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Stocks to Watch: Ford, GE, GM, Microsoft, US Bancorp


Put it all together


Stocks to watch for Friday, September 15

  • Adobe (ADBE) said it expects its upcoming fiscal first quarter will represent the low point of its quarterly revenue for the year.
  • Altera (ALTR) said Nasdaq has granted it an additional extension until Oct. 26 to complete and file its required periodic reports.
  • Applied Micro Circuits (AMCC) bell said it has substantially completed the internal review of its stock option grant practices and has concluded it must restate its results to recognize up to $200 million in non-cash stock-based compensation expense beginning in fiscal 1998.
  • Bear Stearns (BSC) said fiscal-third-quarter profit rose 16% from last year, topping expectations, but fell 19% from the second quarter.
  • NASA's Kennedy Space Center said it has extended its checkout, assembly, and payload processing services contract for three years with Boeing Space Operations Co., a unit of Boeing (BA).
  • CA (CA) said the term of the oversight by an independent examiner, part of a deferred-prosecution agreement, has been extended. The agreement was reached in September 2004 in connection with a multibillion accounting scandal that cost senior executives their jobs.
  • California Micro Devices (CAMD) said it now sees second-quarter per-share results of breakeven to a net loss of a penny. Previously, the company had expected a per-share net loss of a penny to 3 cents. Excluding items such as technology-acquisition costs, the company now sees quarterly per-share income of 4 cents to 5 cents, compared with its prior view of 2 cents to 4 cents.
  • Caterpillar (CAT) signed a pact with China to help develop a remanufacturing industry focused on used parts and machines.
  • Diedrich Coffee (DDRX) said it plans to close its Diedrich Coffee and Coffee People company-owned locations as part of a plan to narrow the focus of the retail side of the franchise operations business. Diedrich has agreed to sell most of its company-owned locations to Starbucks (SBUX) for $13.5 million, and sees the sale closing within the next few months.
  • Energy Partners (EPL) said its board has rejected as inadequate an unsolicited acquisition offer for $23 per share in cash from Woodside Petroleum's (WOPEY) ATS Inc. unit.
  • Ford Motor (F) is offering cash packages to all of its union workers to coax them into early retirement, offering buyouts to all 75,000 of its North American factory workers as it seeks to slash payroll costs. Workers can get up to $140,000 if they quit and leave their retiree health-care benefits behind. a move aimed at slashing costs as the troubled automaker grapples with losses this year that could top $9 billion.
  • General Electric (GE) agreed to sell its silicone and quartz business for $3.4 billion to Apollo and is weighing the future of its plastics division.
  • General Motor's (GM) deep structural cost cuts should enable the auto maker to finally make money on small cars, the company's vice chairman said.
  • KLA-Tencor (KLAC) said an internal investigation of the company's stock options is ongoing, and the company will not file its annual report until the investigation is complete.
  • Private-equity firm KSL is in talks to buy golf-club owner ClubCorp, in a deal that could be valued at $1 billion or more.
  • Landauer (LDR) named Jonathon Singer chief financial officer, effective Oct. 16. Singer was most recently CFO for Teleflex Medical, a unit of Teleflex (TFX).
  • Liberty Global (LBTYA) said its modified Dutch auction self-tender offers to purchase up to 20 million shares of its Series A stock, and up to 20.5 million shares of its Series C stock have expired.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) unveiled its Zune digital media player, which it hopes to have in stores this holiday season to challenge Apple's iPod. But the company was mum on an important detail: the price.
  • NASA said it has awarded a potential five-year, $448.86 million contract extension to Lockheed Martin Corp. Space Operations Co., a unit of Lockheed Martin (LMT), for space shuttle and International Space Station mission operations support work.
  • MasterCard (MA) named Richard Haythornthwaite as non-executive chairman. Haythornthwaite is a managing director of U.K.-based Star Capital Partners.
  • MicroStrategy (MSTR) said it has won an appellate court decision affirming the dismissal of the sole remaining claim in a lawsuit brought by Business Objects (BOBJ) in October 2001. MicroStrategy, a supplier of business software, said the claim alleged that the company infringed a patent owned by Business Objects.
  • Navarre (NAVR) said Cary Deacon, currently president and chief operating officer, will succeed Eric Paulson as chief executive, effective Jan. 1. Paulson, Navarre's founder, will continue as executive chairman.
  • Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG) and Exelon (EXC) said Exelon has given PSEG formal notice of the termination of their merger agreement reached on Dec. 20, 2004 that was valued at $16 billion. PSEG also backed its prior per-share income view for 2006 of $3.45 to $3.75, and sees double-digit growth in the next several years.
  • Radware (RDWR) named Christopher McCleary as non-executive chairman. McCleary is currently a general partner at Blue Chip Venture Co. Israel-based Radware makes telecommunications switching equipment.
  • Sonic (SONC) said it has signed a $775 million credit agreement in connection with its previously announced modified Dutch auction tender offer. The credit agreement provides for a new senior secured credit facility, consisting of a $100 million, 5-year revolving credit facility and a $675 million, 7-year term loan facility.
  • TD Bank Financial Group (TD) said it has entered into an arrangement that could provide the company with a financial hedge for potential future purchases of TD Ameritrade Holding (AMTD) shares.
  • Tektronix (TEK) said first-quarter net income rose to $20.1 million, or 24 cents a share, from $14.1 million, or 17 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Tektronix said quarterly revenue rose to $268.1 million from $235.1 million in the prior year.
  • U.S. Bancorp (USB) said it has priced a private placement of $2.5 billion aggregate principal amount of its floating rate convertible senior debentures due 2036. The company said it will use a portion of the net proceeds fund repurchases of up to 10.2 million of its shares.
  • After Thursday's closing bell, Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) said that it has agreed to buy up to 44 previously closed Toys "R" Us stores for as much as $190 million.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) plans to phase out its layaway program, a move that might sting its core, low-income clientele.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.32%, Nikkei -0.47%, Sensex +0.31%, Shanghai +1.86% and Taiwan +1.25%.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC -0.06%, DAX +0.24%, FTSE -0.04% and Swiss Market +0.23%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.03 to 63.25 while gold is -3.0 to 583.0. For their part, stateside futes are mixed to fair value.
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