A.M. Radar: BlackRock Ups CHK Stake, VeriFone’s Stock a Victim

After closing 3.25 percent higher during regular trading yesterday, Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) gained another 2.37 percent in pre-market activity today. CNBC reported that BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK) has been aggressively buying shares in the troubled natural gas giant and now holds around 4 million to 5 million shares.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has now logged a two-day winning streak. Shares also continued to climb higher in late trading. On a conference call with brokers, lead underwriter Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) explained that customers caught up in the initial public offering debacle will not have to pay more than $43 per share. Shares traded as high as $45 per share, thus the bank will be responsible for filling in the $2 gap. Shares are down 1.67% in pre-market activity Friday.

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VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE:PAY) shares are crashing over 10 percent in pre-market trading hours. The company reported that net income in the second-quarter fell 42.5 percent to $14.5 million (13 cents per share), compared to $25.2 million (27 cents per share) a year earlier. On the positive, revenue increased 61.4 percent to $472 million. “We are very pleased with our performance, particularly the acceleration in organic growth and the increase in Hypercom-brand sales,” said Douglas G. Bergeron, Chief Executive Officer. “We remain confident in our outlook for the year. VeriFone is continuing to prove that widespread incumbency combined with market-leading innovation is a winning formula for the payments marketplace.” Verifone and eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) are currently planning on bringing PayPal accounts to cash registers at brick-and-mortar stores.

Despite falling almost 7 percent on Thursday, shares of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) are still lower in premarket trading. The luxury jeweler recently reported flat net income of $81.5 million (64 cents per share) for the first-quarter, compared to $81.1 million (63 cents per share) a year earlier. Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “In terms of our sales for the first quarter, regions outside the Americas performed generally as expected. However, the Americas region underperformed, continuing a soft trend that began in the last quarter of 2011 and compounded by the difficult comparison to substantial sales growth in last year’s first quarter. These sales results led to net earnings modestly trailing our expectations.”

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