MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, August 1, 2008

Before The Bell

General Motors (NYSE: GM) will likely see some action as the automaker swung to a second-quarter loss of $15.5 billion, or $27.33 a share, as revenue dropped 18% to $38.2 billion. If you think this number missed analyst estimates because of massive charges, you're right, but earnings excluding special items also missed them -- by a mile. Excluding items GM would have lost $6.3 billion, or $11.21 a share. Ouch! Analysts polled by FactSet Research expected a loss of $2.85 a share on revenue of $42.6 billion. GM has been the subject of rumors it is heading straight into bankruptcy, from a quick glance at the results, these will likely not alleviate any such fears. Even as Wagoner cuts costs by $9 billion this year by another 20% trim of payroll and stopping dividend payment, as he plans to boost cash by $17 billion, at this point, I wonder what GM can do to save itself, if it can do anything at all. GM shares are down 7% in premarket trading.

GM will not be alone in the spotlight as Ford (NYSE: F) and other automakers report their U.S. sales for July. Auto sales tracker Edmunds.com is forecasting a 3.3% drop in auto sales compared to a year ago. This comes a day after Standard & Poor's Ratings Services cut its ratings for all three of the U.S.-based automakers further into junk status. S&P expects further sales decline for the rest of the year, with car companies mounting cash losses.


ComScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) is up 12% on strong earnings.

Conexant (NASDAQ:CNXT) is up 11% after reporting a good quarter.

GM (NYSE:GM) is off 7% on huge write-offs.

Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) is off 23% on news that one of its drugs creates severe complications.


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