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Stocks to Watch: Boeing, Freddie Mac, Toyota, Toshiba

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, October 4

  • Airgas (ARG) said it has named Robert McLaughlin chief financial officer, effective immediately. McLaughlin has been interim CFO since Roger Millay resigned on Sept. 20.
  • AMR's (AMR) American Airlines unit said September traffic fell 1.4% to 10.6 billion revenue passenger miles from 10.74 billion revenue passengers miles during the same period in the prior year. Monthly capacity fell 0.5% to 14.03 billion available seat miles from 14.09 billion available seat miles in the prior year.
  • Baxter International (BAX) said its board has elected to amend the company's bylaws to adopt majority voting for the election of directors in uncontested elections. The move begins with the next election in May 2007.
  • Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) said same-store sales at Bob Evans restaurants rose 5% in September compared with the same period last year. The Columbus, Ohio-based restaurant company said average menu prices for the month were up 2.4%.
  • Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) said the Federal Trade Commission has granted antitrust clearance for the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of the companies. The FTC's action will allow the companies to finalize closing documents and work toward setting a closing date, Boeing and Lockheed said.
  • Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) said its real estate opportunity fund has acquired a portfolio of commercial properties from affiliates of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. for $460 million. The portfolio includes 33 properties and banking centers in 10 cities, primarily in the Midwest.
  • Celestica (CLS) said it has sold its Vimercate, Italy, operations to Bartolini Progetti SpA. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Bartolini will keep the 850 employees who work at the site.
  • Christopher & Banks (CBK) said it has expanded its board members to eight with the addition of Mark Cohn. The Plymouth, Minn.-based operator of retail stores said Cohn, who is chairman and chief executive of Third Season LLC, joined the board Monday.
  • CommScope (CTV) said it now expects third-quarter revenue of $460 million to $470 million and an operating margin of 13% to 14%, excluding special items. Stronger-than-expected shipments in all product segments, especially Enterprise, drove the improved sales outlook, the company said.
  • Equity Inns (ENN) said it has agreed with Global Hyatt to convert its 18 AmeriSuites to Hyatt Place hotels. Equity Inns said it sees the conversion completing by the end of 2007.
  • Freddie Mac (FRE) estimated its net income in the first half totaled $2.7 billion, more than quadruple the $566 million recorded a year earlier.
  • Gap (GPS) will extend its Asian franchise deal with Singapore retailer FJ Benjamin, with 20 stores in Indonesia.
  • Genentech (DNA) said it has signed a collaboration agreement with CGI Pharmaceuticals Inc. to discover, develop, manufacture and market therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Under the terms of the deal, Genentech will make an upfront payment of $25 million to CGI, including license fees and equity investment in CGI, and receive an exclusive license to develop small molecules throughout the world with the exception of the European Union.
  • General Motors (GM) said its board has voted to amend the company's bylaws by adopting majority voting for director elections, and a stronger policy to recover unearned incentive compensation from executive officers in cases of fraud, misconduct or negligence. The automaker noted that director nominees in uncontested elections, when the amount of nominees does not exceed the number of directors to be elected, will need more than 50% of the votes cast to be elected.
  • Healthways (HWAY) Chief Executive Ben Leedle Jr. said the company expects fourth-quarter earnings per share of 36 cents to 38 cents on revenue of $113 million to $115 million. Revenue from the Medicare Health Support pilots are expected to be $11 million for the fiscal year, compared with the outlook of $25 million to $28 million.
  • Kodak's (EK) incoming finance chief said he decided to take the job after concluding the firm's turnaround effort is likely to succeed.
  • Lawson Software (LWSN) said it swung to a first-quarter net loss as the company recorded pretax expenses of $15.1 million for amortization of acquired intangible assets and restructuring charges, among other items. Lawson said the quarterly net loss was $15.8 million, or 8 cents a share. During the same period in the prior year, net income was $4.18 million, or 4 cents a share.
  • Lowe's (LOW) said it has priced its $1 billion notes offering. The home-improvement retailer said it has agreed to sell $550 million of 5.4% notes due 2016 and $450 million of 5.8% notes due 2036.
  • Morgan Stanley (MS) said it has acquired a minority stake in BATS Trading. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
  • Papa John's International (PZZA) said domestic comparable sales for the five weeks ended Sept. 24 rose 4.6% from the same period in the prior year. Domestic comparable sales for the quarter ended Sept. 24 rose 4.5%, while international sales for Papa John's branded units rose 32.4%.
  • Saks (SKS) said its board has declared a special cash dividend of $4 per share for a total payout of $550 million based on the current shares outstanding. The dividend is payable Nov. 30 to shareholders as of Nov. 15.
  • Toyota's (TM) U.S. sales surged 25% in September even as GM and Chrysler sagged. GM said it would deepen production cuts.
  • Toshiba said it expected to complete its takeover of Westinghouse Electric by the end of this month. The Shaw Group will buy a 20% stake in the two companies for $1.08 billion.
  • Valero Energy (VLO) said it expects to report third quarter earnings of $2.25 to $2.35 per share, a record for the period. Valero said the outlook excludes a $132 million pretax gain on the July sale of 40% of the company's interest in Valero L.P.
  • WCI Communities (WCI) said it expects third-quarter per-share earnings to be "significantly below" its prior outlook of 52 cents. However, the company said it still expects to report positive net income for the period.
  • WPT Enterprises (WPTE) said it expects continued growth in the U.S. poker market despite recently passed legislation restricting online gambling in the United States.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) will begin to show keyword-based advertisements on mobile phones in the U.S. and the U.K., in its first effort to establish a mobile-advertising business outside of Japan.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.13%, Nikkei -0.98%, Sensex -1.31%, Shanghai +0.89% and Taiwan -1.18%.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC +0.70%, DAX +0.64%, FTSE +0.46% and Swiss Market +0.58%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.47 to 59.15 while gold is +2.5 to 584.0.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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