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Stocks to Watch: Freddie Mac, GM, Phelps Dodge, Sirius, Time Warner, Wal-Mart

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, August 2

  • Adobe Systems (ADBE) backed its earlier financial forecast for its fiscal third quarter, sending the design-software firm's shares climbing over 5% in evening trading.
  • Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (MDRX) said second-quarter net profit rose to $2.83 million, or 5 cents a share, from $2.03 million, or 5 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • AQuantive (AQNT) said second-quarter net income rose to $12.3 million, or 15 cents a share, from $7.76 million, 11 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Analysts had expected a per-share result of 11 cents.
  • Blue Nile (NILE) reported second-quarter net earnings of $3.13 million, or 18 cents a share, a 12% rise from $2.79 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago.
  • CheckFree (CKFR) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $29.4 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with $11.9 million, or 13 cents a share, in the same period last year. Excluding the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, among other items, the company posted per-share earnings of 39 cents, unchanged from last year.
  • Electronic Arts (ERTS) said its fiscal first-quarter loss widened from a year ago but the videogame software maker reported higher sales that ran past Wall Street's target.
  • Equity Residential (EQR) , the largest publicly traded apartment REIT, said second-quarter net income rose from a year earlier as the results benefited from higher gains on property sales.
  • Ford (F) is launching a strategic review of its Jaguar brand and other struggling operations. The review, led by newly hired adviser Kenneth Leet, could lead to the sale of assets or broader alliances with other companies.
  • Freddie Mac (FRE) agreed to limit the growth of its $710 billion of mortgage holdings to no more than 2% a year, after requests from its top regulator.
  • Gannett (GCI) and Tribune (TRB) said they've increased their ownership stakes in online job-recruitment site CareerBuilder to 42.5%, while allowing McClatchy (MNI) to retain 15% of the stake it acquired when it purchased Knight Ridder (KRI) earlier this year.
  • Gap (GPS) will open its first stores in Asia outside Japan in the fourth quarter.
  • General Motor's (GM) said the $14 billion sale of its financing arm, a deal considered crucial to its turnaround efforts, could be delayed by federal banking regulators.
  • Google (GOOG) announces they have reached an agreement with XM Satellite (XMSR) to introduce and make available commercial advertising inventory on XM's non-music channels to GOOG's extensive advertising base through its dMarc media network. As part of the deal, GOOG advertisers will now have a simple, automated way to reach XMSR's mlns of subscribers nationwide and XMSR will have access to GOOG's large and small advertisers to offer relevant, targeted messages to their subscribers.
  • Guitar Center (GTRC) said its second-quarter profit rose 4% on a 13% increase in net sales. The musical instrument retailer said it earned $13.4 million, or 47 cents a share, compared with a profit of $12.9 million, or 46 cents a share, in the prior year.
  • Maverick Tube (MVK) said second-quarter net profit increased to $53.7 million, or $1.30 a share, from $38.7 million, or 89 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • The U.S. Justice Department said Mittal Steel (MT) must sell one of three North American tin mills it would acquire in its $33 billion planned takeover of Arcelor S.A. to secure regulatory approval.
  • Molina Healthcare (MOH) said it swung to a profit in the latest quarter, buoyed by increased revenue from acquisitions and lower medical costs.
  • Open Solutions (OPEN) reported second-quarter net earnings of $4.1 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with $3.84 million, or 18 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The provider of financial data processing software applications posted revenue of $107.1 million vs. $47.1 million.
  • Papa John's International (PZZA) earned $15.3 million, or 46 cents a share, in its second quarter -- up from $10.9 million, or 32 cents, in the year-ago period. Excluding a benefit from the consolidation of a cheese purchasing entity, Papa John's would have earned 34 cents a share.
  • Phelps Dodge (PD) was preparing to ratchet up its bidding war for Inco by potentially injecting over $5.96 billion into its offer.
  • Pride International (PDE) said second-quarter net income rose from the same period in the prior year, with the prior year period including executive severance charges and a loss on sale of assets worth 11 cents per share.
  • RedEnvelope (REDE) said the quarterly net loss was $900,000, or 10 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $1.75 million, or 20 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. RedEnvelope said quarterly revenue rose to $26.9 million from $25 million in the prior year.
  • Sirius (SIRI) reported a wider loss, but the satellite radio company continued to add subscribers at a rapid pace and close the gap with rival XM Satellite (XMSR).
  • Symbol Technologies (SBL) reported a fiscal second-quarter profit of $27.2 million, turning around from a year-ago loss, as the mobile-computing technology company saw increases in both its sales of its hardware products and related services.
  • Time Warner (TWX) swung to a profit and the media company said AOL will give away email accounts and software in a major strategy shift.
  • TXU charged its customers higher electricity prices in the second quarter, offsetting drops in the number of customers and the amount of electricity sold. Net income jumped 31%.
  • ValueClick (VCLK) reported second-quarter net earnings of $14.4 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with $6.8 million, or 8 cents a share, in the same period last year. The online marketing services company said quarterly revenue rose to $130 million vs. $54.6 million.
  • Verizon (VZ) said it's unlikely to take over Vodafone's stake in their wireless joint venture. Verizon reported a lower profit, but wireless sales jumped 18%.
  • Vonage (VG) said customers have refused to pay for over a million IPO shares they signed up to buy.
  • Wal-Mart's (WMT) CEO said he expects in the near future that businesses will assume more of a leadership role in solving the U.S. health-care crisis.
  • Walter Industries (WLT) reported second-quarter net earnings of $64 million, or $1.24 a share, compared with $41.5 million, or 87 cents a share, in the same period last year. The company said quarterly revenue rose 77% to $825.7 million vs. $468 million.
  • Weight Watchers (WTW) second-quarter income jumped, but the diet specialist lowered its full-year earnings forecast due to investment costs and sagging business in Europe.
  • Wynn Resorts (WYNN) posted a sharply narrower second-quarter loss on soaring revenue. Revenue came in at $273.4 million, up from $201.1 million.


Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.72%, Nikkei +0.15%, Shanghai +0.02%, Taiwan +0.47%, Jakarta +1.65% and Sensex +1.07%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +1.05%, DAX +0.98%, FTSE +0.44%, Swiss mkt -0.65%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.57 to 75.48 while gold is +1.3 to 660.1.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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