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Stocks to Watch: Allegheny Technologies, Beazer Homes, Centex, General Electric, Oracle

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

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Stocks to watch for Friday, October 12, 2007:

  • Allegheny Technologies (ATI) expects third-quarter per-share earnings of $1.85 to $1.88 and sees the fourth quarter impacted in part by low operating volumes in its Flat-Rolled Products segment. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expect third-quarter per-share earnings of $1.96 and full-year per-share earnings of $7.95.
  • Beazer Homes (BZH) reported that 68% of its prospective home buyers canceled their orders in the company's fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, almost double the 36% of the previous quarter.
  • Centex (CTX) plas to take almost $1 bln in charges when reporting preliminary fiscal second quarter results amid the dismal housing market. CTX said orders for the quarter were down 13% to 5,953 units while sales were off 14% at 7,350 units.
  • Citigroup (C) is unveiling a new corporate structure which will merge its investment-banking operations and its alternative-investments businesses. The combined unit will be run by Vikram Pandit, a former Morgan Stanley executive who joined Citigroup earlier this year. Former co-head of Citi's investment banking with responsibility for capital markets and trading, Thomas Maheras, will be leaving the company.
  • Coldwater Creek (CWTR) lowered forecasts for the second half of the year, based on operating results to date in the third quarter. The retailer now sees a third-quarter loss of 11 cents to 13 cents a share on sales of $260 million. Fourth-quarter, per-share earnings are expected to break even, on sales of $360 million to $365 million.
  • Countrywide (CFC) said total mortgage loans it made or acquired from other lenders in September fell 44% from a year earlier to $21 billion.
  • Electronic Arts (ERTS: News, Quote) said it agreed to acquire VG Holding Corp., the owner of video game companies BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios., for $620 million in cash.
  • General Electric (GE) reported a 14% rise in 3Q net income. In 3Q, the company sold its plastics business and also cut $262 mln from previously reported net income from 2003 to 2006. GE reported net income of $5.54 billion, or 54 cents a share, compared with $4.87 billion, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier.
  • KB Home (KBH) said Domenico Cecere, current chief financial officer, will retire from the company in May 2008 and said it is searching for a replacement.
  • Oracle (ORCL) has offered to buy BEA Systems (BEAS) for $6.66 bln under pressure from BEAS investor Carl Icahn. The initial offer is for $17 a share, a 25% premium on Thursday's closing price of $13.62.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.01%, Nikkei -0.73%, Sensex -2.10%, Taiwan -2.07% and Shanghai -0.17%.
  • A glance towards Europe finds the CAC -1.19%, DAX -0.56%, FTSE -0.71%, ATX -0.70%, Swiss Mkt. -0.94% and Stockholm -1.18%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher +0.18 to 83.26 and gold is lower -4.0 to 752.7 this morning.

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