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Stocks to Watch: Ford, Google, Honda, J. Crew, Palm, Wal-mart


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Stocks to watch for Thursday, June 29

  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) said pexelizumab did not achieve a statistically significant reduction in mortality at 30 days following angioplasty, according to preliminary results from a trial.
  • Anadarko Petroleum (APC) said it plans to sell its Canadian unit as part of a refocusing effort related to its pending acquisition of Kerr-McGee Corp. and Western Gas Resources Inc. for $21 billion.
  • Andrx (ADRX) said its shareholders have approved the company's $1.9 billion acquisition by Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI).
  • Arrow International (ARRO) said higher costs lowered third-quarter net income to $13.9 million, or 31 cents a share, from $15.8 million, or 35 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) said the Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval to Sprycel, an oral inhibitor of multiple tyrosine kinases. The FDA indicated Sprycel for chronic myeloid leukemia, and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
  • Cigna (CI) board has raised the company's stock buyback program by $500 million, according to the Philadelphia insurer.
  • Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner (TWX) are preparing to enter the online-video realm as cable operators seek to tap new revenue sources.
  • Computer Sciences (CSC) said it has signed a contract with AMP Ltd. for $146 million. The new deal, which replaces a previous agreement between the two companies, will last four years.
  • DaimlerChrysler (DCX) plans to launch its Smart brand in the U.S. in 2008 and will partner with United Auto Group to sell its tiny Smart ForTwo model in about half a dozen areas of the country.
  • Dell said it would start offering free recycling on any Dell-branded product, regardless of whether the customer purchases a new Dell computer.
  • Disney (DIS) named John Pepper, P&G's former chairman and CEO, to succeed George Mitchell as nonexecutive chairman.
  • Duke Energy (DUK) said its board has authorized management to pursue creating two separate publicly traded companies by spinning off its natural gas businesses to shareholders. Duke aims to complete the transaction by Jan. 1.
  • EMI and Warner appear deadlocked on merger plans after a series of bids and counterbids, with neither willing to cede control.
  • Ford (F) is running into a stronger headwind than it expected a few months ago, its CEO said, a development that is stressing its "Way Forward" turnaround plan.
  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT), as the next step in its sweeping agenda to cut costs and reshape the company, said it plans to cull 150 jobs in Europe in an effort to save $10 million a year.
  • Google (GOOG) is setting up operations in Cairo, which will be the Internet giant's hub for the Arabic-speaking Middle East. GOOG confirmed Google Checkout, an online payment system which will allow shopping from participating stores using a single Google login. The program also works with the company's AdWords to help merchants acquire new customers.
  • Herman Miller (MLHR) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $25 million, or 38 cents a share, up from $21.6 million, or 31 cents a share, in the same period last year.
  • Honda (HMC) picked an Indiana town to build a $550 million passenger-car plant, its sixth assembly factory in North America, in a move that highlights the ambitious growth strategies of Asia-based auto makers.
  • IHS Inc. (IHS) posted second-quarter earnings of $12.9 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with $8.6 million or 16 cents a share, during the same period last year.
  • Image Entertainment (DISK) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $283,000, or a penny a share. During the same period a year ago, Image posted net earnings of $1.07 million, or 5 cents a share.
  • Jabil Circuit (JBL) said its board has authorized the repurchase of up to $200 million worth of its shares during the next year.
  • J. Crew (JCG) shares rose 28% on their first day of trading. Three other IPOs began Nasdaq trading.
  • Linear Technology (LLTC) said the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California has requested information about the company's stock-option grants.
  • Manitowoc (MTW) raised its full-year earnings outlook to between $2.50 and $2.60 a share, up from its previous estimate of between $2.15 and $2.25 a share.
  • Manugistics Group (MANU) said its shareholders have approved the company's acquisition by JDA Software Group (JDAS) for more than $200 million. The company sees the transaction closing July 5.
  • Metrologic Instruments (MTLG) said a federal court in New Jersey court has granted its motion for summary judgment against Symbol Technologies (SBL) in a lawsuit for unpaid royalties. Metrologic calculates it will be awarded more than $2.6 million in damages.
  • Micron Technology (MU) swung to a quarterly profit from a year-ago loss due to stronger prices for memory chips and sales of other higher-margin products. Micron Tech reported a fiscal third-quarter profit of $89 million, or 12 cents a share. In the same period last year, the company lost $128 million, or 20 cents a share.
  • A lawyer for Morgan Stanley (MS) argued that a $1.58 billion award against the firm won by Ronald Perelman should be thrown out.
  • A unit of News Corp. has had discussions about joining Macquarie Bank's bid of more than $7 billion for the core assets of Hong Kong phone company PCCW.
  • Navarre (NAVR) said the Minnesota district court dismissed yesterday an amended class action lawsuit that alleged securities fraud by the company and some of its officers.
  • Palm (PALM) agreed to pay Xerox (XRX) $22.5 million to settle a long-running patent dispute over handwriting-recognition software in hand-held organizers.
  • Paychex (PAYX) reported fiscal fourth-quarter net earnings $122.7 million, or 32 cents a share, up 21% from $101.5 million, or 27 cents a share, during the year-ago period.
  • Raytheon (RTN) said the Securities and Exchange Commission has authorized final settlement of an investigation into the company's disclosures and accounting practices. Under the terms of the settlement, Raytheon will pay a $12 million penalty without admitting or denying wrongdoing.
  • Robbins & Myers (RBN) said third-quarter sales fell from the same period last year, as the company swung to a quarterly net loss of $75,000, or a penny a share. During the same period in the prior year, the company reported net income of $223,000, or 2 cents a share.
  • Ruth's Chris Steak House (RUTH) said preliminary second-quarter company-owned restaurant sales, excluding franchise and other income, rose 16.7% to $57.4 million from $49.2 million during the same period last year.
  • Talx (TALX) said the Federal Trade Commission is looking to assess whether the company's acquisitions in the unemployment compensation and work number businesses have significantly reduced competition.
  • TAM S.A. (TAM) said it has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire 37 additional Airbus aircraft. The order includes 15 Airbus A319, 16 A320 and six A330 to be delivered until 2010, the Brazilian carrier said.
  • Tenet (THC) agreed to pay $725 million to settle government allegations that it exploited Medicare to trigger extremely large payments
  • United Parcel Service (UPS) reached a deal with the U.S. Postal Service that will put mail on planes of the package-delivery firm and could improve the post office's reliability.
  • Verizon Wireless (VZ) plans to reduce the early termination fees it charges subscribers, breaking ranks with its rivals to address a common consumer complaint.
  • Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) said its Vornado Realty L.P. operating partnership has entered into a $1 billion unsecured revolving credit facility.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) responded to critics by reiterating that it supports raising the federal minimum wage but clarifying that it did not commit to lobbying for an increase.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.78%, Nikkei +1.58%, Sensex +0.32%, Taiwan +1.02% and Shanghai +1.97%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +1.40%, DAX +1.32% and the FTSE +1.19%, Swiss Mkt +1.02%, ATX +1.02 and Stockholm +1.37% .
  • Crude oil is trading +0.31 72.50 while gold is +2.70 to 583.7 so far today. For their part, stateside futes are above fair value.
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