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Stocks To Watch: Federated, Ford, Granite Construction, McClatchy, UnitedHealth


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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, December 27

  • BioVeris (BIOV) said it has entered into a technology license agreement with Baxter Healthcare Corp., a unit of Baxter International (BAX). Under the agreement, BioVeris received non-exclusive worldwide patent rights and know-how to use Neisseria meningitidis group C vaccine as a component in new vaccine candidates for the prevention of meningitis and sepsis.
  • Ditech Networks (DITC) said it has received a Nasdaq non-compliance notice because the company did not file its report for the quarter ended Oct. 31 on time. As a result, the company's shares are subject to delisting.
  • Federated's (FD) strategy of extending its Macy's banner to former May stores has been welcomed by some shoppers but given a wide berth by others.
  • Ford's (F) CEO met with Toyota's (TM) chairman last week in Japan, in a sign that Alan Mulally may be looking to the Japanese rival for answers to the U.S. auto maker's problems.
  • Granite Construction (GVA) said one of its units, in joint venture with Fred Weber Inc. and Millstone-Bangert Inc., has been awarded a $420 million contract by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. Granite's portion of the contract is $210 million.
  • McClatchy (MNI) agreed to sell the Minneapolis Star Tribune, its largest newspaper, to private-equity firm Avista for $530 million, less than half of what McClatchy paid in 1998.
  • Monster Worldwide (MNST) said its board has elected Philip Lochner Jr. as a director, effective immediately. Among other prior positions, Lochner has served as a commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lochner will join the special committee investigating the company's historical stock-option practices, and serve on the committee addressing related civil litigation.
  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) said it has acquired the Puyallup restaurant in Washington state. Red Robin sees a charge of a penny a share in the fourth quarter relating to the termination of the franchise agreement for the Puyallup restaurant.
  • Refco (RFXCQ) said its Chapter 11 plan has become effective, allowing the company and its units to complete the wind-up of their business. Under the plan, secured lenders who were owed $717.7 million were paid in full before the plan's confirmation, the financial services provider said. Bondholders are expected to receive 83.4 cents on the dollar for their claims, while Refco Capital Markets' securities customers are expected to receive about 85.6 cents on the dollar for their claims, the company said.
  • UnitedHealth (UNH) has received a formal order of investigation about its stock-option practices from Securities and Exchange Commission staff, according to a Tuesday regulatory filing. In April, the health insurer said it had received an informal inquiry from the SEC.
  • Vascular Solutions (VASC) said the Food and Drug Administration has approved its premarket approval supplement for the D-Stat Flowable hemostat to reduce the incidence of clinically significant hematomas during the implantation of pacemakers or other devices.
  • Wolverine Tube (WLV) said the New York Stock Exchange plans to suspend trading in the company's stock before the opening on Jan. 3, and initiate procedures to delist it.

Market Summary

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +2.10%, Nikkei +0.31%, Sensex +1.10%, Shanghai +1.61% and Taiwan +0.07%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +1.01%, DAX +1.22%, FTSE +0.55%, Swiss Mkt +0.61% and Stockholm +0.57%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.30 to 62.96 while gold is +0.9 to 622.5 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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