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Stocks to Watch: Apple, Ford, Intel, Merrill


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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, September 6

  • Altera (ALTR) said it still expects third-quarter sales of $334 million to $344 million.
  • Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) are set to unveil their widely anticipated efforts to get consumers to buy or rent movies over the Internet.
  • Auto Desk (ADSK) said it doesn't expect to be able to file on time its report on its quarterly results with regulators due to a previously announced review of its practices for granting stock-options.
  • Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) said same-store sales at Bob Evans Restaurants for August fell 4.2% from the same period a year ago. Monthly average menu prices rose 3%.
  • Casey's General Stores (CASY) said first-quarter net income fell as the company faced "a challenging gasoline environment." The Iowa-based concern said quarterly net profit was $16.9 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with $20.9 million, or 41 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.
  • Catalyst Semiconductor (CATS) said it swung to a first-quarter net loss on lower gross margins and the impact of stock-option compensation expense. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said the quarterly net loss was $228,000, or a penny a share. During the same period in the prior year, the company reported net income of $495,000, or 3 cents a share.
  • Donaldson (DCI) said fourth-quarter net income rose to $36.2 million, or 43 cents a share, from $25.1 million, or 29 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Quarterly revenue was $468.2 million, compared with $422.7 million in the prior year.
  • Emulex (ELX) named James McCluney president and chief executive. McCluney had been president and chief operating officer of the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based provider of storage networking connectivity products.
  • Finisar (FNSR) reported a first-quarter net loss of $820,000, or breakeven on a per-share basis, compared with a net loss of $19.1 million, or 7 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The optical equipment company posted revenue of $106.2 million, up 30% from $81.7 million a year ago.
  • Ford (F) named senior Boeing (BA) executive Alan Mulally as its new president and CEO as the auto maker scrambles amid high gasoline prices and intense foreign competition. Bill Ford will remain chairman.
  • Forest Oil (FST) said it now expects 2006 production to average between 305 million and 320 million of cubic feet equivalent per day. Forest Oil also estimated that capital expenditures for exploration and development will be around $580 million in 2006, up $80 million from the previous forecast.
  • A proposed Genta (GNTA) drug appears to temporarily work in some leukemia patients, but that so far it hasn't been shown to increase overall survival, the FDA said.
  • Google (GOOG) plans to launch a news-search service for articles dating as far back as the 1700s.
  • Hain Celestial Group (HAIN) said it swung to profit in the fourth quarter on increased demand.
  • Hewlett- Packard (HPQ) said George Keyworth won't be nominated for re-election to its board amid allegations he was the source of press leaks. It's the latest aftershock of Carly Fiorina's firing to shake the company.
  • Hooker Furniture (HOFT) said President and Chief Operating Officer Doug Williams will retire at the end of October. Williams' responsibilities will be carried out by Chief Executive Officer Paul Toms Jr. and others on the executive management team.
  • Inco (N) and Phelps Dodge (PD) agreed to drop their planned tie-up amid shareholder opposition and rival bids for nickel producer Inco.
  • Intel (INTC) said it will slash 10,500 jobs, or about 10% of its work force, as part of its most significant restructuring since the 1980s
  • International Coal Group (ICO) named Bradley Harris as chief financial officer. Harris was most recently CFO for GMH Communities Trust (GCT).
  • Intervoice (INTV) said it now expects its second-quarter revenue to be near or slightly above the top end of the previously announced range of $44 million to $49 million.
  • Specialty chemical-maker MacDermid (MRD) said it received a proposal letter from its chairman and chief executive Daniel Leever and Court Square Capital Partners to purchase all of its outstanding common stock for $32.50 a share.
  • Merrill Lynch (MER) agreed to buy National City's First Franklin subprime-mortgage unit for $1.3 billion.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) announced pricing for its Vista operating system in line with prices for Windows XP, and said it plans to broadly distribute a test version of the new program.
  • Nuvelo (NUVO) said a study has shown its rNAPc2 recombinant protein cut the incidence and duration of ischemia without an increase in clinically significant bleeding. The Phase II trial data showed a positive response in patients with acute coronary syndromes taking the protein both in combination with heparin and without heparin.
  • PlanetOut (LGBT) said it now expects third-quarter revenue of $15 million to $16 million, down about 14% from its previous forecast. The San Francisco-based media company also lowered its outlook for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to between flat and $1 million.
  • Procter & Gamble (PG) said it has filed a lawsuit against HABA-Davion for trade dress and trademark infringement involving several of its personal care brands. Procter & Gamble said the suit involves its Secret, Old Spice Red Zone and High Endurance brands.
  • Sara Lee (SLE) said it has completed the spinoff of Hanesbrands to its shareholders. The Chicago-based company said it plans to distribute one share of Hanesbrands stock for every eight Sara Lee shares owned to shareholders of record as of Aug. 18.
  • Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (SWRG) said August comparable restaurant sales rose 7.1% to $7.8 million from $7.3 million during the same month in the prior year. Total monthly restaurant sales were $8.3 million, up 5.3% from the prior year.
  • TiVo (TIVO) said it is launching a follow-on public offering of 8.26 million primary shares.
  • UAL's (UAUA) United Airlines said preliminary traffic for August rose 1.5% to 10.6 billion from 10.4 billion revenue passenger miles during the same period in the prior year.
  • France's Geophysique is buying rival U.S. oil and gas-field surveyor Veritas (VTS) for $3.1 billion in cash and stock.
  • Viacom (VIA) Chairman Redstone ousted CEO Tom Freston, citing a sluggish stock price, and named longtime aides Philippe Dauman and Tom Dooley to run the firm
  • With growth driven by new products, Wendy's International (WEN) said preliminary same-store sales for August jumped nearly 5% to their highest rate in more than two years.
  • ZymoGenetics (ZGEN) said a Phase III trial of its recombinant human Thrombin, or rhThrombin, met its primary endpoint. The Seattle-based biotechnology company is developing rhThrombin as a standalone product for use as a topical hemostat to control surgical bleeding.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.03%, Nikkei -0.62%, Sensex +0.24%, Shanghai +0.48 and Taiwan -0.69%.
  • A check of the European bourses finds the CAC -0.47%, DAX -0.54%, FTSE -0.41% and Swiss Market -0.52%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.69 to 67.91 while gold is -3.20 to 643.7, for thier part stateside futes are mixed to fair value.
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