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Stocks to Watch: Apple, Boeing, GE, Intel, New York Times, Viacom

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Stocks to watch for Tuesday, August 29

  • Albemarle (ALB) said it will increase the prices of its flame retardants Martinal aluminum hydroxide and Magnifin magnesium hydroxide by up to 15%, effective Oct. 1, or as contracts allow.
  • Apple (AAPL) and Sony (SNE) are expected to launch products using NAND flash-memory chips this year that may absorb excess supply.
  • Atmel (ATML) said it has been notified by Nasdaq that the company has regained compliance with a rule that requires the majority of Atmel's directors to be independent. The integrated circuits maker had violated the rule by appointing a director as president and chief executive, but regained compliance when George Perlegos resigned from the board.
  • Boeing (BA) said it has approved a new share repurchase plan of up to $3 billion. The aerospace giant said the repurchases will be used for general corporate purposes, including the company's share-based plans.
  • Bradley Pharmaceuticals (BDY) said it plans to "enhance long-term shareholder value" with moves such as implementing a cost reduction program, expanding partnerships and joint venture relationships with biotechnology companies, and developing products organically with longer lifecycles.
  • Coachmen Industries (COA) said Claire Skinner, chief executive and chairwoman, has decided to take early retirement and resign from the board. The company also said it is cutting its quarterly dividend in half to 3 cents a share, and that it has approved a buyback program of up to 1 million shares.
  • Culp (CFI) said it swung to a first-quarter gain as restructuring and related charges fell. The mattress fabrics marketer said quarterly net profit reached $132,000, or a penny a share.
  • Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings (ENDP) said it has reached an agreement with Purdue Frederick Co., P.F. Laboratories Inc. and Euro-Celtique S.A. to settle litigation claiming that Endo's oxycodone extended-release tablets infringe on Purdue's patents. Endo, which will continue selling its oxycodone extended-release products until Dec. 31., will be released from all liability for infringement of Purdue's patents in connection with prior and future sales of the products.
  • General Electric's (GE) consumer-finance unit agreed to buy a 25.4% stake in Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya for $600 million.
  • Intel (INTC) is introducing a high-end chip that targets an area that has been a stronghold of rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
  • Kinder Morgan (KMI) agreed to a management-led buyout, under which the pipeline company's debt load would double to $14 billion.
  • Kinetic Concepts (KCI) said its board has authorized buying back up to $200 million of the company's shares. The medical technology company added that it plans to purchase stock through the third quarter of 2007.
  • New York Times (NYT) said it bought Baseline Studio Systems, a database and research service for the film and television industries, for $35 million in cash, in a move to diversify its online revenue.
  • Nordson (NDSN) said Peter Hellman, president and chief financial and administrative officer, plans to retire from the company and its board in February.
  • Odyssey Re Holdings (ORH) said the total cumulative impact from restating results for 2001 through 2005, as well as the first three months of 2006, increases shareholders' equity by $16.7 million. The underwriter also said its revised second-quarter net income was $207.6 million, or $2.87 a share, compared with its prior report of $202.4 million, or $2.80 a share.
  • Prudential's (PRU) securities unit agreed to pay $600 million in penalties to settle allegations that former brokers helped clients make improper "market timing" mutual-fund trades.
  • Safeco (SAFC) said it has agreed to sell its headquarters complex in Seattle to the University of Washington for $130 million. Safeco expects to recognize a pre-tax gain on the sale of around $107 million.
  • SGX Pharmaceuticals (SGXP) said it has discontinued the Phase II/III clinical trial of Troxatyl as a third-line treatment for patients suffering from acute myelogenous leukemia. The company discontinued the trial based upon the recommendation of the study's independent data and safety monitoring board that found that the study response rates were unlikely to provide evidence of a treatment benefit.
  • SRA International (SRX) said Chief Operating Officer David Kriegman is retiring, effective Sept. 15. Renato DiPentima, SRA's president and chief executive, will assume COO duties until a successor is named.
  • ValueVision Media (VVTV) has approved a $10 million stock buyback program over the next year.
  • Viacom (VIA) plans to buy out its majority partner in the MTV Japan channel, in a move that will allow the company to offer a broader bundle of youth-oriented outlets to advertisers.
  • ViroPharma (VPHM) reported positive preliminary data from its Phase 1b study of HCV-796, a hepatitis C virus polymerase inhibitor being co-developed with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (WYE).


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.95%, Nikkei +0.81%, Sensex +0.75%, Shanghai +0.04 and Taiwan +0.55%.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC +0.52%, DAX +0.22%, FTSE +0.55% and ATX +0.55%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.02 to 70.59 while gold is 1.30 to 625.2 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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