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Stocks To Watch: Allstate, eBay, JP Morgan, Netflix, Texas Instruments


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


Stocks to watch for Thursday, April 19:

  • Allstate (ALL) reported a 5% increase in first-quarter net income late Wednesday, while operating results from the auto and homeowners insurer topped analyst estimates. Net income came in at $1.49 billion, or $2.39 a share compared with $1.42 billion, or $2.19 a share, a year ago, Allstate said.
  • AMB Property's (AMB) first-quarter net income fell 7.1% to $21.7 million, or 23 cents a share, from $23.4 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier on lower gains on the disposition of operating properties. The San Francisco operator and owner of industrial real estate said funds from operations rose 17% to $56.9 million, or 57 cents a share, from $48.7 million, or 52 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue fell 4.8% to $168 million from $176.4 million a year earlier, the company said.
  • AptarGroup (ATR) reported first-quarter net earnings of $29.6 million, or 82 cents a share, up 49% from $19.8 million, or 55 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The supplier of dispensing systems said revenue in the three months ended March 31 rose 20% to $449.8 million from $375.5 million a year ago. Aptar also said President and Chief Executive Carl Siebel plans to retire effective Dec. 31, and declared a 2-for-1 stock split to shareholders of record as of May 2.
  • Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) first-quarter loss widened, due in part to costs related to the Phase III lorcaserin Bloom trial. The first quarter of 2006 also included a $5 million milestone payment under its collaboration with Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc. The San Diego biotechnology company had a first-quarter loss of $31.4 million, or 53 cents a share, compared with a loss of $12.7 million, or 30 cents a share, a year earlier. Arena said revenue for the quarter fell 60% to $4.91 million from $12.1 million a year earlier.
  • City National (CYN) reported first-quarter net earnings of $56.5 million, or $1.15 a share, down 1.2% from $57.2 million, or $1.12 a share, in the year-ago period. The bank holding company said net interest income in the three months ended March 31 fell to $147.3 million from $152.4 million.
  • Compuware (CPWR) puts its fiscal fourth-quarter net income at 17 cents a share, up from 15 cents a share a year earlier. The Detroit-based provider of software and services expects revenue for the quarter ended March 31 to increase slightly to $313 million from $309.5 million a year ago.
  • eBay's (EBAY) net surged 52% and sales jumped 27%, helped by its PayPal unit. Shares rose after hours.
  • First Horizon National (FHN) reported first-quarter net earnings of $70.5 million, or 55 cents a share, down 67% from $215 million, or $1.67 a share, in the year-ago period. The bank holding company said net interest income in the three months ended March 21 fell 3.4% to $237.4 million from $245.7 million in the comparable period last year.
  • Freddie Mac (FRE) will purchase $20 billion in subprime home mortgage products aimed at providing lenders with more options to offer subprime borrowers. The mortgage finance giant said the products are currently under development and slated for launch by mid-summer.
  • J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) said it has agreed to acquire Xign Corp., a provider of business-to-business on-demand financial settlement solutions. Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.
  • Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) declared late Wednesday a first-quarter cash dividend of 83 cents a share, payable May 15 to shareholders of record on May 30. The payout is up 2.5% from 81 cents a year ago. Net income for the quarter fell to $214.9 million from $246.7 million in the first three months of 2006, hurt by one-time items that included refinancing and insurance losses.
  • Motorola (MOT) swung to a first-quarter loss as results were hurt by continued weakness in its once strong cellphone business. Handset shipments dropped 31%.
  • Netflix's (NFLX) profit more than doubled as revenue jumped 36%, but the online movie-rental service lowered its full-year revenue outlook amid stronger competition. NFLX shares plunged.
  • Northwest Airlines (NWACQ) said it has reached agreement with a committee of retirees to continue retiree healthcare benefits. Under the terms of an agreement that was filed with a bankruptcy court, retirees under the age of 65, who retired prior to Aug. 1, 2006, will be offered medical, prescription drug and dental coverage as part of the healthcare plan offered to Northwest's active employees. The retirees will be required to contribute 50% of the cost of their medical coverage and 100% of the premiums for dental coverage.
  • Novellus Systems (NVLS) reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $53.8 million, or 42 cents a share on revenue of $396.9 million. During the same period a year ago, the chip-equipment maker earned $24.7 million, or 19 cents a share on $366 million in revenue.
  • School Specialty (SCHS) announced a restructuring plan and cut its 2007 outlook. The restructuring includes plans to sell its video production company, School Specialty Media, and designate it a discontinued segment. As a result, the company said it will record a pretax asset impairment charge of $22 million to $27 million, or 60 cents to 75 cents a share, during the fourth quarter. School Specialty cut its fiscal 2007 earnings outlook to a range of 80 cents to $1 a share from its previous range of $1.85 to $1.90 a share.
  • Sovereign Bancorp's (SOV) first-quarter net income fell to $48.1 million, or 9 cents a share, from $141 million, or 36 cents a share, a year earlier. Results from the most recent quarter include charges of $52.3 million, or 11 cents a share, for expense reduction and balance sheet restructuring, as well as $76.4 million, or 15 cents a share, related to the correspondent home-equity held-for-sale portfolio.
  • Stryker (SYK) said that first-quarter net income rose to $243.5 million, or 59 cents a share, up 65% from the $147.5 million, or 36 cents a share reported a year ago. Sales for the medical products maker were $1.49 billion compared with last year's $1.32 billion. The company said it expects earnings of $2.42 a share for all of fiscal 2007, in line with Thomson estimates.
  • Texas Instruments (TXN) said it's doubling its quarterly dividend, taking it to 8 cents a share from 4 cents a share.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -2.30%, Nikkei -1.67%, Sensex -0.99%, Taiwan -1.43% and Shanghai -4.52%.
  • A quick look towards Europe shows the CAC -0.83%, DAX -1.12%, FTSE -0.56%, ATX -0.26%, Swiss Mkt. -0.67% and Stockholm -1.02%.
  • Gold is trading -3.4 to 689.9 while crude oil is down -0.08 to 63.05 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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