JPMorgan Chase & Company’s (NYSE:JPM) former Chairman and Chief Executive William Harrison Jr. has responded to the idea asserted by the former Citigroup (NYSE:C) Chairman and Chief Executive Sandy Weill that the big banks should be broken up, by saying that “breaking up big banks into separate commercial and investment banking firms would be a huge mistake for the United States”, according to the Wall Street Journal.
3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) expects a full year of organic local-currency sales growth of between 2 and 5 percent, and also that foreign currency translation will shrink sales by about 3 percent for the year. In addition, the company projects operating income margins between 21.5 and 22.5 percent for the period.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is forecast to post second quarter earnings Friday via a conference call scheduled for 8:00 am Eastern Time. Analysts expect earnings per share of $1.01 on revenue of $12.16 billion, against consensus of 96 cents to $1.05, and a range of $11.91 billion to $12.62 billion, says First Call. Merck posted slightly better-than-expected first quarter earnings but missed revenue estimates, and expected fiscal year 2012 earnings per share between $3.75 and $3.85. Impressive sales for Singulair, Januvia, Zetia, and Animal Health were also reported, as the firm continues to foresee 2012 revenue to be near 2011 levels, but with second quarter figures expected to be its strongest during the year. Investors expect more updates and sales numbers on major drugs as well as clinical trial updates for suvorexant and odanacatib. Shares were upgraded to Buy at Citigroup and its price target was elevated at Leerink, which pointed to positive feedback on odanacatib.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): The Chinese Internet firm Tencent (TCEHY) has introduced an instant messaging service known as “WeChat” in India, in association with ibibo in which Tencent has a minority stake, according to the Economic Times. Users of iPhones (NASDAQ:AAPL), Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Windows operating system based phones are able to download the application.
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