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Company News for August 1, 2011

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•    Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) reported a jump in its second-quarter 2011 profits, benefiting from higher oil prices and stronger refining margins. Earnings per share (excluding adjustments for foreign-currency effects) came in at $3.89, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.55 and the year-ago adjusted profit of $2.58

•    Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) reported second quarter earnings per share of $1.35, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.30, and 0.7% higher than year-ago earnings

•    Merck & Co. Inc.’s (NYSE:MRK)  earnings per share (excluding special items) for the second quarter of 2011 came in at 95 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate, but 10.5% above year-ago earnings.

•    Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE:NWL) reported second quarter of 2011 earnings of $0.46 per share, down from $0.51 a share in the year-ago quarter, but higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.42 a share

•    Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) upgraded AmeriGas Partners LP (NYSE:APU) to a “Market Perform rating from an “Underperform rating

•    Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE:C) upgraded Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) to “Buy from a “Hold rating

•    JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) downgraded STEC, Inc. (NASDAQ:STEC) to “Underweight from a “Neutral rating

•    Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE:C) downgraded Eagle Bulk Shipping, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGLE) to “Sell from a “Hold rating

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