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Stocks to Watch: Crown Castle, Micron, Solectron, Starbucks


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Stocks to watch for Friday, October 6

  • Art Technology Group (ARTG) said it expects a third-quarter net loss of $1.3 million to $1.5 million, or 1 cent a share. The company added that it sees revenue of $21.3 million vs. $22.7 last year.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) said it doesn't expect to make any material adjustments as a result of its review of stock option grants. The home retailer said the review is substantially complete, and it expects to report on it no later than its second-quarter Form 10-Q filing.
  • Brookfield Homes (BHS) said net new orders rose 6% to 261 units in the third quarter compared with a year ago.
  • Crown Castle (CCI) will acquire Global Signal in a stock-and-cash deal valued at about $5.8 billion, including debt.
  • Delta Air Lines (DALRQ) reached an agreement with its retirees to make "significant changes" to retiree medical benefits, according to a law firm representing the retirees. Dean Gloster, a partner at the law firm Farella, Braun & Martel, LLP, estimates Delta's approximate 2007 net savings from the changes to non-pilot retiree medical benefits will be about $36 million, he told MarketWatch. Delta said in a statement the deal addresses the situation "equitably within the range of what the company can now afford."
  • Denny's (DENN) reported that same-store sales rose 5.5% in the 5-week period ended Sept. 27 compared with the year-ago period. Guest check averages increased 3.3% and guest counts rose 2.1% during the month, the Spartanburg, S.C.-based restaurant chain said.
  • Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR) said third-quarter sales are "in line" with the company's prior outlook of $895 million to $915 million.
  • Darden Restaurants (DRI) said U.S. same-restaurant sales for September at Olive Garden rose 5% to 6% from the same period in the prior year. Monthly same-restaurant sales at Red Lobster rose 2% to 3%.
  • Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica (ERJ) said it delivered 30 aircrafts in the third quarter. The company also cut its 2006 delivery forecast to 135 from its prior outlook of 145 due to difficulties with the production ramp up of the Embraer 190 and Embraer 195 aircraft, adding that it will make up for this year's delays next year.
  • Gen-Probe (GPRO) said it has received Food and Drug Administration marketing approval for its Aptima HIV-1 RNA test. The company expects to launch the test in November in conjunction with its Aptima test for hepatitis C.
  • Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) former chairman, Patricia Dunn, was booked on four counts of fraud and conspiracy. Her testimony in front of a House subcommittee may be used against her in a trial.
  • Interactive Intelligence said it sees net income for the third quarter of $6.3 million to $6.7 million, or 34 cents to 36 cents per share. Chief Executive Donald Brown said the company sees revenue growth for the first nine months of 2006 of 30%, compared with original 2006 guidance that anticipated revenue growth of 15% to 20%.
  • Longs Drug Stores (LDG) said preliminary September detail drug store same-store sales rose 1.4% from the same period in the prior year. Monthly pharmacy same-store sales rose 5.5%.
  • Michaels Stores (MIK) said its shareholders have approved the company's $6 billion acquisition by affiliates of Bain Capital Partners LLC and the Blackstone Group. About 99.7% of shares present, representing about 78.7% of total shares outstanding, voted in favor of the agreement, the Irving, Texas-based arts-and-crafts retailer said.
  • Micron Technology (MU) said its net income rose to $63.5 million, or 8 cents a share, up from $43.1 million, or 7 cents a share, in last year's period. Sales rose to $1.4 billion, up from $1.3 billion.
  • Murphy Oil (MUR) said it sees income for the third quarter of 95 cents and $1.05 per share, adding that the outlook is above its prior estimate due to lower than anticipated dry hole costs, and an "exceptionally strong" contribution from the company's refining and marketing segment.
  • Northwest Airlines (NWACQ) said it has ordered 72 new, two-class 76-seat aircraft. The Eagan, Minn.-based carrier said that it has placed firm orders for 36 Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet 900s and 36 Embraer 175 aircraft. Separately, Bombardier Inc.'s Bombardier Aerospace (BBDB) said the value of Northwest's orders based on CRJ900 aircraft list price would be about $1.35 billion, and could rise to $5.18 billion if all options are exercised.
  • Research in Motion's (RIMM) Chairman Jim Balsillie agreed to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins professional hockey team, according to media reports. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, the Associated Press reported.
  • Saba Software (SABA) said the first-quarter net loss widened, as operating expenses gained, to $2.59 million, or 9 cents a share, from a net loss of $1.62 million, or 9 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Saba sees a net loss per share for its second quarter of 4 cents to 7 cents.
  • SMSC (SMSC) reported second-quarter net earnings of $5.73 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with $19,000, or breakeven on a per-share basis, during the year-ago period. SMSC said it expects third-quarter per-share earnings of 23 cents to 27 cents, or 38 cents to 42 cents on a pro forma basis, on revenue of $96 million to $98 million.
  • Solectron (SLR) said fourth-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $36.8 million, or 4 cents a share, from $11.5 million, or a penny a share, during the same period in the prior year. For the first quarter, the company sees sales of $2.6 billion to $2.8 billion, and for pro forma per-share income of 4 cents to 6 cents. Solectron added that it plans to realign its manufacturing capacities, and sees charges of $50 million to $60 million, and reducing its workforce by 1,400 employees.
  • Sony (SNE) and Bertelsmann appealed an EU court ruling that said regulators should not have approved their 2004 merger.
  • Starbucks (SBUX) said it plans to eventually have 40,000 stores and announced it will sell its line of music via Apple's iTunes online store.
  • UAP Holding (UAPH) said it swung to a second-quarter net loss of $4.3 million, or 8 cents a share, as the company recoded refinancing charges. Before items, quarterly per-share income was 48 cents, compared with 45 cents in the prior year. Also, the company backed its view for fiscal 2007 per-share income, excluding charges, of $1.25 to $1.40.
  • UPS (UPS) has begun a reorganization of its logistics and freight forwarding unit that will result in job cuts, according to a media report. A company spokeswoman did not say how many workers will be affected, according to the report from Associated Press.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) expects to offer $4 prescriptions for some generic drugs in most states this year after expanding the low-cost program from a test market to all of Florida ahead of schedule.
  • WebMethods (WEBM) cut its second-quarter outlook to a net loss of 6 cents to 8 cents a share. The Fairfax, Va.-based software company had previously forecast per-share net earnings in a range of 2 cents to 7 cents. WebMethods also lowered its revenue outlook to a range of $48.5 million to $50 million from a range of $53.5 million to $56.5 million.
  • Wyeth (WYE) nudged up its 2006 profit forecast, citing a solid first-half performance and strong sales of key drugs.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.02%, Nikkei -0.08%, Sensex -0.13%, Taiwan +1.78% and Shanghai is closed.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC -0.14%, DAX +0.05%, FTSE -0.02% and Swiss Market +0.04%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.33 to 59.70 while gold is -0.7 to 574.8.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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