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Stocks to Watch: Dell, Ericsson, Harrah's, Hydril, Maxim

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, December 20

  • Alleghany (Y) said Chairman F.M. Kirby has decided to retire at the end of 2006. John Burns Jr., vice chairman, will succeed Kirby, according to the insurer.
  • BRE Properties (BRE) said it sees 2007 per-share income of $1.05 to $1.20. The real estate investment trust focusing on apartment communities said it expects annual per-share funds from operations of $2.55 to $2.70.
  • Chaparral Steel (CHAP) reported second-quarter net earnings of $67.5 million, or $1.40 a share, compared with $34 million, or 72 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, on the back of higher sales.
  • Christopher & Banks (CBK) said third-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $9.23 million, or 24 cents a share, from $8.73 million, or 24 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Analysts had expected a per-share result of 24 cents.
  • Cintas (CTAS) said second-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $82.5 million, or 51 cents a share, from $76.8 million, or 46 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Analysts had expected per-share income of 52 cents.
  • Cooper Tire & Rubber (CTB) named Roy Armes as president, chief executive and board member, effective Jan. 1. Armes will succeed Byron Pond, who has served as interim CEO of the Ohio-based tire company since August.
  • CPI (CPY) said its third-quarter net loss narrowed to $951,000, or 15 cents a share, from $3.1 million, or 39 cents a share, in the same period last year. This quarter's results are based on 6.35 million shares, while the prior quarter's results were based on 7.87 million shares.
  • Darden Restaurants' (DRI) fiscal second-quarter profit rose 12%, buoyed by restaurant openings and lower expenses at its Olive Garden chain.
  • Dell (DELL), the world's No. 2 computer maker, is changing its chief financial officer in the midst of an investigation of its financial reporting. Dell said Donald Carty will take over as vice chairman and CFO starting Jan. 1.
  • Delta's restructuring plan sets the stage for a bruising showdown with US Airways, which insists its unsolicited bid is superior.
  • Embarq (EQ) said it will eliminate the position of chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1. COO Mike Fuller will retire.
  • Ericsson (ERIC) will acquire Redback Networks, a maker of broadband-routing equipment, for $2.1 billion.
  • Ferro (FOE) said it has filed its third-quarter report, and income for the period fell to $5.49 million from $6.85 million during the same period in the prior year. Income for shareholders fell, as sales costs rose, to $5.18 million, or 12 cents a share, from $6.48 million, or 15 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Forrester Research (FORR) said Warren Hadley, chief financial officer and treasurer, has resigned. The resignation is due to irregularities uncovered by an internal investigation related to an option grant made to Hadley in 1999.
  • FSI International (FSII) said it swung to a first-quarter net profit of $1.89 million, or 6 cents a share, as sales jumped. In the same period last year, the maker of equipment used in microelectronics posted a net loss of $4.3 million, or 14 cents a share.
  • Harrah's Entertainment (HET) has agreed to be bought by a pair of private equity groups for $90 a share in cash, along with the assumption of $10.7 billion in debt.
  • Hydril (HYDL) said it sees fourth-quarter per-share earnings of about $1.05 or higher, above its prior view. The outlook revision is due to improved premium connection segment results, the maker of oil and gas drilling products said.
  • Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM) said John Gifford, founder and chief executive, will retire for health reasons. Gifford will remain part-time as a strategic advisor.
  • National City (NCC) authorized repurchase of up to 30 million shares of common stock, subject to a total limit of $1.2 billion.
  • Nordson (NDSN) said fourth-quarter net income fell, as selling and administrative expenses rose, to $27.8 million, or 82 cents a share, from $27.9 million, or 80 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Northfield Laboratories (NFLD) shares tumbled more than 50% after the company reported that there were 46 deaths in a study assessing PolyHeme, compared with 35 deaths in the control group. PolyHeme is a human hemoglobin based oxygen-carrying red blood cell substitute.
  • Panacos Pharmaceuticals (PANC) shares fell 30% after the biotechnology company said preliminary results from the first cohort of a Phase 2b study of bevirimat suggest that the tablet formulation did not deliver the drug as expected.
  • Pentair (PNR) said its directors have approved raising the quarterly cash dividend 7% to 15 cents a share from 14 cents a share.
  • ResCare (RSCR) said it sees per-share earnings of $1.24 to $1.28 in 2007, on revenue of $1.43 billion. Excluding items, ResCare sees per-share earnings of $1.35 to $1.39.
  • Smart Modular Technologies (SMOD) said first-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $14.6 million, or 23 cents a share, from $9.35 million, or 17 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Analysts had expected per-share earnings of 21 cents.
  • Systemax (SYX) said third-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $12.5 million, or 33 cents a share, from $3.88 million, or 11 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Tupperware Brands (TUP) said it has named Simon Hemus president and chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1.


Market Summary

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.45%, Nikkei +1.40%, Sensex -0.31%, Shanghai +0.38% and Taiwan +0.56%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +0.56%, DAX +0.57%, FTSE +0.21%, Swiss Mkt +0.31% and Stockholm +0.75%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.40 to 63.86 while gold is +1.7 to 627.7 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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