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Stocks to Watch: Alcatel-Lucent, Countrywide, KKR, McDonald's, Verizon

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Friday's top stories and stocks with potential to move...

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Stocks to watch for Friday, September 14, 2007:

  • Alcatel-Lucent's (ALU) shares slid nearly 9% after the company warned it would miss this year's revenue target, citing weak sales to North American wireless customers.
  • Cephalon (CEPH) warned doctors of several deaths linked to the use of its narcotic cancer pain treatment Fentora. The drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration only for use in cancer patients, but is often prescribed by physicians "off-label" for such ailments as headaches and back pain.
  • Countrywide Financial (CFC) said it obtained an additional $12 billion in secured financing. Shares of CFC jumped 14% on the news.
  • Fairchild (FA) reported preliminary third-quarter revenue of $118.1 million, up 11.7% from last year. The company's preliminary estimated operating income was roughly $3.1 million for the quarter ended June 30, as compared to $2.4 million a year ago.
  • KKR Financial Holdings (KFN) said it has agreed to sell seven of its private equity investments to two institutional investors for $191 million in cash. KKR said it will record a net gain on the sales of roughly $51 million. The company, an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., estimates that it will earn a net internal rate of return of roughly 19.3% on the sales.
  • Lattice Semiconductor (LSCC) said it expects third-quarter revenue to be flat to down 2% sequentially. The company also said it will record a one-time restructuring charge in the third quarter of $1.4 million to $1.7 million related to the headcount reduction it announced on Sept. 4.
  • Liz Claiborne (LIZ) confirmed plans to sell assets of four of its apparel brands to Li & Fung USA. Financial terms of the deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter, were not disclosed.
  • McDonald's (MCD) stock rose to an all-time high yesterday after the fast-food chain announced the largest dividend increase in its history and pledged to return more money to shareholders than Wall Street expected. MCD said it expects to return between $15 billion and $17 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks between 2007 and 2009.
  • Verizon Wireless (VZ) appealed the Federal Communications Commission's rules for a coming radio spectrum auction, sating the FCC was exceeding its authority in requiring carriers to open their networks to any devices and cellphone applications.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed skewed to the upside with the Hang Seng +1.47%, Nikkei +1.94%, Sensex -0.07%, Taiwan +1.17% and Shanghai +0.73%.
  • A quick check finds European markets covered in red with the CAC -1.24%, DAX -1.10%, FTSE -2.06%, ATX -0.80%, Swiss Mkt. -1.40% and Stockholm -1.35%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher +0.52 to 79.57 while gold is lower -4.3 to 713.6 this morning.

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