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Stocks to Watch: Avocent, Borders, ConocoPhillips, Medtronic, Vonage


All along the watchtower


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, May 24

  • Avocent (AVCT) said its board has approved buying back up to 3 million shares.
  • Borders Group (BGP) said the costs of strategic initiatives and a challenging sales environment left the bookseller with a loss of $18.9 million, or 29 cents a share, for the first quarter.
  • CarMax (KMX) said Thomas J. Folliard, executive vice president of store operations, will be president and chief executive, succeeding the retiring Austin Ligon, 55.
  • Computer Sciences (CSC) said its quarterly net profit was more than halved from year-earlier results as charges weighed on the bottom line.
  • ConocoPhillips (COP) and Saudi Aramco signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate building a 400,000 barrels a day refinery in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. The project is targeted to start up in 2011, and the companies may offer up to 30% of the JV to the Saudi public.
  • Medtronic (MDT) said double-digit sales increases in six of the company's seven business lines helped the medical-device maker nearly quadruple its fourth-quarter earnings.
  • Reddy Ice Holdings (FRZ) priced a 4.6 million secondary share offering at $21.55 a share.
  • Sara Lee (SLE) plans to spin off its branded apparel-Americas/Asia business, said it will spin off the operation to its shareholders as a separate publicly traded company; wants to focus on foods, beverages, and household and personal-care products.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) said it still expects 2006 per-share adjusted income of $2.28 on the assumption that revenue per available room rises 9% to 11%. Starwood sees annual per-share income growth through 2009 of 20% to 23%.
  • Vonage Holdings Corp.'s (VG) initial public offering of 31.25 million shares priced at $17 each late Tuesday, raising $531.25 million. The pricing hit the middle of the expected range of $16 to $18.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.26% and the Nikkei up +1.97%.
  • A quick check of the European bourses finds the CAC -1.90%, DAX -1.76% and FTSE -1.89%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.93 to 70.83 while gold is -11.4 to 662.3 this morning. For their part, stateside futes are below fair value.


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