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Stocks to Watch: Activision, General Motors, Halliburton, McKesson, Microsoft

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Stocks to watch for Friday, January 26 2007:

  • Activision (ATVI) reported preliminary results for its third fiscal quarter that were higher than Wall Street's expectations. For the December quarter, the video game company expects revenue of $822.8 million with earnings of 41 cents a share versus analysts expecting revenue of $618.2 million and earnings of 28 cents a share.
  • Altria (MO) plans to finally set a firm date for spinning off its 88.6% stake in Kraft Foods but unexpected legal obstacles still could come into play and delay the restructuring.
  • Ameriprise Financial (AMP) said fourth-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $171 million, or 69 cents a share, from $111 million, or 44 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Amgen (AMGN) said its net profit edged higher in the latest quarter, aided by stronger-than-expected sales of its anemia and arthritis treatments, but the company's adjusted per-share earnings fell short of Wall Street's average forecast.
  • AT&T's (T) rollout of its new television service is being delayed due to glitches in the Microsoft (MSFT) technology that helps power the Internet-based system.
  • Bristol-Myers (BMY) swung to a fourth-quarter loss, hurt by generic competition to its best-selling blood thinner Plavix, and a large increase to litigation reserves.
  • General Motors (GM) said it will delay its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings report, which was supposed to come out next week, and again will restate several years of financial results.
  • Halliburton's (HAL) fourth-quarter net fell 40%, hurt by a provision for income taxes. The company saw net income fall to $658 million, or 64 cents a share, from $1.1 billion, or $1.04 a share, a year earlier.
  • KB Home (KBH) said Friday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has begun a formal investigation into the company's stock-option grants.
  • McKesson (MCK) reported a 26% jump in third-quarter net earnings, coupled with a sales increase, and said it expected full-year earnings to come in ahead of previous forecasts, thanks in large part to increased performance at its drug wholesale unit.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) reported a 28% drop in quarterly profit as the software company was hurt by the delayed release of its Vista operating system.
  • Nucor's (NUE) profit rose 20% amid signs that steel prices could rise as an inventory glut eases.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.88%, Nikkei -0.21%, Sensex +1.22%, Taiwan -1.29% and Shanghai+0.88%.
  • A quick check towards Europe finds CAC -0.40%, DAX -0.21%, FTSE -0.19%, ATX -0.65%, Swiss Mkt. -0.42% and Stockholm -0.54%.
  • Gold is down -4.8 to 643.3 and crude oil is up +0.51 to 54.74 this morning.
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