CAT Profitable, Microsoft’s Big Week, Starbucks Defends Itself: Stock Buzzers

Shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) are climbing over 1 percent after releasing third-quarter earnings. The company posted record quarterly sales and a 49 percent increase in profit per share — $2.54 compared to $1.71 a year earlier. Thomson Reuters estimates came in around $2.22 per share. However, Caterpillar cut its 2012 sales and revenue expectations down from $9.60 per share to between $9.00 and $9.25 per share.

“The decline in the sales and revenue outlook reflects global economic conditions that are weaker than we had previously expected,” reads the press release.

A group of European private equity firms led by Permira have reportedly agreed to buy (NASDAQ:ACOM) for $32 per share, or $1.6 billion. Shares are up as much as 7.8 percent in the pre-market.

Russia’s state-owned oil giant Rosneft announced the first part of a deal to acquire a 50 percent stake in TNK-BP from British Petroleum (NYSE:BP). BP would sell its stake for $17.1 billion in cash, and as much as a 19.75 stake in Rosneft, pending an offer to purchase parent company Rosneftegaz.

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The reception of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 continues to attract speculation. Some reports maintain that businesses will be slow to adopt the platform, if they make the transition at all, while many who have made the leap of faith with pre-release versions send back positive reports.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has been attracting all sorts of negative attention related to allegations that the company dodged taxes in the United Kingdom. CEO Howard Schultz defended his company, telling CNBC, “I was surprised to see the headlines come out because I think they’re somewhat sensationalized,” and added, “we haven’t paid corporate income tax because we haven’t made a profit.”

Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) climbed as much as 6.8 percent in the pre-market. The company posted third-quarter revenues of $2.1 billion, lead by 39 percent volume growth in Australia and 8 percent higher margins in the U.S. The earnings release suggests bright prospects for the coal market:

“Peabody projects global seaborne thermal coal demand will rise by approximately 100 million tonnes in 2012 to 900 million tonnes, with continued increases in 2013. Anticipated global economic growth and China’s infrastructure spending should lead to global seaborne metallurgical coal demand growth of 10 to 15 percent in 2013.”

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) will report their third-quarter earnings after the bell.

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