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Stocks to Watch: Bank of America, Best Buy, Boeing, GM, Goldman Sachs, Merck


It's a slow ride....Take it easy


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, June 14

  • Applied Materials (AMAT) named Robert Brust a director. Brust is retiring as chief financial officer of Eastman Kodak (EK) on Feb. 1, 2007.
  • American Media is putting five of its 16 magazine titles, including Muscle & Fitness, up for sale.
  • Asyst Technologies (ASYT) said it expects to delay filing its Form 10-K for fiscal 2006 while a board committee conducts an inquiry into stock- option grants.
  • Autobytel (ABTL) said it plans to reduce its workforce by 10% in an effort to realign its technology operations. It expects to take a second-quarter charge of $275,000 to $350,000 in connection with the job cuts.
  • Bank of America (BAC) said $2 billion of three-year callable floating-rate senior notes have priced. The notes mature on June 19, 2009 and pay interest at a floating rate, determined for each quarterly period. Closing is scheduled for June 19.
  • Best Buy's (BBY) net jumped 38% as consumers bought more flat-panel TVs and digital music players. Revenue rose 14% helped by new store openings.
  • Boeing (BA) and Nippon Cargo Airlines said they have finalized an agreement for the cargo carrier's purchase of two additional Boeing 747-400 freighters. The order is valued at about $460 million.
  • Casey's General Stores (CASY) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $10.4 million, or 21 cents a share, up 42% from $7.34 million, or 15 cents a share, during the year-ago period.
  • DaimlerChrysler (DCX) shook up the top sales and marketing management at its Chrysler Group unit, amid a rocky start to 2006 that has left the auto maker's U.S. unit with hefty inventories of unsold vehicles.
  • General Motors (GM) is no longer fixated on being the world's No. 1 auto maker by sales volume, CEO Wagoner said, highlighting instead GM's financial stabilization.
  • Gilead Sciences (GILD) royalties on sales of generic Tamiflu will be very small, according to Mark Perry, the company's senior business adviser.
  • Goldman Sachs (GS) said its consortium reached an agreement to acquire Associated British Ports for $4.56 billion. The firm also stated its second-quarter profit more than doubled, buoyed by strong trading and investment-banking results
  • Hollinger International (HLR) said its board has approved buying back up to $50 million of shares. At the newspaper publisher's annual shareholder meeting, shareholders approved changing the company's name to the Sun-Times Media Group Inc., effective in July. Following the meeting, Raymond Seitz, who has been a director since July 2003, was elected non-executive chairman.
  • Jabil Circuit (JBL) lowered its outlook for quarterly earnings, blaming operational issues in some of its factories and repair facilities. Jabil shares tumbled.
  • Keane (KEA) said it has settled with Georgina Fisk, vice president of marketing, and with a former employee, relating to allegations concerning Brian Keane, the company's former chief executive and president. In May, the company said one current and one former employee made allegations of sexual harassment against Brian Keane. The company will pay Fisk, who is resigning as of June 30, $1.14 million.
  • Meade Instruments (MEAD) said the Securities and Exchange Commission has notified the company of an informal inquiry into past stock-option grant practices. Also Tuesday, Meade said it will expand its board to nine from seven directors.
  • Germany's Merck (MRK) has amassed a big stake in Schering, threatening to foil Bayer's tender offer. Merck and Novartis (NVS) revealed data on a new class of drugs for Type 2 diabetes, showing that the drugs help treat the disease with fewer of the side effects often associated with diabetes medication, such as weight gain
  • The Nasdaq Stock Market (NDAQ) said its average daily volume in New York Stock Exchange-listed securities was 566.5 million, up 79% from 316.4 million, a year ago.
  • Prudential (PRU) said it has named Christine Poon to its board, effective Sept. 1. Poon is a vice chairman at Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).
  • Sigma-Aldrich (SIAL) and Oxford BioMedica (OXB) said they have filed a lawsuit against Open Biosystems Inc. alleging infringement of patents that cover lentiviral-based systems for delivery of foreign DNA to mammalian cells.
  • Sunoco Logistics Partners (SXL) said Chief Financial Officer Colin Oerton plans to resign Sept. 30 to pursue other interests.
  • William Lyon Homes (WLS) said the New York Stock Exchange has suspended the trading of its common stock. The NYSE said it has information indicating that the amount of publicly held shares of its common stock available for trading is not sufficient for auction market trading, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based homebuilder said.
  • World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) posted a 34% drop in profit despite higher attendance, as lower advertising and international sales dented revenue.

Market Update:

  • Asian trading comes in with the Hang Seng +0.09%, the Nikkei +0.64%, Sensex -1.47% and Taiwan +2.08%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC -0.19%, DAX +0.03%, FTSE -0.09%, ATX -1.75% and Stockholm +0.94%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.28 to 68.84 while gold is +2.42 to 569.2


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