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Stocks to Watch: Agilent, Bed Bath & Beyond, Cintas, J.P. Morgan, Yahoo!


Get your gameface on...


Stocks to watch for Thursday, September 21

  • Agilent Technologies (A) said it has approved the buyback of $2 billion of its common shares over the next two years.
  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) said it has submitted a biologics license application, and requested Priority Review designation, with the Food and Drug Administration for its lead product candidate Soliris. Soliris is a candidate treatment for a rare genetic blood disorder.
  • AMR (AMR) American Airlines said it signed a 5-year service agreement with the U.S. Postal Service potentially worth $500 million in revenue to American.
  • Axcan Pharma (AXCA) said it will no longer pursue the clinical development of Itopride for the treatment of Functional Dyspepsia after the product didn't meet its co-primary endpoints in a North American Phase III clinical study.
  • Housewares retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY) reported its second-quarter earnings rose on slightly higher revenue, and added it was conducting a review of its stock-option grants and procedures.
  • BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX) said Charles Bugg, chairman, chief executive and co-founder, told the board that he intends to retire in 2007. Bugg will retain his duties as CEO until a replacement has taken office, when he will become non-executive chairman.
  • Biogen Idec (BIIB) and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY) plan to collaborate to develop RNAi therapeutics for the potential treatment of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML.CCF Holding (CCFH) said its board declared a 6.5 cent dividend for the current quarter, up 8.3% from the previous quarter.
  • Cintas (CTAS) earned $85 million, or 53 cents a share in its fiscal first quarter, an 8% gain over the $78.4 million, or 46 cents, it earned in the year-ago period. Revenue stood at $914.2 million, up 11%.
  • Comtech Telecommunications (CMTL) said fourth-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $11.8 million, or 45 cents a share, from $11 million, or 42 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Diamond Foods (DMND) reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $3.36 million compared with net deficiency of $3.01 million a year ago when the company was a cooperative association and hadn't yet had its initial public offering.
  • Dynamex (DDMX) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $3.31 million, or 31 cents a share, compared to $2.72 million, or 23 cents a share, in the same period last year on the back of stronger sales.
  • Electronic Arts (ERTS) said it has received an informal inquiry from the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting documents and information relating to its stock-option grant practices since Jan. 1, 1997.
  • Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) plans to build a natural-gas processing facility in Johnson County, Texas, and a 36-inch-diameter pipeline expansion, also in Texas. The expansion project is expected to cost about $300 million.
  • Herman Miller (MLHR) said fiscal first-quarter profit jumped 20.3% as increased orders helped drive a 4% sales jump.
  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)Chief Mark Hurd was more closely involved in some aspects of the board-leak probe than has been reported, emails suggest.
  • Hilton Hotels (HLT) said it has sold five hotel properties in Canada for C$243 million ($215.4 million) to Westmont Hospitality Group.
  • InfoSpace (INSP) said one of its carrier partners plans to develop direct licensing relationships with the major record labels starting early next year, a move that the company said will negatively impact its revenues and operating results.
  • Intervoice (INTV) said second-quarter net income fell, as cost of goods sold rose, to $2.02 million, or 5 cents a share, from $4.6 million, or 12 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • J.P. Morgan (JPM) and Citadel agreed to buy the energy portfolio of Amaranth, the hedge fund that lost billions of dollars on natural-gas bets.
  • Newpark Resources (NR) said it named James Braun chief financial officer, effective Oct. 11. Braun joins Newpark from Baker Hughes (BHI), where he was most recently vice president, finance, of the company's Baker Oil Tools unit.
  • Novell (NOVL) received a potential delisting notice from Nasdaq because the company delayed filing its quarterly report for the period ended July 31.
  • Nucryst Pharmaceuticals (NCST) said results from the Phase II study of its drug candidate NPI 32101 in a topical cream formulation did not meet the primary efficacy endpoint.
  • Silicon Laboratories (SLAB) cut its quarterly financial targets, adding to the list of chip merchants lowering their expectations.
  • Spectrum Control (SPEC) said third-quarter earnings rose to $1.85 million, or 14 cents a share, from $1.56 million, or 12 cents a share, a year ago, on higher sales of the company's microwave products.
  • Tribune's (TRB) board is expected to consider strategic options, including taking the company private or spinning off its TV stations.
  • West Pharmaceutical Services (WST) said it has increased its fourth-quarter cash dividend 8.3% to 13 cents a share. The dividend is payable Nov. 1 to shareholders as of Oct. 18.
  • Xyratex (XRTX) reported third-quarter net earnings of $17.8 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with $7.86 million, or 27 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The maker of data storage equipment posted revenue of $263.1 million vs. $163.9 million.
  • Social-networking site Facebook is in serious talks to sell itself to Yahoo (YHOO) for an amount that could approach $1 billion after having held separate discussions with Microsoft (MSFT) and Viacom (VIA).
  • Zebra Technologies (ZBRA) said Edward Kaplan, its co-founder, plans to retire as chairman and chief executive once his successor is chosen.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.61%, Sensex +1.36%, Nikkei +0.74%, Shanghai +0.49% and Taiwan +0.18%.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC +0.33%, DAX +0.29%, FTSE +0.39% and Swiss Market +0.23%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.44 to 61.18 while gold is +0.3 to 586.5. For their part, stateside futes are above fair value.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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