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Stocks to Watch: Agere, Bank of New York, Home Depot, Qualcomm, UnitedHealth

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Stocks to watch for Friday, December 4

  • Alcatel (ALA) has put the finishing touches on its acquisition of Lucent, and the combined company will now decide which products it will continue to carry and which employees will lose their jobs.
  • Bank of New York (BK) agreed to buy Mellon Financial in a deal that will create a giant ranked as the world's largest custodian of financial assets and one of the top 10 asset-management firms.
  • CBOT Holdings (BOT) said the Department of Justice has requested additional information on the company's proposed $8 billion acquisition by Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (CME). CBOT said it still sees the deal -- which is pending approval by regulators, shareholders of both companies and CBOT members -- closing by mid-2007.
  • Cornell Corrections (CRN) raised its fourth-quarter earnings forecast to a range of 22 cents to 25 cents a share, or 27 cents to 30 cents a share on a pro forma basis, which excludes pre-opening and start-up costs for new facilities and losses associated with New Morgan Academy.
  • Duke Energy Indiana (DUK) said it has agreed to sell Unit 1 of its Wabash River Power Station in West Terre Haute, Ind., to the Wabash Valley Power Association. The price is based on the book value of Wabash River Unit 1 at the time of closing, which is currently estimated to be about $110 million to $120 million.
  • Home Depot (HD) said in a regulatory filing that it has had no discussion about a potential leveraged buyout or recapitalization. Home Depot shares rose following reports that two of the largest private-equity firms were preparing a $100 billion buyout of the home-improvement giant.
  • Chip maker LSI agreed to buy Agere (AGR) in an all-stock deal valued at around $4 billion.
  • Nationwide Financial Services (NFS) said it has entered an agreement to buy back 3.86 million of its Class B share from Nationwide Corp. for $200 million, or $51.88 a share.
  • Openwave Systems (OPWV) said it has filed its Form 10-K for fiscal 2006, and that a special committee has finished its review of the company's historical stock-option-grant practices. The software company said it has recorded additional non-cash charges of $182 million for stock-based compensation and associated payroll tax expense for fiscal 2000 through 2005.
  • Orient-Express Hotels (OEH) said James Sherwood, chairman and founder, plans to retire from his executive duties. Sherwood will continue to serve as non-executive chairman until the next annual shareholder meeting in June 2007, and after that, he will serve as non-executive director.
  • Pfizer (PFE) may have to move more aggressively to cut costs and restock the company's pipeline after development of torcetrapib was stopped. The drug was shelved after more people than expected died while taking it in a clinical test.
  • Qualcomm (QCOM) is buying two chip businesses that could take it into new wireless markets and bolster its position against Intel.
  • Hedge Fund Third Point LLC said it has filed a Schedule 13D with the Securities and Exchange Commission asking the board of Pogo Producing (PPP) to initiate a process to sell all or part of itself. Third Point, which owns 7.2% of Pogo, also said it plans to mount a proxy contest at the company's 2007 shareholders' meeting that will allow the hedge fund to elect a majority of new directors to Pogo's board.
  • Sunrise Senior Living (SRZ) said it has received $40 million in buyout and transition fees from Five Star Quality Care Inc. for the buyout of seven management contracts.
  • UnitedHealth (UNH) CEO Stephen Hemsley signaled he would follow the same strategy as ousted predecessor William McGuire, but adopt a more consensus management style.
  • Valspar (VAL) said it has completed acquiring H.B. Fuller's (FUL) powder coatings business. H.B. Fuller sees the deal adding $64 to $68 million in pretax income to fourth-quarter results.
  • Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRE) said it sees 2007 earnings per share of 74 cents to 77 cents, and funds from operations of $2.17 to $2.20 per share. The company also backed its view for 2006 per-share funds from operations of $2.11 to $2.14.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.06%, Nikkei -0.11%, Sensex +0.21%, Taiwan +0.44%, and Shanghai +2.84%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +0.03%, DAX -0.04%, FTSE +0.04%, ATX +0.87%, Swiss Mkt -0.21% and Stockholm -0.06%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.62 to 62.81 while gold is +0.4 to 651.0 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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