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Stocks To Watch: 3M, Citigroup, Merrill, Tesoro, US Steel


Find your way through the fray!


Stocks to watch for Tuesday, January 30

  • 3M's (MMM) net income jumped 58% in the fourth quarter on a gain from selling its pharmaceuticals business last month.
  • Citigroup (C) is paying Prudential PLC $1.13 billion for online bank Egg, stepping up competition in the British credit-card market.
  • Crane Co.'s (CR) fourth-quarter net rose 7.6% to $38 million, or 61 cents a share from $35.3 million, or 58 cents a share, a year earlier.
  • Eaton Vance (EV) said it has agreed with A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. to terminate the additional compensation agreements in connection with six closed-end funds. Under the agreements, investment adviser Eaton Vance was required to make recurring payments based on the assets of the funds.
  • Genesis Microchip (GNSS) reported a third-quarter loss of $130.4 million, or $3.57 a share, compared to a profit of $7.4 million, or 20 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The maker of microchips used in flat-panel televisions and monitors posted revenue of $51.1 million, down from $74 million a year ago.
  • JDA Software Group (JDAS) said its fourth-quarter net loss widened, as revenue costs rose, to $1.23 million, or 4 cents a share, from a net loss of $1.08 million, or 4 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Before items, quarterly per-share income rose to 20 cents from 15 cents in the prior year.
  • Jones Apparel Group (JNY) said it will book a fourth-quarter $322.2 million non-cash charge for the impairment of goodwill and trademarks. Also, Jones said it sees a per-share net loss of $2.48 for the fourth quarter, and of $1.27 for 2006. The company said it expects the fourth quarter to include a pretax, non-cash charge of $491.4 million for the impairment of goodwill and trademarks primarily within the wholesale moderate apparel segment.
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD) said it has become current in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Mattel's (MAT) net income rose 2.6%, boosted by holiday sales of the company's Fisher-Price products.
  • Merrill Lynch (MER) agreed to buy San Francisco's First Republic for about $1.8 billion in a move to bolster its retail business.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) introduced the consumer versions of Vista, two months after the business version launched, culminating years of work and a string of delays in developing the new operating system.
  • Oneida Financial (ONFC) said fourth-quarter net income rose, as commissions and fees on sales of non-banking products gained, to $1.41 million, or 18 cents a share, from $1.03 million, or 13 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Plum Creek Timber (PCL) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $69 million, or 39 cents a share, up from $67 million, or 36 cents a share, a year ago. Settlement of a long-running Canada-U.S. soft lumber trade dispute added 7 cents a share to Plum Creek's after-tax bottom line.
  • Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $81.5 million, or $1.28 a share, up 20% from $68.2 million, or $1.07 a share, during the year-ago period. Operating income rose to $81 million, or $1.27 a share, from $73.1 million, or $1.15 a share.
  • Savvis (SVVS) said the fourth-quarter net loss narrowed, as revenue gained, to $6.8 million from a net loss of $13.1 million during the same period in the prior year. The per-share loss for shareholders narrowed to 13 cents from $1.98 in the prior year.
  • Schering-Plough's (SGP) net jumped 62%, but research spending may outstrip sales gains this year as more medicines move through clinical testing.
  • Sony (SNE) reported a decline in quarterly net profit as losses in its videogame business offset strong electronics sales, but it raised its forecast for the full year as it tries to get back on track with its turnaround efforts.
  • Spansion (SPSN), the world's largest provider of NOR flash memory chips used in consumer electronics, said it narrowed its fourth-quarter loss amid higher sales. Spansion reported a quarterly net loss of $25 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $48 million, or 63 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.
  • Symantec (SYMC) agreed to acquire Altiris, a maker of software for managing companies' networked PCs, for about $830 million.
  • Tesoro Petroleum (TSO) acquired Shell's Los Angeles-area refinery for $1.63 billion, in a move to enhance its position as the leading West Coast refiner.
  • Timken (TKR) lowered its view for fourth-quarter per-share earnings, before items, to 30 cents from its prior view of 47 cents to 57 cents. The engineered bearings company cited lower North American automotive demand, and higher industrial manufacturing costs, among other items.
  • Toyota (TM) agreed to settle with thousands of consumers who say oil-sludge build-up ruined their car engines even though they followed maintenance guidelines.
  • United States Steel (X) said fourth-quarter net income rose to $297 million, or $2.50 a share, from $109 million, or 85 cents a share, in the year-ago period. For the final three months of 2006, sales rose 8.8% to $3.77 billion.
  • UnumProvident (UNM) said fourth-quarter net income came in at $276.1 million, or 80 cents a share, more than double the same period a year earlier, when the disability insurer made $137.5 million, or 43 cents a share.
  • Verizon (VZ) unveiled plans to discount prices and boost advertising in a bid to slow a huge loss of landline phone customers, as it posted a 38% drop in net.
  • Volterra Semiconductor (VLTR) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $3.39 million, or 13 cents a share, up from $1.33 million, or 5 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The chip company posted revenue of $21.2 million vs. $13.5 million.
  • Zimmer Holdings (ZMH) said it made $244.7 million, or $1.02 a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $199.6 million, or 80 cents a share, last year. Revenue at the orthopedics device maker rose to $933.6 million from $848.3 million.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.11%, Nikkei +0.11%, Sensex -0.50%, Taiwan -0.15% and Shanghai -0.50%.
  • A quick check towards Europe finds CAC +0.22%, DAX +0.14%, FTSE +0.01%, ATX +0.22%, Swiss Mkt. +0.16% and Stockholm +0.25%.
  • Gold is down -0.3 to 642.9 and crude oil is up +0.40 to 54.41 this morning.
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