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Oct. 27, 2011, 6:50 a.m. EDT

Stocks to watch Thursday: Chevron, Newmont, Visa

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By MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Among the stocks that could see active trading in Thursday’s session are and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Two Dow Jones Industrial Average components — Exxon Mobil /zigman2/quotes/204455864/composite XOM +0.93%  , the world’s biggest energy company, and Procter & Gamble Co. /zigman2/quotes/202894679/composite PG +0.51%  — figure in what’s shaping up as a very busy day for quarterly results.

More notables on Thursday’s calendar include Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. /zigman2/quotes/202559280/composite BMY +2.13% , Gilead Sciences Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210293917/composite GILD 0.00% , Perrigo Co. /zigman2/quotes/201110862/composite PRGO +0.56% , Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. , Cardinal Health Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206646342/composite CAH +3.54% , Olin Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200456258/composite OLN +3.06% , Eastman Chemical Co. /zigman2/quotes/200039202/composite EMN +0.34% , Occidental Petroleum Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207018272/composite OXY -3.95% , Cliff Natural Resources Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205424168/composite CLF +2.98% , Corn Products International Inc. , Colgate-Palmolive Co. /zigman2/quotes/200774077/composite CL +0.25% , Avon Products Inc. , Altria Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208895754/composite MO -0.16% , International Paper Co. /zigman2/quotes/200533549/composite IP +4.97% , Time Warner Cable Inc.  , Las Vegas Sands Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208792014/composite LVS +2.29% , Johnson Controls Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203776087/composite JCI -0.44% , Precision Castparts Corp. , Goodrich Corp. , US Airways Group Inc. , Waste Management Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207732466/composite WM +2.09% , Raytheon Co. , Teledyne Technologies Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203527738/composite TDY +0.83% , Airgas Inc. , VeriSign Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205260150/composite VRSN +1.77% , KLA-Tencor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209248041/composite KLAC +1.83%  and NCR Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203631053/composite NCR +2.32% , among others.

Late Wednesday, McDermott International Inc.  said it expects third-quarter earnings of 3 cents to 5 cents a share on sales of $870 million to $880 million. The profit forecast was sharply lower than the consensus estimate of 29 cents a share derived in a survey of analysts by FactSet Research. The analysts polled by FactSet also expected, on average, revenue of $891 million from the Houston-based energy infrastructure company. McDermott, which will formally report financial results Nov. 8, said it would incur project losses of about $50 million in the September quarter. “Clearly, we are disappointed with the operating and net income expected for the 2011 third quarter,” said Stephen Johnson, chairman, president and chief executive, in a statement. He added: “We continue to believe in the strong industry fundamentals of the offshore oil and gas construction market.”

The board of Chevron Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205871374/composite CVX +0.04%  voted a 3.8% increase in the blue chip’s quarterly dividend. The new dividend of 81 cents a share is payable Dec. 12 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 18, the San Ramon, Calif.-based energy company said. It marks the second dividend increase this year for Chevron, which will report third-quarter financial results on Friday. Combined, they represent a 12.5% annual increase in the company’s dividend.

The board of Newmont Mining Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205356474/composite NEM -0.03%  approved an increased quarterly dividend of 35 cents a share, 17% higher than the prior payout. It’s payable Dec. 30 to stockholders of record as of Dec. 8. The higher dividend was declared in consideration of Newmont’s average realized gold price of $1,695 an ounce for the third quarter, the Denver-based company said. Newmont’s gold price-linked dividend policy will rise at a rate of 5 cents a share for each $100-per-ounce increase in the average realized gold price for the preceding quarter. It also provides an additional step-up of 2.5 cents a share when the company’s realized gold price for a quarter exceeds $1,700 per ounce and another step-up of 2.5 cents a share when its realized gold price for a quarter exceeds $2,000 per ounce.

The board of Visa Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203660239/composite V +0.88%  approved increasing the size of the company’s stock-repurchase program by $1 billion, on top of its previously announced $1 billion authorization. The new authorization runs through July 20, 2012. In the three months ended Sept. 30, Visa said it repurchased some 5.2 million Class A common shares at a total cost of $423 million. The move came as the Foster City, Calif.-based company reported late Wednesday a fourth-quarter profit of $880 million, or $1.27 a share, up from $774 million, or $1.06 a share, earned in the final three months of fiscal 2010. Quarterly revenue rose 13% to $2.38 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had been looking for Visa to post a profit, on average, of $1.25 a share on sales of $2.34 billion.

American Capital Agency Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203716359/composite AGNC +1.01%  said it plans to make a public offering of 37 million common shares. The Bethesda, Md.-based company expects to use net proceeds to acquire agency securities and for general corporate purposes. Underwriters will have the option of selling more than 5.5 million additional shares if demand warrants.

Wednesday earnings recap

Norfolk Southern Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200877725/composite NSC +2.21%  reported third-quarter profit rose to $554 million, or $1.59 a share, from $445 million, or $1.19 a share, earned in the year-earlier period. The Norfolk, Va.-based company generated quarterly revenue of $2.89 billion, up from the prior year’s $2.46 billion, as growth came from across its railroad operations. FactSet-derived consensus estimates had Norfolk Southern earning $1.41 a share on $2.87 billion in revenue.

BMC Software Inc.  reported net income of $114.7 million, or 65 cents a share, for the second quarter ended Sept. 30, down from $131.8 million, or 73 cents a share, earned in the same period during fiscal 2011. On an adjusted basis, the company said it would have earned $153 million, or 87 cents a share, as quarterly revenue grew 11% to $556.7 million. Analysts, on average, had been looking for earnings of 81 cents a share on revenue of $540.6 million, according to a FactSet-compiled poll. BMC also said its board authorized an additional $1 billion for stock buybacks, with the Houston-based company having spent $225 million for the repurchase of 5.4 million shares in the latest quarter.

Novellus Systems Inc.  reported a profit of $51.1 million, or 73 cents a share, for third quarter ended Sept. 24, down from $76.3 million, or 82 cents, earned in the year-earlier period. Quarterly revenue generated by the San Jose, Calif.-based maker of equipment for the production of semiconductors fell to $306.7 million from the prior year’s $367.2 million. Analysts in a FactSet survey had forecast Novellus would earn 68 cents a share on revenue of $311.3 million, on average.

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