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Stocks to Watch: AT&T, eBay, Icos, Oracle, Target


Roll with the punches!


Stocks to watch for Tuesday, December 19

  • Applied Signal Technology (APSG) said fourth-quarter net income fell, as contracts revenue declined, to $568,000, or 5 cents a share, from $3.11 million, or 26 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • AT&T'S (T) $86 billion bid to buy BellSouth (BLS) may face several conditions after a Republican FCC member said he won't vote on the deal due to ethical concerns.
  • Belo (BLC) said November revenue rose 8.6% from the same period in the prior year. The media company said its television group's monthly revenue rose 19%, while monthly Newspaper Group revenue fell 0.9%.
  • BioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) said the pivotal Phase 3 extension study of Phenoptin had positive results. The results for Phenoptin, an investigational oral small molecule for the treatment of patients with phenylketonuria, confirm that all pre-specified safety and efficacy endpoints of the open-label extension study were met, the company said.
  • Commercial Metals (CMC) said it has increased its quarterly cash dividend 50% to 9 cents a share from 6 cents a share. The company said the dividend is payable Jan. 25 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 5.
  • eBay is shutting down its main Web site in China and replacing it with a site that would be run by Beijing-based Tom Online.
  • Gilead Sciences (GILD) said it has submitted a new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration for marketing approval of ambrisentan for the once-daily treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
  • Hain Celestial Group (HAIN) said it has agreed to buy Avalon Natural Products Inc. from North Castle Partners L.L.C., a private equity firm, for $120 million in cash.
  • The Harrah's (HET) board is planning to vote Tuesday on the proposed $90-a-share cash offer from private-equity firms Apollo and Texas Pacific Group.
  • Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT) said its public offering of 12 million shares has priced at $47.51 each for a total of $570.1 million. The real estate investment trust expects to use the proceeds to partially fund the acquisition of TravelCenters of America Inc.
  • Icos (ICOS) accepted Eli Lilly's (LLY)sweetened takeover offer of $34 a share, bringing the total to $2.3 billion.
  • Intersil (ISIL) said it has approved a share repurchase program of up to $400 million over the next 12 months. The chip maker said the program will be funded using free cash flow and cash on hand.
  • Moody's (MCO) said it has acquired Wall Street Analytics Inc., a finance software developer, for an undisclosed sum. Moody's, which provides credit ratings and other services, said it does not expect the financial impact to be material.
  • Oracle (ORCL) said its second-quarter profit rose 21%, as sales surged 26%, boosted by stronger demand for the business-application software products it acquired along with smaller rivals.
  • Perot Systems (PER) said it has agreed to buy QSS Group Inc. for $250 million in cash. QSS is a provider of information technology services to the federal government. Plano, Texas-based Perot expects the deal to add 5 cents a share to 2007 earnings, excluding items.
  • Physicians Formula Holdings (FACE) said third-quarter net income fell, as interest expense rose, to $223,000 from $589,000 during the same period in the prior year. The cosmetics company swung to quarterly income for shareholders of $223,000, or 2 cents a share. During the same period in the prior year, the net loss for shareholders was $230,000, or 2 cents a share.
  • Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide (QTWW) said its second-quarter net loss widened to $89.3 million, or $1.40 a share, from $3.04 million, or 6 cents a share, in the same period last year, due to a $72.3 million impairment loss on goodwill related to an acquisition.
  • Shutterfly (SFLY) said its second manufacturing facility is scheduled to open in the third quarter in Charlotte, N.C. The new facility will help meet increasing demand, and increase speed and efficiency in producing and shipping products such as photo books.
  • Target (TGT) said its December sales at stores open at least one year were trending in line with its prior forecast of a 3.5% to 5.5% gain. The discount retailer's forecast compares with a same-store sales rise of 4.7% in the same month a year earlier.
  • United Parcel Service (UPS) said John Beystehner, chief operating officer, is retiring, effective Jan. 2. Beystehner is also president of UPS Airlines and a board member.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) said employees have established a branch of the Communist Party at its headquarters in China.

Market Summary

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.19%, Nikkei -1.09%, Sensex -2.54%, Shanghai +1.36% and Taiwan -0.34%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.91%, DAX -0.72%, FTSE -0.68%, Swiss Mkt -0.46% and Stockholm -0.74%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.40 to 61.81 while gold is +2.8 to 620.7 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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