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Stocks to Watch: Federated, Google, Intel, Merrill Lynch, Oracle, Qualcomm, Solectron


Can't nobody take my pride....can't nobody hold me down


Stocks to watch for Friday, June 23

  • Blackboard (BBBB) raised its second-quarter and 2006 earnings outlook following stronger-than-expected market demand for its offerings. The Washington-based education services provider said it now expects a second-quarter per-share net loss of 23 cents to 24 cents on revenue of $41.8 million to $42.8 million. For 2006, the company said it now sees a per-share net loss of 43 cents to 47 cents on revenue of $173.1 million to $176.1 million.
  • Chrysler (DCX) said it plans a program of rebates and 0% financing, a move that could draw GM and Ford (F) into another incentive war.
  • City National (CYN) lowered its 2006 earnings per share growth forecast to between 1% and 4%. The Beverly Hills, Calif. bank holding company had previously expected growth to be between 8% and 10%. The company said in a regulatory filing its net interest income is increasing more slowly than it expected, mainly due to lower-than-expected deposit growth and higher funding costs.
  • Exelon (EXC)gained federal antitrust approval for its $16 billion purchase of PSEG, but the two utilities must sell off six power plants.
  • Federated (FD) confirmed it agreed to sell its Lord & Taylor department-store chain to NRDC Equity Partners for nearly $1.2 billion.
  • Google (GOOG) began streaming free commercial videos, including movies and TV shows, supported by advertising as part of a trial.
  • HMS Holdings (HMSY) said it has agreed with its subsidiary, Health Management Systems Inc., to acquire the assets of Public Consulting Group Inc.'s benefits solutions practice area. The healthcare service provider will pay $80 million in cash, plus 2.02 million of its common stock shares, for the division, which provides services to Medicaid and other government agencies.
  • Intel (INTC) said it has shifted more than half of its manufacturing to a next-generation process that boosts performance and reduces costs, as it ratchets up competition with AMD.
  • Isle of Capri Casinos (ISLE) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $15.1 million, or 48 cents a share, up from a year-ago profit of $3.5 million, or 11 cents a share.
    Las Vegas Sands will hold talks with banks on the financing plan for its $3.2 billion Singapore casino project in July.
  • Merrill Lynch (MER), preparing for the Bank of Japan's first interest-rate change in five years, has aggressively built its debt team in Tokyo to take advantage of an expected boom in bond trading.
  • Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX) said it's reached an agreement with Pfizer (PFE) to end a collaboration agreement related to Indiplon, which is being developed as a sleep maintenance drug.
  • Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL) lifted its earnings outlook for the second quarter, citing a higher than expected increase in less-than-truckload tonnage as well as a more favorable pricing environment. The Thomasville, N.C., trucking company now sees a profit of 50 to 52 cents a share for the June period, compared to its previous forecast of 43 to 46 cents a share.
  • Oracle's (ORCL) earnings climbed 27%, driven by strong sales growth in its applications-software business. Revenue advanced 25%.
  • Pier 1's (PIR) top executive said the retailer's board will probably wait for recommendations on possible divestitures before making any change in leadership.
  • Qualcomm (QCOM) is launching a verbal counterattack on Intel for tactics in an industry standard-setting effort, escalating a battle over a next-generation wireless technology.
  • Rite Aid's (RAD) net fell 67% in its first quarter as costs to open new locations more than offset sales growth. Revenue increased 2.8%
  • Six Flags (SIX) said it plans to examine its potential strategic options for six properties. The company also said attendance fell 11% for the period through May 31, while revenue for the period increased 1%. In addition, Six Flags said it expects it will be "extremely difficult" to meet its previously issued outlook for adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for the second quarter and said it's at risk of non-compliance with certain financial covenants of its bank credit agreement.
  • Smart Modular Technologies (SMOD) reported third-quarter earnings of $4.6 million, or 7 cents a share, down from a year-ago profit of $5.6 million, or 10 cents a share. Excluding items, the Fremont, Calif., maker of memory products earned $10.4 million, or 16 cents a share, in the latest quarter. Sales rose in the latest three months to $188.5 million from $146.8 million in the same period a year earlier.
  • Solectron (SLR) reported a fiscal third-quarter profit, turning around from a year-ago loss, on the back of the electronics contract manufacturer's 4% increase in revenue.
    Spectrum Control (SPEC) reported second-quarter net earnings of $1.73 million, or 13 cents a share, up 31% from $1.32 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the Fairview, Pa.-based maker of electronic control products rose to $31.9 million from $25.9 million. The company expects third-quarter earnings of 14 cents to 15 cents a share, and fourth-quarter earnings of 19 to 21 cents a share. Spectrum expects $32 million in revenue in both the third and the fourth quarters.
  • Sunterra (SNRR) said its board has directed Nicholas Benson, its president and CEO, to take paid administrative leave pending the results of a previously disclosed probe into allegations made by a former employee related to the company's Spanish operations.
  • Tektronix (TEK) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $31.9 million, or 37 cents a share, up 50% from $21.2 million, or 24 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The Beaverton, Ore.-based provider of technology measurement solutions posted revenue of $289.3 million vs. $261 million. Excluding items, earnings from continuing operations were $36.4 million, or 43 cents a share, compared with $27.4 million, 31 cents a share, a year ago.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.11%, Nikkei -0.08% and the Sensex +1.22%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +0.28%, DAX +0.25%, FTSE -0.04%, Switzerland +0.21% and Stockholm +0.38%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.19 70.65 while gold is -1.90 to 582.60 so far today.
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