, on average, were predicting earnings of $1.01 per share. Meanwhile, revenue for the quarter rose 23% to $912 million. The company also slashed its full-year earnings forecast to $4.13 per share on revenue of $3.9 billion, citing macroeconomic conditions and rising fuel costs. In premarket activity, the shares of GRMN are currently set to open about 6 points beneath yesterday's close of $45.06.
Elsewhere, Comcast (CMCSA: sentiment, chart, options) announced that its second-quarter earnings rose 8% to $632 million, or 21 cents per share, from $588 million, or 19 cents per share, a year earlier. The Street had forecast earnings of 23 cents per share. The Philadelphia-based entertainment firm said that sales jumped 11% higher to $8.6 billion from $7.7 billion, while free cash flow in the quarter quadrupled to $1.16 billion. Ahead of the bell, the shares of CMCSA are set to open moderately higher than Tuesday's close of $19.18.
Finally, Corning (GLW: sentiment, chart, options) this morning reported that its second-quarter net skyrocketed to $3.2 billion, or $2.01 per share, from $489 million, or 31 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, earnings were 49 cents per share, within the company's guidance. Sales for the quarter increased by 19% to $1.69 billion. Analysts, on average, had forecast earnings of 48 cents per share on revenue of $1.7 billion. However, the shares of GLW are lower heading into the open, after the company announced that third-quarter profit would come in below expectations.
Opening View: President Bush Signs Housing Bill, Garmin Reports Earnings