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Stocks to Watch: BP, Centex, Coach, GM, Microsoft

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Stuck in the middle with you...

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, October 25

  • Ace (ACE) and XL Capital (XL) reported better-than-expected third-quarter profits after the Bermuda-based reinsurers benefited from a light hurricane season and avoided the huge storm losses that hit them last year.
  • Aflac (AFL) reported a 19% drop in third quarter net income as competition in Japan continued to crimp sales.
  • Altera (ALTR) reported second-quarter net earnings $77.3 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with $67.6 million, or 18 cents a share, in the same period last year.
  • Financial services firm Ameriprise Financial (AMP) said quarterly net income rose 39% from the year earlier, boosted by improvement in asset-based fees and premiums.
  • Banta (BN) said quarterly net earnings fell to $15.9 million, or 65 cents a share, from $21.7 million, or 89 cents a share, in the same period last year, due to restructuring and asset impairment charges, and lower prices in the company's printing and supply-chain management divisions.
  • Boston Properties (BXP) said third-quarter net income for shareholders rose, as revenue gained, to $108 million, or 91 cents a share, from $57.6 million, or 50 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Analysts had expected a per-share result of 63 cents.
  • BP said profit fell 3.6%, as a partial shutdown of its Alaskan oil field and a U.K. tax increase offset a rise in oil prices. The oil company warned average daily output this year would be lower than in 2005.
  • Brookfield Homes (BHS) reported third-quarter net earnings of $27.6 million, or $1.03 a share, down 27% from $37.8 million, or $1.20 a share, during the year-ago period. The home builder posted revenue of $176.2 million vs. $267.7 million.
  • Centex (CTX) said fiscal second-quarter net income dropped 59% from a year earlier as home builders struggle to adjust to the housing slowdown after years of higher sales and prices.
  • C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW) posted a 30% surge in third-quarter profit, cashing in on faster growth in its higher-margin air freight and miscellaneous transportation management services businesses.
  • Coach (COH) posted a 34% jump in quarterly net as customers flocked to its new handbag lines. The leather-goods maker and retail chain said it expects another "excellent" holiday season and raised its forecast. Its shares rose.
  • Corning (GLW) said third-quarter profit more than doubled as sales of special glass used in computer screens and high-definition televisions increased. The company reported net income of $438 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with earnings of $203 million, or 13 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 8%.
  • Crane (CR) reported third-quarter net earnings of $46 million, or 74 cents a share, up 15% from $40 million, or 66 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The diversified industrial manufacturer posted revenue of $567.7 million vs. $522.2 million.
  • Delphi Financial Group (DFG) said third-quarter net income came in at $36.2 million, or 71 cents a share, up 64% from a year earlier when the employee benefits provider made $22 million, or 44 cents a share.
  • Industrial conglomerate Dover (DOV) posted a 37% surge in third-quarter earnings as revenue in its electronics division doubled on the back of two key acquisitions.
  • Express Scripts (ESRX) reported a 13% gain in third-quarter profit as the percentage of its generic prescriptions rose even as the number of its claims fell.
  • General Motors (GM) net loss narrowed to $115 million, on an improvement in the company's North America auto operations and benefits associated with taxes. GM narrowed its estimated potential exposure to Delphi's bankruptcy filing
  • Getty Images (GYI) said third-quarter net income declined, as expenses rose, to $37.6 million, or 62 cents a share, from $39.1 million, or 60 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Analysts had expected per-share income of 61 cents.
  • KLA-Tencor (KLAC) forecast its sales for the current quarter will be in the range of $650 million to $675 million, up from the $630 million it reported for the three months ended Sept. 30.
  • Knoll (KNL) reported third-quarter net earnings of $15.6 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with $8.2 million, or 15 cents a share, in the same period last year, on the back of strong sales. Revenue rose 16% to $243.6 million from $209.3 million.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) said it expects to defer about $1.5 billion in revenue from its current fiscal second quarter, recognizing it in the following three-month period instead as it rolls out the next version of its Windows operating system and Office applications software.
  • Murphy Oil (MUR) said net income fell in the third quarter after a British tax hike, lower prices and weaker output dampened its production profits, offsetting better refining results.
  • Nabors Industries (NBR), one of the world's biggest oil and gas drillers, reported a 64% surge in third-quarter profit, unscathed so far by an oversupply of natural gas in North America that is starting to cut into some companies' drilling programs.
  • Novatel Wireless (NVTL) reported a third-quarter net loss of $856,000, or 3 cents a share. Excluding items, the company reported a profit of $1.1 million, or 4 cents a share.
  • QLogic (QLGC) reported second-quarter net earnings of $30.4 million, or 19 cents a share, down 29% from $43 million, or 24 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The maker of network infrastructure components posted revenue of $145.3 million vs. $119 million.
  • RF Micro Devices (RFMD) said it swung to a second-quarter net loss of $20 million, or 10 cents a share. In the same period last year, the maker of radio frequency components posted net earnings of $5.94 million, or 3 cents a share.
  • Stanley Works (SWK) posted an 18% rise in third-quarter profit on the back of strong demand for its hand tools and automatic doors, but the toolmaker warned that slowing growth in some of its key markets will hurt the bottom line.
  • Electrical gear maker Thomas & Betts (TNB) reported a 28% jump in third-quarter profit and nudged up its earnings outlook for the full year.
  • Thomson (TOC) is near a plan to put its Thomson Learning division on the auction block. A deal could fetch more than $5 billion
  • Tupperware (TUP) reported third-quarter net earnings of $13.1 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with $2.6 million, or 4 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The maker of kitchenware posted revenue of $394.9 million vs. $270.7 million.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.02%, Nikkei -0.48%, Taiwan -0.53%,Shanghai +0.08%, Sensex -0.89% and Jakarta closed.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +0.24%, DAX +0.13%, FTSE +0.42%, and Swiss Mkt +0.13%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.28 to 59.63 while gold is -1.70 to 585.9 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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