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Stocks to Watch: Alcoa, Chevron, Costco, Oracle, SLM Corp


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


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, October 10, 2007:

  • Alcoa (AA) said third-quarter net income rose 3% to $555 million, or 63 cents a share, on lower sales of $7.6 billion. Earnings excluding discontinued operations rose to 64 cents, missing Street expectations by $0.01. In its report it said it has increased its share buyback plan to up to 25% of its outstanding shares.
  • Cadbury Schweppes (CSG) said it will spin off - instead of selling - its beverage business which includes brands such as Dr Pepper and 7Up. The process won't be completed before the second quarter of 2008, the company said.
  • Chevron (CVX) warned that third-quarter earnings will come in significantly below its record of $5.4 billion in the second quarter because of weaker margins for refined products.
  • ConAgra Foods(CAG), after several reported cases of salmonella, advised consumers not to eat certain products. The warning includes Banquet brand turkey and chicken pot pies. The company said it's looking into the concerns with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Costco (COST) said fiscal 4Q net income rose 4.7% as the company reduced income taxes payable by about $20 million. The company reported net income for the quarter ended Sept. 2 of $372.4 million, or 83 cents a share, compared with $355.6 million, or 75 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company's earnings grew 21% to 91 cents a share. Revenue climbed 3% to $20.5 billion from $19.88 billion.
  • Oracle (ORCL) has agreed to acquire LogicalApps, a provider of automated governance, risk and compliance controls management software, expected to be completed in November. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
  • SLM Corp.'s (SLM) takeout offer by a group led by J.C. Flowers expired without further discussion. The group has noted that SLM's lawsuit seeking a $900 mln breakup fee is 'meritless'.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.21%, Nikkei +0.10%, Sensex +2.07% and Shanghai +0.97%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC -0.25%, DAX +0.18%, FSTE -0.06%, ATX +0.40%, Swiss Mkt. +0.33% and Stockholm +0.37%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher +0.25 to 80.51 and gold is also up +6.2 to 749.3 this morning.
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