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Stocks to Watch: Alcoa, General Motors, General Electric, Research in Motion, Sprint Nextel


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


Stocks to watch for Friday, October 5, 2007:

  • Alcoa (AA) will reportedly take $845 million in charges in the third quarter as prepares to sell its packaging and auto-related businesses.
  • Frontier Airlines Holdings' (FRNT) Frontier Air said September traffic rose 26% to 776.6 million revenue passenger miles from last year. Capacity increased 9.4%. Load factor, or the percentage of the plane filled with passengers, for the month hit 77.9%, up 10.3 percentage points from 67.6%.
  • General Electric (GE) will close seven plants and warehouses related to its incandescent lightbulb business by November 2008, causing the loss of 1,400 jobs. Over two years, GE will have eliminated 16% of its lighting work force. GE previously laid off 3,000 workers in the unit. GE's lighting business contributed about $2.5 billion in sales in 2006, or less than 2% of GE's $163 billion in revenue.
  • General Motors (GM) and the UAW are in talks to offer a buyout package to tens of thousands of employees. The plan separately considers options for offering early-retirement and buyout packages to higher-wage workers and replacing them with newer ones at lower pay levels, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • McKesson (MCK) reported it will acquire specialty pharmaceutical distributor Oncology Therapeutics Network for about $575 million. The company reaffirmed its outlook for fiscal 2008 earnings of $3.15 to $3.30 a share, excluding restructuring charges and adjustments to its securities litigation reserve. McKesson also said it has added $1 billion to its share buyback plan.
  • Research in Motion (RIMM) said its fiscal second-quarter earnings more than doubled thanks citing strong BlackBerry sales. Earnings came in at $287.7 million, or 50 cents a share, on sales of $1.37 billion. The results came in line with Wall Street's outlook. The company's forecast for the current quarter was ahead of analysts' estimates.
  • Sprint Nextel (S) is searching for a replacement for Chief Executive Gary Forsee, according to the Wall Street Journal. This follows news that investor Ralph Whitworth has lost confidence in Forsee, and is threatening a proxy fight for board seats unless the company deals with the situation "immediately."
  • Tellabs (TLAB) forecast third-quarter sales of $452 million to $460 million because of lower-than-expected revenue from wireless service providers. The company expects earnings in the range between breakeven to 1 cent a share. Pro forma earnings are expected to come in at 2 cents to 3 cents a share. Analysts currently estimate earnings of 6 cents a share on revenue of $501 million.
  • US Airways (LCC) September traffic rose 2.3% to 4.69 billion revenue passenger miles from a year earlier, while capacity fell 4.8% to 6 billion available seat miles. Load factor, or percentage of the plane filled with passengers, rose 5.4 points to 78.1%.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +3.18%, Nikkei -0.16%, Sensex -0.02% and Taiwan -0.11%. Shanghai was not open.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.13%, DAX +0.15%, FTSE +0.20%, ATX +0.76%, Swiss Mkt. -0.13% and Stockholm +0.33%.
  • Crude oil is slightly lower -0.01 to 81.43 and gold is also down -1.6 to 742.2 this morning.

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