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Stocks To Watch: Apple, Health Management, Kinder Morgan, McDonald's, Washington Mutual

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What to look for throughout the trading day?

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Stocks to watch for Thursday, January 18

  • Acco Brands (ABD) said it now expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $196 million to $198 million in 2006. The maker of office products had previously expected a result of $212.5 million. Acco said the revision is due to the absence of an increase in office product sales in the fourth quarter.
  • Amdocs (DOX) reported first-quarter net earnings of $93.3 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with $75.3 million, or 36 cents a share, in the same period last year, as service revenue rose. Excluding acquisition-related costs, among other items, the Chesterfield, Mo.-based provider of software products and services posted per-share earnings of 53 cents vs. 42 cents last year.
  • Apple's (AAPL) earnings surged 78% on record iPod sales, which helped push up revenue 24%. Mac sales rose 28% from a year ago.
  • Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC) said it will acquire First National Bank of Hudson. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Axis Capital Holdings (AXS) said it is reorganizing to "strengthen" the global operations of Axis Insurance. Managed across all geographic locations, the unit will have four divisions: specialty lines; professional lines; capital risk solutions; and Axis select markets.
  • CACI International (CAI) lowered its view for fiscal 2007 per-share income to a range of $2.45 to $2.65, compared with its prior view of $2.91 to $3.15. The information technology services company cited "unexpected" reductions in demand on contracts related to the Department of Defense.
  • Charming Shoppes (CHRS) said it now expects fourth-quarter per-share earnings of 18 cents to 20 cents, down from its prior outlook of 21 cents to 22 cents. The apparel retailer expects total sales for the period of $860 to $870 million and a low-single-digit consolidated comparable store sales decline for the company's retail stores.
  • Cisco Systems (CSCO) named Brian Halla, chairman and chief executive of National Semiconductor (NSM) to its board.
  • Clarcor (CLC) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $26.7 million, or 52 cents a share, up 6.8% from $25 million, or 48 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The maker of filtration and industrial packaging products posted revenue of $232.6 million vs. $241.5 million.
  • Comsys IT Partners (CITP) said three of its stockholders are offering 2.5 million of the company's shares.
  • Gentiva Health Services (GTIV) said it now expects fiscal 2007 net revenue of $1.24 billion to $1.27 billion. Its previous net revenue outlook was $1.23 billion to $1.27 billion. The company expects per-share earnings of $1.15 to $1.22 for the year, and net income of $33 million to $35 million.
  • ECollege.com (ECLG) said it sees 2007 revenue growth from continuing operations of 20% to 23%, and growth of 27% to 30% for operating income. The company expects total distance enrollments supported by the eLearning Division to be 1.67 million for 2007, up 31% from the prior year.
  • Health Management (HMA) will take on $2.4 billion in new debt to fund a $10-per-share dividend, a plan that makes it harder for buyout firms to take over the hospital operator.
  • Highwoods Properties raised its view for adjusted 2006 per-share funds from operations to a range of $2.45 to $2.47. That view includes items such as land sale gains of 20 cents per share. In November, the real estate investment trust said it was looking for an adjusted 2006 per-share result of $2.42 to $2.44.
  • Hooker Furniture (HOFT) said it plans to close its last remaining wood furniture plant in Martinsville, Va. by the end of March. The company expects to record charges of $7 million to $7.8 million pretax, or $4.3 million to $4.8 million after tax, or 36 cents a share to 40 cents a share related to the closing.
  • Kinder Morgan (KMI) reported fourth-quarter net income of $227 million, or $1.68 a share, up from $180 million, or $1.42 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 totaled $2.95 billion, up five-fold from $558 million a year ago.
  • Lam Research's (LRCX) fiscal second-quarter net income more than doubled as sales of chip equipment rose 77%. The company said net income for the quarter ended Dec. 24, rose to $167.3 million, or $1.15 a share, from $77.8 million, or 55 cents a share, a year earlier.
  • McDonald's (MCD) reported a 7.2% rise in global same-store sales amid demand for the Snack Wrap in the U.S. and Monopoly game in Europe. The fast-food chain expects quarterly earnings to top analysts' forecasts.
  • Scholastic (SCHL) said it has named Maureen O'Connell chief administrative officer and chief financial officer, effective Jan. 22.
  • Sears Holdings (SHLD) said it has named John Walden as chief customer officer, effective Jan. 29. Walden will have the services, marketing and direct commerce businesses reporting to him, and will be in charge of driving customer-focused strategies and new business development.
  • Sovereign Bancorp (SOV) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $129 million, or 28 cents a share, as the lender set aside a $192 million provision to cover credit losses. A year earlier, the company generated net income of $165 million, or 42 cents a share.
  • Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) said it has submitted a proposal with Starwood Capital and Walton Street to acquire Equity Office Properties Trust (EOP) for $52 per share or unit. The bid is payable 60% in cash and 40% in Vornado shares, and provides unitholders of Equity Office, the nation's largest public owner and manager of office properties, with the option to exchange their units for units of Vornado Realty LP.
  • Washington Mutual (WM) said that fourth-quarter net income came in at $1.06 billion, or $1.10 a share, up 23% from a year earlier when the lender made $865 million, or 85 cents a share. Earnings include an after-tax gain of $415 million from the sale of WM Advisors Inc., the company's mutual fund business, WaMu added.


Market Summary

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.06%, Sensex +0.61%, Taiwan +0.78%, Shanghai -0.79% and Nikkei +0.63%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +0.63%, DAX +0.36%, FTSE +0.44%, Swiss Mkt. +0.31% and Stockholm +0.28%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.16 to 52.39 while gold is +0.3 to 633.6 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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