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STOCKS TO WATCH: Microsoft, 3M, Time Warner, Twitter, Merck

Hot Stock Minute

Some stocks to watch today include Twitter (TWTR) which will report its first quarterly results since its November IPO after the close today. Analysts are expecting the social networking company to post a loss of $0.02 a share on revenue of $217.8 million dollars. Shares of Twitter are up close to 48% since its IPO last year. And, during the earnings conference call, Twitter will take live questions from Tweets.

Microsoft (MSFT) made it official yesterday, naming Satya Nadella its new CEO. The 22-year Microsoft veteran becomes only the third chief executive in the company's nearly forty-year history. Microsoft's first CEO, Bill Gates, will be taking a more active role in the company he co-founded, giving up his chairmanship to become technical advisor to Nadella.

Time Warner (TWX) reported earnings today that beat estimates by $0.02. Revenue rose 5% to a new record-high for quarterly results and also came in ahead of estimates. Time Warner saw record profits from its HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner entities. The company also announced a $5-billion stock buyback program and a 10% increase in its quarterly dividend.

3M (MMM) approved a new $12 billion share buyback program. This new plan will replace last year's authorized $7.5 billion buyback plan, which it never completed. 3M only spent $5.2 billion on stock buybacks last year. This new buyback plan comes after the company boosted its quarterly dividend by 35% late last year and reported an 11% rise in quarterly profits last week.

And Dow component Merck (MRK) posted adjusted earnings of $0.88 a share which was in line with estimates. Revenue fell 3.4%, but just narrowly missed estimates. The second-largest U.S. drug maker confirmed it entered three separate collaboration agreements on an investigational cancer treatment. Merck also predicted its full-year earnings would fall on the lower end of analysts’ expectations.

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