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Stocks to Watch: Hewlett-Packard, NYSE, Oracle, Reckson, Xilinx

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Finish Strong!

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Stocks to watch for Friday, December 8

  • American Ecology (ECOL) said it sees 2007 earnings of 92 cents to $1.02 per share. The waste-services company also backed its view for 2006 earnings of 85 cents to 90 cents per share.
  • American Software (AMSWA) reported second-quarter net earnings of $1.82 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with $819,000, or 3 cents a share, in the same period last year, as sales rose. Excluding stock option compensation, among other items, the Atlanta-based company posted per-share earnings of 8 cents a share.
  • Applebee's International (APPB) increased its annual dividend 10% to 22 cents from 20 cents a share. The dividend is payable on Jan. 22 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 22.
  • Atwood Oceanics (ATW) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $23.2 million, or 74 cents a share, compared with $6.66 million, or 21 cents a share, in the same period last year, as revenue jumped.
  • Cascade (CAE) said third-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $12.3 million, or 94 cents a share, from $10.8 million, or 84 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Also, the company is increasing its revolver to $125 million from $25 million to fund potential acquisitions and to provide short-term funding for the share repurchase program.
  • Central Garden (CENT) said fourth-quarter net earnings fell to $6.02 million, or 25 cents a share, from $6.72 million, or 31 cents a share, in the same period last year, as expenses and income taxes rose. Excluding $9 million in increased brand building and strategic work, the Walnut Creek, Calif.-based producer and marketer of garden and pet supplies posted per-share earnings of 49 cents.
  • Chesapeake Energy (CHK) is launching a public offering of 30 million shares of its common stock. The Oklahoma City-based natural gas producer said it has granted the underwriter, Deutsche Bank Securities, a 30-day option to buy up to 4.5 million additional shares to cover any over-allotments.
  • Coke (KO) named Muhtar Kent, the head of international operations, to be its No. 2 executive and heir apparent to Neville Isdell as the beverage company's CEO.
  • Credence Systems (CMOS) said the fourth-quarter net loss narrowed, as operating expenses fell, to $1.94 million, or 2 cents a share, from a net loss of $22.5 million, or 23 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Diamond Foods (DMND) reported first-quarter net earnings of $9.64 million, or 61 cents a share, up from $4.07 million, or 26 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The branded-food company posted revenue of $169.5 million vs. $178.1 million.
  • DTE Energy (DTE) increased its quarterly dividend 2.9% to 53 cents from 51.5 cents a share. Additionally, the company said it now expects 2006 per-share operating earnings, excluding synthetic fuels, of $2.52 to $2.63, up from its previous forecast of $2.42 to $2.53 a share.
  • Duke Realty (DRE) increased its 2007 outlook for funds from operations to $2.62 to $2.76 a share from $2.58 to $2.72 a share. "We have increased our initial guidance for 2007 based upon the accretive effect of our recent convertible debt offering," said Denny Oklak, chairman and chief executive of the Indianapolis-based real estate investment trust, in a statement
  • Esterline Technologies (ESL) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $18.4 million, or 71 cents a share, up 19% from $15.4 million, or 60 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The company also said it now expects fiscal 2007 per-earnings of $2.45 to $2.60, up from its previous outlook of $2.40 to $2.60, boosted by record backlogs and new products coming to market.
  • Furniture Brands International (FBN) said it now sees fourth-quarter sales declining at a rate in the mid-single digits from results during the same period last year. Also, the company now sees a quarterly net loss of 2 cents to 6 cents per share.
  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) agreed to pay $14.5 million to settle civil allegations brought by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer over the company's spying on board members, employees and journalists.
  • IDT (IDT) said it swung to first-quarter net income, as the company recorded a $240 million gain on the sale of IDT Entertainment and Toucan, of $213.9 million, or $2.43 a share. During the same period in the prior year, the company reported a net loss of $27.9 million, or 28 cents a share.
  • Ingersoll-Rand (IR) said it has authorized the buyback of up to $2 billion of its Class A shares.
  • Journal Register (JRC) said advertising revenue for the four weeks ended Nov. 26 fell 5% to $33.8 million from $35.6 million during the comparable period in the prior year.
  • Nanometrics (NANO) said it has received a favorable Markman decision in the patent infringement case brought by Nova Measuring Instruments (NVMI).
  • National Semiconductor (NSM) said second-quarter net income fell, as revenue declined, to $91.4 million, or 27 cents a share, from $114.7 million, or 32 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. The company sees sequential revenue in the third quarter decreasing 8% to 11%.
  • NYSE Group (NYX) said November trading in New York Stock Exchange-listed securities rose 25.5% to 58.5 million from 46.6 million units during the same period in the prior year. Monthly NYSE Group-matched volume rose 11%, while NYSE Group-handled volume rose 12%.
  • Online Resources (ORCC) said it sees a first-quarter 2007 per-share net loss of 33 cents to 35 cents on revenue of $30 million to $31.5 million. Pro forma, or "core net income," for the quarter is expected to range from a loss of a penny to a profit of a penny.
  • Oracle (ORCL) increased its offer for India's i-flex solutions by 42%, aiming to buy an additional 35% of the banking-software provider for $1.3 billion.
  • Papa John's International (PZZA) said it sees 2007 earnings per share of $1.48 to $1.56, with domestic comparable sales rising 1.5% to 2.5%.
  • Prudential Financial (PRU) said it is offering $2 billion of convertible senior notes due 2036. In connection with the offering, the financial services giant said it expects to purchase, under its existing stock buyback authorization, up to $205 million of its common stock.
  • Reckson Associates Realty (RA) said its shareholders have approved the company's acquisition by SL Green Realty (SLG). The transaction is valued at about $6 billion.
  • Smith & Wesson Holding (SWHC) reported second-quarter net earnings of $2.85 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with $692,377, or 2 cents a share, in the same period last year, on the back of strong firearms sales.
  • TD Ameritrade Holding (AMTD) reported 248,000 average client trades per day in November. Qualified accounts totaled 3.26 million, the Omaha, Neb.-based financial services firm said.
  • Unifi (UFI) said it now expects its second-quarter earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortization to be less than half of its previous forecast of $10 million to $12 million. The company said a September drop in volume has continued.
  • Verifone Holdings (PAY) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $13.9 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with $12.1 million, or 18 cents a share, in the same period last year, on the back of strong revenue from international business.
  • Witness Systems (WITS) said a special committee review found mistakes in the measurement dates of stock-option grants, although it did not find evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation.
  • Xilinx (XLNX) said it now sees third-quarter sequential sales falling 2% to 5% due to weaker than anticipated turns business in November, particularly from communications customers. The company had expected a sequential increase of 2% to 5%.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.55%, Nikkei -0.34%, Sensex -1.23%, Taiwan -0.65%, and Shanghai -2.93%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC -0.20%, DAX -0.09%, FTSE +0.09%, ATX +1.22%, Swiss Mkt. -0.32% and Stockholm -0.25%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.87 to 63.36 while gold is -1.4 to 635.6 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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