MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Opening View: Lehman Brothers Slashes Dividend, Reports Third-Quarter Loss

Making headlines this morning was beleaguered financial firm Lehman Brothers (LEH: View sentiment for LEHsentiment, chart, options) . The company this morning announced plans to sell a majority stake in its investment management unit, but revealed that a deal is not yet set in stone. The firm also reported a loss of $3.9 billion, or $5.62 per share, in the third quarter, after taking a gross mark-to-market loss of $7.8 billion, according to MarketWatch. Furthermore, LEH slashed its quarterly dividend to a nickel per share from 68 cents per share, in a move expected to save the banking behemoth about $450 million annually. Ahead of the bell, the shares of LEH are set to open moderately lower than yesterday's close of $7.79.

Elsewhere, transportation titan FedEx (FDX: View sentiment for FDXsentiment, chart, options) said it is raising its first-quarter earnings outlook to $1.23 per share, compared with 80 cents to $1 per share previously announced. The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2009 earnings view of $4.75 to $5.25 per share, citing weaker economic conditions. Analysts, on average, forecast the company to earn 98 cents per share in the first quarter and $5.09 per share in 2009. In pre-market activity, the shares of FDX are poised to open roughly 3.5% higher than yesterday's close of $84.75.

Speaking of revised guidance, Texas Instruments (TXN: View sentiment for TXNsentiment, chart, options) upped its third-quarter revenue outlook to $3.33 billion to $3.47 billion, compared with the previous prediction of $3.26 billion to $3.54 billion. The company also said it expects earnings of 42 cents to 46 cents per share, compared with the previous range of 41 cents to 47 cents per share. The Street forecast TXN to report third-quarter earnings of 44 cents per share on revenue of $3.4 billion. Ahead of the bell, the shares of TXN are poised to open with a 5% gain from yesterday's close of $21.71.



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