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Stocks to Watch: Harrah's, Marvell, Maverick, Pacific Sunwear


Patience is a virtue!


Stocks to watch for Tuesday, October 3

  • Actel (ACTL) said it has started reviewing its stock-option granting practices, and has informed Securities and Exchange Commission staff about the review. Also, a complaint was filed Aug. 30 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by Frank Brozovich, derivatively on behalf of the company, against certain of its officers and directors.
  • Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) said it has acquired Systech Integrators Inc., an information technology solutions company, for $65 million, plus contingent payments based on future financial performance.
  • Beckman Coulter (BEC) said it has signed an agreement to acquire Lumigen Inc. for $185 million in cash. Beckman sees the transaction with Lumigen, a developer of detection chemistries for testing in clinical diagnostics and life science research, adding to earnings per share by at least 2 cents in 2007.
  • Biogen Idec (BIIB) and Belgian biopharmaceutical company UCB (UCBJF) said they will develop and market CDP323 for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
  • Cingular Wireless is expected to announce it has finished integrating its cellular network with that of AT&T Wireless (T), the carrier it acquired two years ago in a $41 billion deal.
  • Coach (COH) sued Target (TGT), alleging the discount retailer was selling counterfeit Coach purses, but Target maintains the bags are authentic.
  • Cytokinetics (CYTK) said results from an interim analysis following the first stage of a two-stage Phase II clinical trial indicate that ispinesib in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma did not satisfy the criteria for advancement to stage two.
  • Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings (ENDP) said net sales of Lidoderm, its largest-selling product, are expected to be below underlying demand for the three months ended Sept. 30. The company added that it continues to expect 2006 Lidoderm sales will be at the high end of its outlook for $530 million to $540 million.
  • EpiCept (EPCT) said it has filed an investigational new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration to begin Phase I clinical studies of EPC2407 in cancer patients.
  • ExpressJet Holdings (XJT) said traffic in September increased 17.3% to 787.9 million revenue passenger miles. Load factor, or the percentage of a plane filled with passengers, rose 0.9 percentage points to 75.1%, while net capacity rose 16% to 1.05 billion available seat miles.
  • Gen-Probe (GPRO) said its board has approved the termination of its shareholder rights plan, or poison pill, and has instituted a new stock ownership policy for officers and directors. Under the new ownership policy, officers and directors will have to maintain ownership of company stock equal to between one and three times their annual salary or retainer.
  • General Dynamics (GD) Electric Boat unit said it has received a 1-year Navy contract to staff and operate the New England Maintenance Manpower Initiative at the naval submarine base in Groton for $34.8 million.
  • As Harrah's (HET) reveiws a $15.1 billion offer, the biggest hurdle to a deal may be for the new owners to obtain casino licenses in the many places Harrah's operates. S&P cut Harrah's credit rating to "junk."
  • Helix Energy Solutions (HLX) cut its 2006 earnings outlook to a range of $2.80 to $3.20 from a range of $3.20 to $3.70. The energy services company cited lower production volumes.
  • Irwin Financial (IFC) said it has sold substantially its entire conforming, conventional mortgage servicing portfolio for $261 million. The portfolio was sold to four unnamed independent acquirers, and the company said it expects to record a pretax charge of $11 million.
  • Marvell Technology (MRVL) plans to take charges and restate financial results due to problems an internal probe discovered with past stock-option grants.
  • Maverick Tube (MVK) said its shareholders have approved the acquisition of the company by Luxembourg-based Tenaris S.A. In June, Maverick agreed to be bought by Tenaris for about $3.19 billion, or $65 a share, including debt assumption.
  • Navarre (NAVR) said its distribution services unit has signed a distribution supply agreement with OfficeMax (OMX). Under the agreement, New Hope, Min.-based Navarre will supply OfficeMax with third-party software titles for their U.S. stores.
  • Northwest (NWACQ) said it has experienced a "softening in revenue" in September and expects to post a loss for the last four months of the year.
  • Odyssey HealthCare (ODSY) said it now sees 2006 earnings per share from continuing operations of 73 cents to 78 cents, based on annual estimated net patient service revenue of $417 million to $420 million. In February, the hospice company said it was looking for annual per-share income of 70 cents to 80 cents.
  • Oshkosh Truck (OSK) said the United Automobile Workers Union Local 578 has ratified a new 5-year collective bargaining agreement. The new contract runs through Sept. 30, 2011.
  • Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) announced that CEO Seth Johnson has resigned. The teen retailer's board named lead director Sally Frame Kasaks as the company's interim CEO
  • Perrigo (PRGO) said the Food and Drug Administration has granted tentative approval for its ciclopirox topical solution, 8%. The solution is a treatment for mild-to-moderate fungal infections of the fingernails and toenails.
  • Rent-A-Center (RCII) said it plans to refinance its current senior debt by entering into a new senior credit facility of $1.32 billion. The Plano, Texas-based company said the facility consists of $922.5 million in term loans and a $400 million revolving credit facility.
  • Rockwell Collins (COL) said its chief operating officer of commercial systems, Bob Chiusano, will retire at the end of the year. Kelly Ortberg, vice president and general manager of air transport systems, will replace Chiusano.
  • Sony's (SNE) "Open Season," the debut release from the company's digital animation unit, scored the top spot at the weekend box office, earning $23 million.
  • Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) said it is ceasing its baseband operations to "sharpen" focus on its core business, effective immediately, and is cutting its workforce by 10%, or 425 employees. The company said it is eliminating almost $70 million in annual costs, and sees related charges of $85 million to $95 million.
  • Unit (UNT) said its Unit Petroleum Co. subsidiary agreed to buy Brighton Energy for $67 million in cash.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.36%, Nikkei -0.08%, Sensex -0.71%, Shanghai +0.89% and Taiwan -0.06%,
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC -0.65%, DAX -0.44%, FTSE -0.55% and Swiss Market -0.20%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.67 to 60.36 while gold is -4.7 to 598.6.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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