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Stocks to Watch: Applied Materials, Clear Channel, Pfizer, Time Warner, Tyco

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Stick to the the plan...

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Stocks to watch for Thursday, November 16

  • American Financial Group (AFG) said it has approved a 3-for-2 common stock split.
  • Applied Materials (AMAT) said quarterly profit rose 82% as it sold more machines that make chips used in consumer electronics.
  • Avery Dennison (AVY) said the European Commission has closed its investigation into the company's competitive activities in the label stock industry with no action. The provider of labeling materials and office products no longer expects a probe-related fine.
  • BEA Systems (BEAS) reported sales increased 19% as more customers licensed its business applications and server infrastructure software. The firm did not report its quarterly profit because of an ongoing stock-options review. See After Hours column.
  • Clear Channel (CCU) reaches an agreement with private-equity firms Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital to be purchased at $37.60/share. The figure represents 10.2% premium to yesterday's close.
  • Foot Locker (FL) increased its quarterly cash dividend 39% to 12.5 cents a share. The dividend is payable Feb. 2 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 19.
  • Gymboree (GYMB) said third-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $17.4 million, or 53 cents a share, from $11.2 million, or 35 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. This year's per-share result includes a 19-cent charge related to the closure of the Janeville division.
  • Halliburton (HAL) unit KBR priced its initial public offering at $17 a share after delaying the offering by a day over an issue with a British joint venture.
  • Hertz went public at $15 a share, less than the $16 to $18 range that had been discussed earlier. But the companies that bought the world's largest car-rental company last year from Ford still made a huge profit.
  • Hot Topic (HOTT) reported third-quarter net earnings of $7.1 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with $5.93 million, or 13 cents a share, in the same period last year, as sales rose.
  • Limited Brands (LTD), parent of Express and Victoria's Secret stores, said it has signed a deal to buy La Senza, the Canadian-based intimates and apparel retailer, for $628 million. Limited reported a profit of $23.5 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with last year's breakeven result.
  • Longs Drug Stores (LDG) reported third-quarter net earnings of $12.7 million, up 42% from $8.93 million during the year-ago period. The drug store chain posted total revenue of $1.23 billion vs. $1.12 billion.
  • McData (MCDT) said it expects to post a pro forma third-quarter loss of 2 cents to 4 cents a share on revenue of $155 million to $157 million. The pro forma gross margin for the quarter is expected to be in the range of 40% to 42%.
  • Men's Wearhouse (MW) reported third-quarter net earnings of $31.8 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with $24.1 million, or 44 cents a share, in the same period last year, boosted by higher sales.
  • Network Appliance (NTAP) reported a 23% rise in its second-quarter profit from a year ago as the storage-technology company posted higher overall sales and more growth in areas such as disk storage systems.
  • PetSmart (PETM) reported third-quarter net earnings of $31.7 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with $31.1 million, or 21 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue at the pet-goods retailer rose to $1.03 billion from $907.7 million.
  • Pfizer (PFE) said results of a new analysis showed that patients who have heart disease and chronic kidney disease and took 80 mg Lipitor tablets reduced their risk of heart attack and stroke by 32% compared with patients taking a 10 mg dose.
  • Pharmion (PHRM) said it has acquired Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage private oncology company, for an initial payment of $59 million cash. The deal will result in a $55 million charge in the fourth quarter.
  • Salesforce.com (CRM) reported that rising expenses and an accounting change for employee stock options virtually wiped out its quarterly profit.
  • Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (SWRG) reported a third-quarter net loss of $1.85 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $3.23 million, or 35 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The company posted revenue of $27.6 million vs. $26.8 million.
  • Time Warner (TWX) named NBC executive Randy Falco as AOL's chief, as it seeks to remake the online unit into an ad-driven business.
  • Tyco (TYC) reported a 38% rise in quarterly net income on strong "organic growth," but the company also said it identified some errors in its stock-option grants.
  • US Airways (LCC) offered to buy Delta for $8.67 billion, a deal that would create the biggest U.S. airline and bring Delta out of bankruptcy protection. Delta's CEO rejected the bid, repeating that the airline wants to emerge from Chapter 11 by itself.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) confirms rollout of $4 generic program to additional 11 states. The announcement confirms the press release after the close. The program is now available in 3009 pharmacies in 38 states. The company said at a conference that it would be rolled out to all 50 states by the end of January.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.32%, Sensex +0.27%, Taiwan +0.29%, Shanghai +0.97% and Nikkei -0.49%.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC -0.19%, DAX +0.07%, FTSE +0.16% and Swiss Mkt -0.16%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.42 to 59.18 while gold is +3.2 to 627.0.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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