Market Focus

Pepco & Exelon 

Exelon will buy Pepco in a $6.8 billion deal. The move is an effort by Exelon to strengthen its operations on the East Coast. The combined businesses will have about ten million customers and it will create the biggest mid-Atlantic electric and gas utility. Shares of Pepco surged about 17.5 percent to $26.76, Exelon fell three percent to $35.05.

Energizer

Energizer will split its company in two. It plans to separate its household products unit, which makes its batteries and its personal-care division, which includes brands like Schick razors, into two independent and publicly traded companies. The company said it expects the separation to help it to focus and to better allocate resources. Wall Street liked the news, share rose more than 14 percent to $111.69.

Exxon Mobil & Chevron

Two oil companies are raising their dividends. Exxon Mobil’s board increased its dividend by 9.5 percent to 69 cents a share. That will be payable to shareholders in June. The move continues a 32-year record of upping its annual return to shareholders. Chevron’s board also raised the dividend by seven percent to $1.07 a share. That will also be payable in June. Exxon Mobil rose about one percent to $102.41. Chevron fell fractionally to $125.52.

Wellpoint

Wellpoint’s first-quarter profit dropped more than 20-percent on an increase in membership, fueled partly by the new health law. That’s because there were higher administrative costs tied to that customer growth. But earnings beat estimates and the insurer raised its outlook for the year. That sent shares up 5.5 percent to $100.68.

Weight Watchers 

Shares of Weight Watchers surged when the company reported solid earnings after the Closing Bell. It trumped Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom lines. Its guidance also was better than expected. Shares surged initially after the close, up nearly 20 percent. The stock fell 3.5 percent to $19.80 during the regular session.

JDS Uniphase

It was the opposite story for JDS Uniphase. The fiber optics component maker reported an earnings and revenue miss after the close and it lowered it forecast for the current quarter, citing a delay in carrier orders. That sent shares down initially about eight percent. During the regular session the stock fell 1.5 percent to $12.67

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