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Stocks to Watch: Costco, GE, Google, McDonald's, Pepsi


Coming down the homestretch!


Stocks to watch for Friday, October 13

  • Acme Packet (APKT) initial public offering of 11.5 million shares priced at $9.50 each, raising more than $109 million, and coming in above the expected range of $8 to $9. Shares of the maker of gear for secure voice over Internet services are due to start trading Friday on the Nasdaq under the symbol "APKT."
  • Ametek (AME) said it expects third-quarter and full-year 2006 results to "substantially exceed" its prior outlook due to strong internal growth and contributions from acquired businesses.
  • AstraZeneca (AZN) said the Food and Drug Administration has approved Nexium for the treatment of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. Nexium, a prescription proton pump inhibitor, is already indicated for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease in adults and children ages 12 to 17.
  • Baldor Electric (BEZ) said third-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $12.2 million, or 37 cents a share, from $11.2 million, or 33 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Analysts had expected per-share income of 40 cents.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals said it has agreed with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Pfizer (PFE) to buy the U.S. rights to the over-the-counter Zantac product line for $509.5 million in cash.
  • CalAmp (CAMP) reported second-quarter net earnings of $1.24 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with $3.68 million, or 16 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The wireless equipment provider posted revenue of $57.9 million vs. $57.7 million.
  • Centex (CTX) said it now sees second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations of 65 cents to 75 cents, compared with its July view of $1.40. The company said net sales for the quarter fell 28% to 6,828 orders from the same period in the prior year.
  • ConAgra (CAG) said it has named Andre Hawaux chief financial officer, effective Nov. 13. He replaces John Gehring, who was appointed acting CFO last week.
  • Costco (COST) said fourth-quarter earnings edged up 1%, driven by a 19% increase in revenue. The retailer said it reviewed its stock-option program and doesn't expect to restate results.
  • Delta's CEO said he plans to retire once the carrier emerges from Chapter 11, but would consider a nonexecutive chairman post if the new board lacks airline experience.
  • DryShips (DRYS) said it sees third-quarter per-share income cut by 68 cents from the settlement and closing of freight forward agreements entered into in the previous quarters.
  • Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings (ENDP) said a unit has acquired all of the outstanding stock of RxKinetix Inc. for an initial payment of up to $20 million, with the potential for an additional $95 million. Endo sees the deal cutting 2006 adjusted earnings by 2 cents per share, excluding certain expenses.
  • EZCorp (EZPW) said it now expects fourth-quarter per-share earnings of 61 cents to 64 cents, up from its previous forecast of 43 cents to 46 cents. Analysts are estimating fourth-quarter earnings of 45 cents a share.
  • General Electric's (GE) net income rose 6.1%, as strength in the company's infrastructure division helped offset a lower profit at NBC Universal.
  • Google (GOOG) faces copyright fight over YouTube. Time Warner (TWX) upset over the use of its material, 100mln. videos under scrutiny for breaches.
  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) said it has named Jon Hoak chief ethics and compliance officer. Hoak will be responsible for H-P's adherence to its business conduct standards, and report to Chairman and Chief Executive Mark Hurd until a general counsel is named.
  • Home Depot (HD) announced a realignment of its executive structure as the company tries to improve its performance. Two executives are leaving and there will be new roles and reporting duties for others.
  • Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) said two items will add 19 cents a share to its third-quarter earnings, which the company expects to be 65 cents a share.
  • IHOP (IHP) said third-quarter same-store sales rose 1.3% from the same period in the prior year. The restaurant operator said the growth "was entirely driven" by higher guest traffic.
  • Indevus Pharmaceuticals (IDEV) said it has submitted a new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration seeking approval for Sanctura XR to treat patients with overactive bladder.
  • La-Z-Boy (LZB) cut its fiscal second-quarter profit forecast on lower-than-expected sales.
  • McDonald's (MCD) forecast a 17% increase in third-quarter profit and said September same-store sales rose 7.7%, boosted by breakfast and its new Snack Wraps.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) said it has acquired Colloquis Inc., a privately held provider of conversational online business solutions that feature natural language-processing technology. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
  • MSC Software (MSCS) said it expects third-quarter revenue of $58 million to $60 million. Software license revenue is estimated to be down about 15% in the quarter. Revenue in this range may result in a small net loss for period.
  • Noble International (NOBL) said it has acquired Pullman Industries Inc. for around $120 million, including the assumption of debt and deferred consideration. Noble said Pullman is expected to have 2007 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $30 million.
  • Pepsi's (PEP) CEO raised the snack-and-beverage giant's profit outlook for the year despite higher costs for oranges in the third quarter.
  • RailAmerica (RRA) said September's freight carloads fell 6.7% to 100,385 from 107,570 during the same period in the prior year. The rail service provider said the sale of the San Luis and Rio Grande Railroad, the E&N Railway and the three Alberta properties accounted for a decrease in carloads.
  • RF Monolithics (RFMI) said it swung to net income in the fourth-quarter, as sales rose, of $77,000, or a penny a share. During the same period in the prior year, the quarterly net loss was $202,000, or 3 cents a share.
  • SAIC's (SAI) initial public offering of 75 million shares priced at $15 each, raising $1.13 billion. Shares of the science and engineering firm are due to start trading Friday on the New York Stock exchange under symbol "SAI."
  • Sony (SNE) unveiled a new lineup of Walkman portable music players for the holiday season as it tries to wrestle share away from Apple's iPod in an area that it once dominated.
  • Wendy's (WEN) agreed to sell its Baja Fresh chain to a group of investors for about $31 million, well below what it paid. The fast-food company's interim CEO vowed to bolster its core brand.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.65%, Nikkei +1.02%, Sensex +1.58%, Shanghai +0.36% and Taiwan +1.21%.
  • A quick check towards Europe finds the CAC +0.03%, DAX +0.29%, FTSE +0.29%, and Swiss -0.34%.
  • Gold is trading +0.82 to 58.68 and crude oil is trading +0.82 to 58.68.
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