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Stocks to Watch: Bausch & Lomb, Microsoft, National Semiconductor, Sun, Toll Brothers


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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, August 23

  • Applebee's International (APPB) said August domestic comparable sales fell 2.7%. Monthly comparable sales for domestic franchise restaurants decreased 3.1%, while comparable sales for company restaurants fell 1.6%.
  • Applied Signal Technology (APSG) said third-quarter net income dropped as the company recorded a higher reserve for certain indirect costs. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of digital signal processing products said quarterly net profit was $924,000, or 8 cents a share, compared with $1.78 million, or 15 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Bausch & Lomb (BOL) said a research report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that the company took the right action in the interests of consumer health and safety by recalling its ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens solution. The research concluded that a recent outbreak of a potentially blinding fungal infection known as Fusarium keratitis was associated with use of the product, according to an abstract posted on the Journal of the American Medical Association's Web site.
  • Boeing (BA) has run into delays and cost overruns on its contract to build the military's latest navigation satellites, the Air Force said.
  • Capital One Financial (COF) and North Fork Bancorp (NFB) said shareholders of both companies have approved Capital One's acquisition of North Fork. The transaction is still expected to close in the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approvals. In March, Capital One unveiled an agreement to buy North Fork for $14.6 billion in cash and stock, which would create one of the 10 largest banks in the United States, based on deposits and managed loans.
  • Compuware (CPWR) said it has authorized the buyback of an additional $300 million of its common shares.
  • Gen-Probe (GPRO) said the Food and Drug Administration has granted marketing clearance to use the Aptima Combo 2 assay to test two additional kinds of patient samples for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae on the Tigris system.
  • Jack Henry & Associates (JKHY) said fourth-quarter net income reached $25.4 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with $21.7 million, or 23 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Quarterly revenue was $162.3 million, compared with $141.4 million in the prior year.
  • Key Tronic (KTCC) said fourth-quarter net income rose as the company recorded a 50-cent-per-share income tax benefit. The Spokane, Wash.-based provider of electronic manufacturing services said quarterly net profit rose to $7.12 million, or 71 cents a share, from $2.77 million, or 28 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) will be the exclusive provider of advertising for Facebook under an agreement with the social-networking Web site. MSFT may offer discounts for upgrades to its Windows Vista operating system after delaying its release until next year.
  • National Semiconductor (NSM) lowered its quarterly sales target due to lower shipments, particularly those for chips used in mobile phones. National Semi said its fiscal first-quarter sales would be $538.2 million, down 6% from the prior three-month period.
  • Navistar International's (NAV) International Truck and Engine unit said it will supply Ford Motor (F) with a new 6.4-liter diesel engine for the 2008 Ford F-Series trucks.
  • Plx Technology (PLXT) said Stephen Loh has been appointed interim chief financial officer. Loh has served as Plx's director of finance and corporate controller since September 2002.
  • Sony Pictures (SNE) paid about $65 million to acquire closely held Grouper Networks, in an effort to harness Internet audiences.
  • Sprint (S) said Chief Operating Officer Len Lauer will leave the cellphone carrier, which is grappling with lower subscriber growth than rivals and a slumping stock.
  • Sun Microsystems (SUNW) took back a sizable chunk of the market for server computer systems last quarter, market researcher IDC said.
  • Synergx Systems (SYNX) said it has secured an order for $2.5 million to provide various systems to the New York City Transit Authority in lower Manhattan.
  • Syntax-Brillian (BRLC) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $5.5 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $382,000, or a penny a share, during the year-ago period. The Tempe, Ariz.-based company posted revenue of $59.8 million vs. $22.9 million.
  • Toll Brothers (TOL) reported a 19% profit decline and cut its forecast, indications that the housing-market downturn will likely continue.
  • Viacom (VIA) said Paramount plans to end its relationship with Tom Cruise, citing the actor's promotion of Scientology and other behavior.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.36%, Nikkei -0.11%, Sensex -0.83%, Taiwan -0.51% and Shanghai -0.06%.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC -0.17%, DAX -0.15%, FTSE -0.26%, ATX +0.17% and Stockholm -0.63%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.60 to 72.50 while gold is +0.4 to 634.4 this morning. For their part, stateside futes are below fair value.
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