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Stocks To Watch: Altera, Amazon, Crocs, eBay, Guess

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

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, June 6:

  • ABM Industries (ABM) reported second-quarter net earnings of $16.7 million, or 33 cents a share, up from $10.4 million, or 21 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The facility services contractor said revenue for the three months ended April 30 rose to $697.9 million from $660.1 million. Additionally, ABM said it expects third-quarter earnings of 25 cents to 29 cents a share. The company also raised its fiscal 2007 outlook, saying it now sees per-share earnings of $1.05 to $1.10.
  • Altera (ALTR), in its midquarter update, reiterated its second-quarter sales target, calling for revenue to grow 1% to 4% from the three months ended March 30. This forecast puts Altera's sales in the range of $308 million to $317 million. Altera designs chips used in a wide range of products such as Internet routers, mobile-phone base stations, flat-panel televisions and DVD players. Altera shares closed at $23.17, a gain of almost 2%. The stock is up more than 16% so far this year.
  • Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos said the online retailer will increase its investment in China, where it has lagged behind a local rival.
  • Basic Energy Services (BAS) said it has acquired Wildhorse Services Inc., a provider of rental and fishing tool services. Basic Energy, a provider of well site services, also said it has purchased substantially all of the operating assets of Eagle Frac Tank Rentals LP, including 103 frac tanks located in the Permian Basin market of west Texas. The value of the two separate transactions totaled $19 million in cash, excluding working capital acquired, the company said.
  • BCE (BCE) said another group is entering into discussions to explore the possibility of taking the company private. BCE, which owns Bell Canada, said the consortium includes Teachers' Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Providence Equity Partners Inc. BCE said in April it was holding talks with a group of large Canadian pension funds and the private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts about a potential buyout.
  • Boeing (BA) said Philippine Airlines agreed to buy two more Boeing 777-300ER twinjets, bringing its total order to six. The aerospace giant said the two airplanes have a list price of about $500 million. Boeing had 2006 revenue of $61.53 billion.
  • Bois d'Arc Energy (BDE) retained its financial advisers to help the company explore strategic options, including a possible sale of the company. Separately, the exploration company expects its second-quarter results to include an $18 million expense related to three unsuccessful exploratory wells.
  • Bon-Ton Stores (BONT) total sales for the four weeks ended Saturday increased 1% to $234.7 million from $232.3 million. The retailer said Bon-Ton and Carson's combined same-store sales for period increased 1.2%. Carson's same-store store sales grew 4.9% and Bon-Ton same-store sales fell 5.3% from the year-earlier period. Year-to-date total sales increased 22.4% to $972.3 million, from $794.1 million. Year-to-date Bon-Ton same-store sales decreased 3.7% and year-to-date Carson's comparable store sales grew 0.5%.
  • Crocs (CROX) unveiled a new line of women's fashion footwear, a departure for the company known for its brightly hued plastic clogs.
  • eBay (EBAY) plans to broker the sale of radio advertisements through an online auction site, according to a report Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal. eBay , in partnership with closely-held Bid4Spots Inc., will let more than 2,300 radio stations auction their airtime to advertisers via its Media Marketplace Web site, the report said. eBay plans to receive a portion of fees paid by advertisers, the report said.
  • Google (GOOG) said it has purchased closely held PeakStream, a start-up that sells tools for programming chips with multiple processing units.
  • Guess (GES) reported first-quarter net earnings of $35.5 million, or 38 cents a share, up 72% from $20.7 million, or 23 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The apparel company said revenue for the three months ended May 5 rose 42% to $377.9 million from $265.7 million in the comparable period last year. . Analysts are looking for a per-share profit of 27 cents on revenue of $306 million. The company also raised its fiscal 2008 earnings outlook to a range of $1.75 to $1.80 a share, and forecast revenue of $1.51 billion to $1.56 billion. Analysts currently expect per-share earnings of $1.71 on revenue of $1.48 billion.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) has acquired closely held business software maker Engyro Corp. Financial terms were not disclosed. Engyro has previously partnered with Microsoft , and makes products used to connect Microsoft's management software with other applications for event sharing and other tasks. "This alliance will further Microsoft's commitment to its customers' longer term need for interoperable enterprise solutions," Microsoft said in a statement posted online.
  • Northwest Airlines (NWA) said that traffic in May was flat compared with the year-ago period as capacity rose 1.9%. Load factor, or the percentage of the plane filled with passengers, fell 1.6 percentage points to 84.3%, the carrier said.
  • Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) said it has obtained a $250 million senior secured term loan commitment from Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc. The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, Sirius said.
  • Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (SWRG) late Tuesday said that comparable restaurant sales for May rose 0.4% from the year-ago period to about $8.6 million. Total consolidated restaurant sales were $9.4 million for the month ended May 28, a 3.4% decrease from the $9.8 million last year, the restaurant operator said.
  • TD Ameritrade Holding (AMTD) named Fred Tomczyk as its new chief operating officer, succeeding Randy MacDonald, who retired from the brokerage services provider on June 1. Tomczyk previously served as the vice chairman of corporate operations for TD Bank Financial Group and was a member of the TD Ameritrade board. Tomczyk has resigned from the board and will resign from TD Bank Financial Group in July.
  • Volterra Semiconductor (VLTR) said it now expects second-quarter revenue of $18.5 million to $19.5 million, down from its previous view of $20 million to $21 million, and forecast a loss excluding items of 4 cents to 7 cents a share. The company said the expected revenue shortfall is primarily due to a process defect with one of its vendors, which caused Volterra to recall $2 million to $3 million of product and will result in a $3 million to $4 million charge in the second quarter. Volterra said it will replace the recalled products, and revenues associated with the products will be recognized in the quarter in which the replacement products are shipped.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) plans to add more nonbanking financial-service centers, acknowledging it won't gain a bank charter anytime soon.


Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.11%, Nikkei -0.07%, Sensex -1.29%, Taiwan +0.13% and Shanghai +0.24%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.73%, DAX -1.51%, FTSE -0.87%, ATX -1.10%, Swiss Mkt. -0.48% and Stockholm -0.22%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.02 to 65.59 while gold is -1.7 to 673.4 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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