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Stocks To Watch: Alcoa, Apple, Meredith, Motorola, Sirius


Mixing it up!


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, January 10

  • Alcoa (AA) kicked off the earnings season with a 60% jump in profit. The company cited higher metal prices and strong demand for aluminum. Revenue rose 20%.
  • Apple (AAPL) Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, a new touch-screen phone that will be able to play music, surf the Internet and take pictures, among other features.
  • ArthroCare (ARTC) said it expects fourth-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share on revenue of $69.7 million.
  • Audiovox (VOXX) said it swung to third-quarter net income, as the cost of sales fell, of $3.85 million, or 17 cents a share. During the same period in the prior year, the company reported a net loss of $10.3 million, or 46 cents a share.
  • Avon Products (AVP) said it plans to restructure its United States distribution operations and will takes steps such as phasing out certain distribution branches for a combined loss of about 620 positions. The beauty products company said it expects annualized cost savings of $35 million to $45 million.
  • Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) after Tuesday's closing bell said December same-store sales at Bob Evans Restaurants increased 3.3% from the year-ago period. Mimi's Cafe same-store sales increased 2.7% for the five weeks ended Dec. 29.
  • Citigroup (C) plans to sharply reduce the size of its consumer-finance operations in Japan, responding to a new law that will place limits on the industry that has boomed in the past decade.
  • Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) said its board has approved an investment of A$140 million ($109.3 million) in the Sonoma Coal Project in Queensland, Australia. Cleveland-Cliffs said it has signed a nonbinding term sheet with privately held Australian coal company QCoal Pty Ltd. to take a 45% interest in the Sonoma Project.
  • D&B (DNB) said it sees per-share income growth in 2007 of 13% to 16% before "non-core" gains and charges. The business information provider also said it will take initiatives in 2007 to "create financial flexibility," and sees eliminating 400 positions globally.
  • E-Z-EM (EZEM) reported second-quarter net earnings of $1.8 million, or 16 cents a share, up 18% from $1.53 million, or 14 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The manufacturer of contrast agents for gastrointestinal radiology posted revenue of $34.2 million vs. $33.8 million.
  • MDU Resources Group (MDU) said it has retained Goldman Sachs & Co. to advise it on the potential sale of the domestic independent power production assets held in its subsidiary, Centennial Energy Resources.
  • Meredith (MDP) announced its acquisition of two interactive-marketing agencies, giving the publisher and broadcaster a significant presence in the ad world.
  • Motorola (MOT) said it has completed its $3.9 billion acquisition of SymbolTechnologies (SBL). Sal Iannuzzi, Symbol's former chief executive and president, will be president of the new Motorola enterprise mobility business.
  • NYSE will pay $115 million for a 5% stake of the Mumbai-based National Stock Exchange of India.
  • Oxford Industries (OXM) reported second-quarter net earnings of $12.2 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with $11 million, or 57 cents a share, in the same period last year, as sales rose. The Atlanta-based maker of private label apparel posted revenue of $291 million, up 4.7% from $277.9 million.
  • Papa John's International (PZZA) said its December system-wide sales at stores open at least one year rose 0.2%, while fourth-quarter comparable-store sales fell 0.5%.
  • Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) said its acquisition of Gold Kist (GKIS) is complete. Pilgrim's Pride, the largest chicken producer in the United States and Puerto Rico, said all Gold Kist shares have been converted into the right to receive $21 each.
  • Ruby Tuesday (RI) reported second-quarter net earnings of $16.7 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with $17.4 million, or 28 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The restaurant chain posted revenue of $336.8 million vs. $295.1 million, a 14% increase.
  • Sirius (SIRI) said it has given affiliates of Howard Stern 22.1 million shares, valued at $82.9 million, as the satellite-radio company surpassed subscriber targets.
  • Synnex (SNX) said fourth-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $15.6 million, or 48 cents a share, from $12.8 million, or 41 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Before items, quarterly per-share income rose to 50 cents from 41 cents in the prior year.
  • United (UAUA) won a four-way contest to provide new service to China. The airline plans to launch the route between Washington and Beijing March 25.
  • US Airways (LCC) raised its offer to buy bankrupt rival Delta Air Lines to $10.2 billion from $8 billion by increasing both the cash and stock portions of the offer.
  • Wachovia (WB) agreed to buy a 70% stake in ECM, a London-based manager of fixed-income credit funds.
  • WD-40 (WDFC) said first-quarter net earnings fell to $5.69 million, or 33 cents a share, from $7.51 million, or 45 cents a share, in the same period last year, as marketing and other expenses rose. The company posted revenue of $72 million, up 7% from $67.2 million last year.

Market Summary

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.66%, Sensex -1.50%, Taiwan -1.17%, Shanghai +0.63% and Nikkei -1.71%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.77%, DAX -0.96%, FTSE -0.58%, Swiss Mkt. -0.53% and Stockholm -0.89%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.74 to 54.90 while gold is -2.4 to 612.6 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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