Stocks to Watch: Amazon, Cooper, Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed Martin
Stocks to watch for Friday, September 8
- Actel (ACTL) reaffirmed its third-quarter outlook. The Mountain View, Calif.-based chipmaker said it still expects third-quarter revenue to be flat, plus or minus 2%, and still expects gross margins of around 62%.
- The Department of Justice said Alltel (AT) has agreed to divest assets in rural areas of Minnesota in order to proceed with its $1.08 billion acquisition of Midwest Wireless Holdings LLC, and avoid a civil lawsuit.
- Amazon.com (AMZN) said it has launched a digital video download service offering television shows and movies from more than 30 studio and network partners. The new service, called Amazon Unbox, will allow customers to rent movies for $3.99, or buy them for $7.99 to $14.99, Amazon said.
- Aon (AOC) said that five agencies in three states have agreed to amend its settlement pact. Under the amendment, certain Aon business units are exempted from the agreement's restrictions relating to compensation, contingent commissions, and mandated disclosures, the Chicago-based insurer said.
- Ashworth (ASHW) said it swung to third-quarter net income of $681,000, or 5 cents a share. During the same period in the prior year, the net loss was $3.38 million, or 24 cents a share.
- A BP official declined to testify before a House panel about what he knew of corrosion in the company's Prudhoe Bay pipelines.
- Cell Genesys (CEGE) said it will sell 5.75 million shares of common stock in a public offering. The San Francisco-based developer of biological therapies for cancer said it expects net proceeds from the sale of around $25 million.
- Children's Place Retail Stores (PLCE) said it will delay filing its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 29 due to an ongoing review of the company's stock-option grant practices. The retailer of children's apparel said the review has found several errors in the dating of the options. The company said it expects to correct some of its financial results, but is unable to estimate the financial impact at this time.
- Cooper (COO) reported a 44% drop in fiscal third-quarter profit, hurt by restructuring, acquisition and litigation costs and other expenses. The maker of contact lenses and medical devices for women's healthcare said it made $21 million, or 45 cents a share, compared with $37.6 million, or 80 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.
- Gateway (GTW) named J. Edward Coleman as chief executive officer, replacing Rick Snyder who had been serving on an interim basis since February. Coleman comes to Gateway from Arrow Electronics Inc., a technology products and services distributor, and previously served as CEO of CompuCom Systems Inc.
- G-III Apparel Group (GIII) reported a second-quarter net loss of $1.74 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $301,000, or 3 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The New York-based company posted revenue of $69.1 million vs. $54.6 million.
- The scandal over Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) probe of leaks is casting a harsh light on outside counsel Larry Sonsini and Chairman Patricia Dunn. Sonsini assured a director this summer that the probe, including "pretexting" to obtain records, was legal. Scams seeking phone-customer data are a growing threat.
- Immucor (BLUD) said Chief Executive Edward Gallup is retiring and will be replaced by Gioacchino De Chirico effective today. De Chirico was chief executive officer from May to November 2004, but stepped down pending a board review of payments made during his tenure as president of Immucor's Italian subsidiary, the company said.
- Moody's Investors Service said it is reviewing Kimberly-Clark (KMB) long-term debt ratings for a possible downgrade. The review was prompted by the company's "weak credit metrics for its current Aa2 rating, which due to the company's financial policy and declining operating margins appear increasingly unlikely to reach the levels specified" by Moody's, the agency said in a statement.
- Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) said it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its oncology product line and associated assets to Eisai Co. and Eisai Inc. for $205 million.
- Lockheed Martin (LMT) is selling its stakes in two commercial rocket-making joint ventures to focus on more-profitable government programs.
- Lucent (LU) and Alcatel shareholders approved a merger, though holders of just 52% of Lucent stock backed the deal. CEO Russo faces challenges in bringing the trans-Atlantic telecom giants together.
- News Corp. (NWS) is paying $50,000 a month to rent an apartment for Chairman Rupert Murdoch, who earns $25.7 million a year.
- NorthWestern (NWEC) said its board has voted to terminate the company's shareholder rights plan, or poison pill.
- Outdoor apparel maker Quiksilver (ZQK) said its fiscal third-quarter profit plunged 78% on higher costs and the impact of seasonally weak results at Rossignol and Cleveland Golf. The company said it earned $5.3 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with a profit of $24.6 million, or 20 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.
- Pep Boys (PBY) said it renewed its share buyback program, which was set to expire on Sept. 30. Under the renewed program, the board approved $100 million for the repurchase of shares, the Philadelphia-based automotive aftermarket retail and service chain said.
- Smith & Wesson Holding (SWHC) reported first-quarter net earnings of $3.37 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with $2.69 million, or 7 cents a share, in the same period last year.
- St. Joe (JOE) said it plans to exit homebuilding in Florida, resulting a reduction in its workforce. In connection with the plan, St. Joe said it expects to take a charge to earnings of about $10.7 million. About $9 million of the charges will be recognized in the third quarter, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based real estate operating company said.
- A former Staples (SPLS) executive was charged with embezzling nearly $600,000 from the office products company.
- TD Ameritrade (AMTD) reported 196,000 average client trades per day in August, down 7% from July, when customers of the discount broker made 210,000 trades a day on average. The company also said it opened 30,000 accounts in August and closed 14,000, leaving 6,170,000 total accounts.
- Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.29%, Nikkei +0.42%, Sensex +0.55%, Shanghai +0.29 and Taiwan +0.12%.
- A check of the European bourses finds the CAC +0.21%, DAX +0.15%, FTSE +0.33% and Swiss Market +0.39%.
- Crude oil is trading +0.13 to 67.45 while gold is -5.10 to 619.8 for thier part stateside futes are above fair value.
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