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Stocks to Watch: Apple, Bank of America, Boston Scientific, eBay, UnitedHealth


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


Stocks to watch for Thursday, October 18, 2007:

  • Allstate (ALL) said its third-quarter net income fell to $978 million, or $1.70 a share, from $1.16 billion, or $1.83 a share, in the year-ago period. Consolidated revenue rose to $8.99 billion from $8.74 billion last year. Analysts estimated earnings per share of $1.67 on revenue of $8.94 billion.
  • Apple (AAPL) will remove prior restrictions on independent software that can be used on its iPhone. Independent developers had argued that Apple was trying to exert too much control over the iPhone. Steve Jobs said in a letter that next year the company will release a software development kit allowing users to create "native: iPhone applications.
  • Bank of America (BAC) reported a 32% drop in third-quarter net income amid recording $247 million in write-downs related to leveraged buyout loans, $607 million in trading losses and sharply higher credit-loss provisions.
  • Boston Scientific (BSX) plans to cut operating expenses by 12-13%, or $475-525 mln, in 2008. The company will cut about 2,300 jobs, or 13% of its worldwide work force, beginning this month.
  • Citrix Systems' (CTXS) third-quarter net income rose to $60.7 million, or 33 cents a share, compared to $43.7 million, or 23 cents a share in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose to $350 million from $278 million. Excluding certain items, Citrix said earnings for the quarter were 41 cents a share, beating analyst expectations of 38 cents a share.
  • eBay (EBAY) reported a 3Q net loss of $935.6 million, or 69 cents a share, compared to earnings of $280.9 million, or 20 cents a share in the year ago period. The loss is related to a massive charge of $1.39 billion related to its 2005 acquisition of Skype.
  • E-Trade Financial (ETFC) reported a third-quarter loss of $58 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with a net income of $153 million, or 35 cents a share, from a year-earlier period, below analyst expectations.
  • Sovereign Bancorp's (SOV) third-quarter net income dropped 68%, due to trouble in the consumer credit market and volatility in credit markets. The company's net income fell to $58.2 million, or 11 cents a share, from $184 million, or 37 cents a share a year earlier.
  • UnitedHealth (UNH) reported a 15% rise in 3Q net income. The $1.28 billion, or 95 cents a share, from $1.11 billion, or 80 cents a share, a year earlier was related to higher membership and improved medical-cost management. The company also raised its 2007 earnings forecast from 91 cents to 93 cents a share.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.57%, Nikkei +0.89%, Sensex -3.83%, Taiwan +0.78% and Shanghai -3.50%.
  • A quick look across the Atlantic has Europe trading mostly lower with the CAC -0.63%, DAX +0.15%, FTSE -0.74%, ATX -0.25%, Swiss Mkt. -0.11% and Stockholm -0.88%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.03 to 87.37 while gold is higher +1.3 to 763.6 this morning.
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