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Stocks To Watch: Alcoa, Cheesecake Factory, Gemstar, Home Depot, Pepsi


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


Stocks to watch for Tuesday, July 10:

  • Acuity Brands (AYI) is expected to report fiscal third-quarter earnings of 88 cents a share, according to analysts polled by Thomson Financial.
  • Alcoa (AA) said earnings slipped in the second quarter, pinched by curtailment costs at two smelters and an ongoing bid for Alcan (AL) , while revenue climbed on higher aluminum prices and volumes.
  • American Equity Investment Life Holding's (AEL) second-quarter annuity sales rose 20% to $622.5 million from $517.7 million.
  • Carrier Access (CACS) expects to report a second-quarter loss of 32 cents to 36 cents a share, and said its board approved a restructuring plan to streamline its wireless and converged access businesses. Excluding stock-based compensation and other costs, the loss is expected to range from 28 cents to 31 cents. The maker of broadband communications equipment expects revenue to range from $7.5 million to $7.7 million.
  • CBOT (BOT) shareholders approved a tie-up with Chicago Merc (CME), paving the way for the creation of the largest derivatives exchange.
  • Chattem (CHTT) is seen posting a fiscal second-quarter profit of 77 cents a share.
  • Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) said preliminary second-quarter revenue rose 16%, to $373.2 million from $322.6 million in the comparable period last year. The restaurant operator said total same-restaurant sales in the quarter ended July 3 rose 1.1%.
  • Conseco (CNO) said it plans to consolidate all Chicago operations of its Bankers Life and Casualty unit, sell a Des Moines, Iowa, office building and sell one of six office buildings in Carmel, Ind. The Carmel insurance company said the steps will extend its previously announced program to consolidate operations and reduce operating expenses.
  • CV Therapeutics (CVTX) said preclinical studies showed how its drug, Ranexa, could increase insulin production, a potential boon to diabetes patients. The pharmaceutical company said the findings could explain a 0.7% reduction in glycosated hemoglobin levels observed in patients with diabetes in Ranexa's Phase III trials. Ranexa is currently used as an anti-angina medication.
  • Darden Restaurants (DRI) said June sales at Red Lobster restaurants open at least one year rose 6% to 7%, as Olive Garden's same-restaurant sales increased 3% to 4%.
  • Gemstar TV Guide International (GMST) said it is reviewing its strategic alternatives and could possibly sell itself.
  • Home Depot (HD) lowered its earnings goal for the fiscal year, citing weak conditions in the housing market and the sale of its wholesale distribution business.
  • Parker Hannifin (PH) said total June orders rose 6% from the same month a year ago.
  • Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) is expected to report a second-quarter profit of 63 cents a share.
  • ScanSource (SCSC) expects sales for the fourth quarter ended June 30 of $520 million to $528 million. The international distributor of specialty technology products posted year-ago fourth-quarter sales of $461.1 million.
  • Standard & Poor's will add Akamai Technologies (AKAM) to the S&P 500 Index Wednesday, replacing Biomet (BMET), which is being acquired by a private equity consortium. In addition, Natco Group (NTG) will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600 on a date to be announced, replacing Genesis Healthcare (GHCI) , which is being acquired by a joint venture between affiliates of Formation Capital LLC and JER Partners.
  • Theravance (THRX) said its investigational antibiotic TD-1792 was superior to the standard of care for resistant Gram-positive infections, meeting the primary endpoint in its Phase 2 study of the drug.
  • Unica (UNCA) expects to record third-quarter per-share earnings of 1 cent, or 1 cent to 2 cents after adjusting for items. The company, which projects revenue of $23 million for the quarter, said it is "disappointed" in the results. On average, analysts expect the software company to record adjusted per-share earnings of 10 cents on revenue of $27 million, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.
  • WD-40 (WDFC) reported fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $7.64 million, or 44 cents a share, up from $7.05 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The maker of industrial lubricants said revenue in the three months ended May 31 rose 6.2% to $77.6 million from $73.1 million in the comparable period last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting, on average, a per-share profit of 47 cents on revenue of $81 million. WD-40 forecast fiscal 2007 earnings of $1.70 to $1.75 a share on revenue of $307 million to $313 million. Analysts are looking for a per-share profit of $1.78 on revenue of $314 million.

Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.30%, Nikkei -0.05%, Sensex -0.24%, Taiwan +0.16% and Shanghai -0.78%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC -0.51%, DAX -0.50%, FTSE -0.37%, ATX +0.12%, Swiss Mkt. -0.17% and Stockholm -0.05%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.24 to 71.95 while gold is trading higher +0.2 to 662.7 this morning.
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