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Stocks to Watch: Adobe, Bear Stearns, Costco, Ford, J2 Global

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Down the stretch...

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Stocks to watch for Friday December 15, 2006:

  • Adobe (ADBE) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 16%, as an investment gain and higher sales of its business and creative software offset charges related to its acquisition of smaller rival Macromedia.
  • Apple (AAPL) delayed filing its quarterly and annual report while auditors complete a review of its stock option practices. The filings were due yesterday, and the company said it expects to report within the 15 calendar day extention.
  • Bear Stearns (BSC) said it has increased its share buyback program to $2 billion from $1.5 billion.
  • Citigroup (C) plans to slow the rate that it increases investment spending to beef up its global banking franchise, amid shareholder pressure to clamp down on expenses.
  • Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (SID), or CSN, has withdrawn from its merger agreement with U.S.-based Wheeling-Pittsburgh (WPSC).
  • Costco's (COST) profit rose 9.8%, aided by cost controls and membership fees. The retailer plans to take a $45 million stock-option charge.
  • E-Trade Financial (ET) said it will move its stock market listing to Nasdaq from the New York Stock Exchange to save money and more closely align the company with the activities of its trading customers. E-Trade's new listing will be effective on Dec. 27. The new ticker will be "ETFC."
  • Ford (F) , in its first realignment of senior management under new Chief Executive Alan Mulally, said it will expand the role of its head of product development in the Americas to include the rest of the world.
  • General Motor's (GM) CFO said it is "feasible" but "tight" for the auto maker to hammer out a deal with Delphi by the end of the first quarter of 2007.
  • Intuit (INTU) said it has agreed to acquire Electronic Clearing House (ECHO) for $142 million. Intuit will pay $18.75 per Electronic Clearing share, including shares issuable upon exercise of options.
  • J2 Global (JCOM) is expected to report earnings per share for the third quarter of 30 cents, according to analysts polled by Thomson First Call.
  • New York Times (NYT) said it has named James Follo chief financial officer, effective Jan. 8. Follo succeeds Leonard Forman, who is retiring at the end of December.
  • Petro-Canada (PCA) (PCZ) said it expects upstream production of 390,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 420,000 boed in 2007. The Canadian energy company said it has approved a capital and exploration expenditure program of $4.1 billion for 2007.


Market Summary

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.01%, Nikkei +0.51%, Sensex +0.94%, Shanghai +1.10%, Taiwan +0.78% and Jakarta +1.38%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +0.15%, DAX +0.46%, FTSE +0.33%, ATX +0.67%, Swiss Mkt +0.16% and Stockholm +0.20%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.34 to 62.85 while gold is -1.5 to 629.4 this morning. For their part, stateside futes are slightly above fair value.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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