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Stocks to Watch: AT&T, Bank of America, Freeport-McMoRan, News Corp, Phelps Dodge


Start with a clean slate...


Stocks to watch for Monday, November 20

  • A.G. Edwards (AGE) said it has approved the buyback of up to 10 million of its outstanding common shares. The authorization is effective Jan. 1, 2007, through Dec. 31, 2008.
  • AT&T (T) expects to get approval of its $80 billion takeover of BellSouth (BLS) from the Federal Communications Commission by the end of the year without having to make further concessions, said AT&T Senior Vice President Chris Rooney.
  • Bank of America (BAC) plans to purchase U.S. Trust for $3.3 billion, in a deal that would create a new leader in the lucrative business of managing rich people's money.
  • Books-A-Million (BAMM) said the third-quarter net loss narrowed, as revenue gained, to $201,000, or a penny a share, from a net loss of $873,000, or 5 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Benihana (BNHN) said it has cut its second-quarter per-share earnings outlook to 22 cents to 23 cents from its prior view of 26 cents to 28 cents. The Miami-based restaurant operator said the cut is due to delays in the reopening of two restaurants and the inauguration of another, as well as the closing of another restaurant due to a kitchen fire.
  • CDC (CHINA) said an internal restructuring will move CDC Games to become a direct business unit of CDC Corp. from being within Inc., which is a 77%-owned subsidiary of CDC Corp. CDC would acquire 100% of CDC Games from for $110 million.
  • Chevron (CVX) U.S.A. Inc. said it has ended its agreement to buy 122 retail gasoline stations in California from USA Petroleum Corp.
  • Costco Wholesale (COST) said it has received a grand jury subpoena from the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California seeking records related to the company's receipt and handling of hazardous merchandise returned by Costco members.
  • Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica (ERJ) said it expects global demand for 7,500 jets in the 30- to 120-seat capacity segment over the next 20 years.
  • Russian steelmaker Evraz said it has agreed to buy Oregon Steel (OS) for $2.3 billion, the latest move in a rapidly consolidating global business that has involved steelmakers world-wide and is radically transforming the industry.
  • Ford (F) received an informal inquiry from the SEC related to disclosures detailing its recent restatements of earnings because of accounting errors.
  • Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) agreed to buy rival copper producer Phelps Dodge (PD) in a $25.9 billion cash-and-stock transaction to create North America's largest copper company.
  • Genworth Financial (GNW) said one of its business units has received subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice related to "an investigation of bid-rigging involving guaranteed investment contracts sold to municipalities."
  • Gilead Sciences (GILD) said it has completed its $2.5 billion acquisition of Myogen (MYOG). The deal was announced in early October.
  • HCC Insurance Holdings (HCC) said the board investigation of the company's stock-option grants since 1995 has found incorrect measurement dates for certain grants covering a "significant" amount of employees. Also, Stephen Way has resigned as chief executive, and has agreed to terminate his employment agreement with the loss of any further compensation, including any 2006 bonus.
  • Isramco (ISRL) said it has agreed to acquire certain oil and gas properties in Texas and New Mexico for $100 million from Five States Energy Co. The properties include 660 producing oil and gas wells, and had net income in the first seven months of this year of $11 million.
  • KKR teamed up with television broadcaster Seven Network to create a $3.08 billion joint venture.
  • Nasdaq (NDAQ) made a $5.1 billion bid for the London Stock Exchange in a much awaited decision for a full push for the bourse after buying a stake of around 25% earlier in the year.
  • Reckson Associates Realty (RA) said it has postponed the date of its special meeting of shareholders until Nov. 28 in coordination with SL Green Realty Corp. and in light of recent developments.
  • Red Hat (RHAT) said it has filed an application to list its common shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The company said it expects its shares will begin trading on the NYSE on Dec. 12 under the symbol "RHT," pending approval of its application.
  • Universal Music Group sued News Corp's (NWS) MySpace unit, alleging the social networking site has allowed its users to post millions of Universal's songs and videos onto the Internet in violation of copyright law.
  • Valero GP Holdings LLC (VEH) said it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a secondary public offering of about 51.7%, or 22 million, of its units. All units will be sold by subsidiaries of Valero Energy Corp. which will retain a 7.7% interest.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) said Roger Corbett has been appointed to its board. Corbett recently retired as chief executive of Woolworths Ltd. in Australia.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) says a senior executive has penned a caustic memo, dubbed the "Peanut Butter Manifesto," which calls for radical changes within the company in order for it to remain competitive.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.19%, Sensex +0.01%, Taiwan +0.03%, Shanghai +2.31% and Nikkei -2.27%.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC -0.50%, DAX -0.20%, FTSE -0.50% and Swiss Mkt -0.56%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.44 to 58.35 while gold is +1.4 to 623.9.
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