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Stocks To Watch: Apollo, British Airways, General Electric, Lowe's, Symantec

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

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Stocks to watch for Tuesday, May 22:

  • Accuride (ACW) announced a secondary offering of 5.4 million shares by selling stockholders KKR 1996 GP LLC, Albion Mezzanine Fund LP, Albion Mezzanine Fund II LP and Caravelle Investment Fund LLC. Accuride, a manufacturer and supplier of commercial vehicle components, said it won't receive any proceeds from the offering. Bear, Stearns & Co. is acting as sole book-running manager and sole underwriter for this offering, the company noted.
  • American Science and Engineering (ASEI) reported fiscal fourth-quarter net earnings of $5.79 million, or 60 cents a share, up 23% from $4.73 million, or 51 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The fiscal 2007 fourth quarter included 23 cents a share in stock option expense, the company said. The supplier of X-ray inspection systems said revenue in the three months ended March 31 rose 13% to $45.9 million from $40.8 million in the comparable period last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting, on average, a per-share profit of 80 cents on revenue of $47.2 million.
  • Apollo's (APOL) fiscal second-quarter income fell to $60.3 million, or 35 cents a share, from $79.1 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, Apollo Group earned 44 cents a share. The education company's revenue climbed to $608.7 million from $570.6 million. Wall Street expected earnings of 47 cents a share for the second quarter ended Feb. 28, on revenue of $597.5 million, according to the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial. The company also filed restated results after an internal investigation showed certain former officers may have tried to hide deficiencies in options accounting.
  • Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCI) said the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has dismissed the action filed by Jaco Environmental Inc., SEG Basis GmbH, and SEG Umwelt-Service GmbH for lack of prosecution. ARCA said the ruling means that the case is over unless the court sets aside the dismissal or a new action is filed.
  • British Airways (BAB) said it is joining a consortium led by private-equity firm TPG in looking to acquire Spanish airline Iberia.
  • A federal judge in Brooklyn dismissed criminal charges against CA (CA) after the software maker completed the terms of its deferred prosecution agreement with prosecutors.
  • Charles Schwab (SCHW) named Benjamin Brigeman as head of Schwab Investor Services and Charles Goldman as head of its Schwab Institutional enterprise. Brigeman, currently in charge of strategy, planning and administration for Schwab Investor Services, will assume the role vacated when Walt Bettinger was appointed chief operating officer of the company in February. Goldman, currently COO of Schwab Institutional, will succeed Deborah Doyle McWhinney, who is retiring.
  • DCP Midstream (DPM) said it has agreed to acquire Momentum Energy Group Inc. for $635 million. MEG is a portfolio company of investment firms including Yorktown Energy Partners LLC, Banc of America Capital Investors and Lehman Brothers MLP Partners L.P. Following the closing of the deal, DCP Midstream Partners will acquire certain subsidiaries of MEG from DCP Midstream LLC for $165 million. DCP Midstream LLC owns the general partner of DCP Midstream Partners. The transactions are expected to close during the third quarter. Separately, DCP Midstream Partners said it has entered an agreement to privately place $100 million of common units, contingent upon the successful acquisition of certain MEG subsidiaries from DCP Midstream LLC.
  • EchoStar Communications (DISH) said a Texas jury has found in favor of the company in a lawsuit brought by Forgent Networks (FORG). The jury found the patent Forgent accused EchoStar of violating to be invalid, EchoStar said. Forgent had sought more than $200 million in damages. "While others had settled, we always believed Forgent's patent was invalid, and we appreciate the efforts of Judge Davis and of the jury vindicating our position,' said David Moskowitz, EchoStar's general counsel, in a statement.
  • EMI (EMI) agreed to be bought by private-equity firm Terra Firma for $4.74 billion, but the music company's shares rose 9.3% in a sign bidding may not be over.
  • General Electric (GE) agreed to sell its plastics unit to Saudi Arabia's Sabic for $11.6 billion, a deal GE's chairman says deepens its link to the Mideast.
  • KongZhong's (KONG) first-quarter net income fell sharply to $1.56 million, or 4 cents per American depositary share, from $8.61 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier, as operating and product development expenses rose and revenue fell 28%. Excluding items, earnings were 6 cents per share. The Beijing wireless services company's revenue fell to $20.1 million from $27.9 million.
  • Lowe's (LOW) posted a 12% profit drop and cut its full-year outlook but said it will keep up an aggressive store-opening campaign.
  • Novartis (NVS) said it's pursuing its legal defense of Lotrel after a federal judge temporarily halted the effort by Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) to market a generic version of the high blood pressure drug. Earlier, a judge extended a temporary restraining order until May 29, but allowed Teva to sell Lotrel generics already shipped to distributors and customers. Novartis also said it's evaluating the potential impact of Teva's actions on full-year 2007 results. The company said it will continue to vigorously defend its intellectual property rights, including the validity of the Lotrel patent, against any generic challengers.
  • Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) reported a first-quarter net loss of $5.06 million, or 7 cents a share. During the same period a year ago, the apparel retailer posted net earnings of $11.9 million, or 16 cents a share. Lease termination charges and additional inventory impairment costs accounted for 3 cents per share of the loss, the company said. Revenue rose to $320.6 million from $300 million, while total company same-store sales fell 1.2%.
  • Staples (SPLS) posted a 12% rise in fiscal first-quarter net income amid strength in its delivery and international businesses, but tempered its expectations for the year.Staples posted a 12% rise in fiscal first-quarter net income amid strength in its delivery and international businesses, but tempered its expectations for the year.
  • Symantec (SYMC) and Huawei Technologies said they are forming a joint venture company to develop and distribute security and storage appliances to global telecommunications carriers and enterprises. The new company will be headquartered in Chengdu, China, with Huawei owning 51% of the joint venture and Symantec owning 49%. Huawei will contribute its telecommunications storage and security businesses, while Symantec will contribute some of its enterprise storage and security software licenses, and $150 million. The joint venture is expected to close later in the year.
  • The9's (NCTY) first-quarter net income rose 12% to $8.6 million, or 34 cents per American depositary share, from $7.6 million, or 31 cents per ADS, a year ago. The Shanghai online game operator said net revenue increased 27% to $35 million from a year earlier. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted first-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share.
  • Wet Seal (WTSLA) said that President and Chief Executive Joel Waller plans to step Feb. 1, 2008, when his employment contract expires. The apparel retailer said it has hired an executive recruiting firm to assist the company in its search for Waller's successor.


Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.40%, Nikkei +0.70%, Sensex +0.24%, Taiwan +0.58% and Shanghai +0.94%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +0.10%, DAX +0.48%, FTSE -0.16%, ATX +0.46%, Swiss Mkt. -0.21% and Stockholm -0.01%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher -0.22 to 66.64 while gold is lower -0.3 to 663.5 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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