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Stocks To Watch: Alcan, Coca-Cola, Disney, General Electric, Jones Soda


Today's big stories and some stocks with potential to move...


Stocks to watch for Tuesday, May 29:

  • Advanced Medical Optics (EYE) the maker of ophthalmic-surgery and eye-care products, said it was voluntarily recalling its Complete MoisturePlus contact-lens solutions. The company said it took the action after it received information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying that the product poses to users a higher risk of developing acanthamoeba keratitis, a "rare but serious infection of the cornea."
  • Alcan (AL) has not ruled out the option of buying its larger rival, Alcoa, (AA) in what's known as a Pac-Man strategy after the 1980's video game. On May 7, Alcoa launched a $27 billion hostile bid for Alcan, which Alcan's board has rejected. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Alcan said that if Alcoa brought a new proposal "that made sense for our shareholders," the board would consider it "but certainly not under the currently proposed terms and price."
  • Coca-Cola (KO) The soft-drink giant agreed to acquire Energy Brands, maker of Vitaminwater, for $4.1 billion cash. And the Sunday Telegraph reported that the company is in talks to buy Highland Spring, the No. 2 U.K. bottled-water brand, in a deal that could be valued at nearly $1 billion.
  • Walt Disney (DIS) said late Friday that "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" grossed $58 million worldwide in its first two days of pre-weekend release. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, expanded into 102 international markets on Friday. Walt Disney also set June 6 as the record date for the spin-off and merger of its ABC Radio business with a subsidiary of Citadel Broadcasting (CDL)
  • eBay (EBAY) agreed with, a Thai Web portal, to form an e-commerce site in Thailand. is a subsidiary of Naspers (NPSN) the Cape Town, South Africa, media company.
  • General Electric (GE) and Vivendi SA: NBC Universal is in talks to switch programming chiefs as the network continues its efforts to improve its fourth-place ranking, The New York Times reported. The paper reported that executives informed of the talks said the company, owned 80% by GE and 20% by Vivendi, is discussing severing its ties with Kevin Reilly, its chief programmer and president of its entertainment division.
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is concerned that it might not be able to complete a study of its Avandia diabetes treatment because a number of patients have dropped out, The New York Times reported. The company had been hoping that the study would dispel concern that the drug carries a higher risk of heart attack than rival treatments, the paper reported.
  • Integrated BioPharma (INBP) late Friday cuts its fiscal 2007 revenue forecast, citing decreases in consumer-spending forecasts reported in the past two weeks by the major retailers. The chains are the company's Nutraceutical-segment customers. Integrated now expects revenue for the year ending June 30 of $64 million to $66 million, down from its previous forecast of $68 million to $70 million.
  • Jones Soda (JSDA) stock tripled from August through mid-April as investors speculated about a strong fourth quarter and a possible takeover and as short sellers covered their positions, Barron's magazine reported. But analysts have been cutting their estimates, and the stock has already lost some of its fizz, the publication reported.
  • MedImmune (MEDI) said the Food and Drug Administration completed its review of submissions related to its application to extend the age indication of the flu vaccine FluMist. The biotechnology company said the FDA also acknowledged labeling for the vaccine and post-marketing commitments made by the company. Final action has been reserved until compliance issues at the U.K. plant have been resolved, the company said. MedImmune aims to release the vaccine by the 2007-2008 flu season.
  • Nokia (NOK) launched a service Monday that provides English-language lessons to Chinese speakers via their cellphones, reflecting an effort by the cellphone maker to broaden its appeal in the fastest growing major economy, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Tribune's (TRB) plan to sell Southern Connecticut Newspapers, the Advocate and Greenwich Time to Gannett Co. fell through after an arbitrator ruled last month that Tribune couldn't sell the papers unless the buyer assumed the existing UAW contract, which Gannett refused to do. Tribune intends to solicit new offers for the newspapers.

Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.29%, Nikkei +0.48%, Sensex +0.77%, Taiwan +0.30% and Shanghai +1.47%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.09%, DAX +0.36%, FTSE +0.35%, ATX -0.11%, Swiss Mkt. +0.19% and Stockholm -0.32%.
  • Crude oil is trading to -0.97 to 64.23 while gold is +3.7 to 659.0 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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