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Stocks To Watch: Apple, Dell, Mattel, Starbucks, Walt Disney


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


Stocks to watch for Thursday, August 2:

  • Advanced Medical Optics (EYE) has withdrawn its bid to purchase eye care product company Bausch & Lomb (BOL), clearing the way for a rival bid from private-equity group Warburg Pincus, according to a filing Wednesday with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Advanced Medical Optics Chief Executive James Mazzo said in a letter filed with the SEC and addressed to Bausch & Lomb board members that, "the unrealistic hurdles that have been uniquely imposed on Advanced Medical Optics" make clear that "you do not have any interest in providing your shareholders with the opportunity to receive the $75 per share offer that we have proposed."
  • Apple's (AAPL) Taiwan component suppliers not seeing any trimming of orders for iPhone...although Apple saw its share price slump yesterday on mounting complaints about its iPhone battery design. Taiwan component suppliers for the iPhone have said they are not seeing any reduction in orders from AAPL.
  • Dell (DELL) agreed to buy the ASAP Software unit of Corporate Express (CXP) for $340 mln.
  • Electronic Arts (ERTS) saw net losses grow for the June quarter while revenue slipped due to a change in the company's accounting for revenue from some of its video game titles.
  • Furniture Brands International's (FBN) second-quarter net income fell 66% to $5.81 mln, or 12 cents a share, from $17 mln, or 35 cents a share, a year earlier. The residential furniture company said sales fell 11% to $535.2 mln from $601.3 mln.
  • Google (GOOG) is courting wireless operators to carry handsets customized to its products, including its search engine, email and a new mobile Web browser, as it looks to capture a big chunk of the mobile-ad market. It has developed prototype handsets, made overtures to operators such as T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless (VZ), and talked over technical specifications with phone manufacturers
  • Mattel's (MAT) Fisher-Price unit will voluntarily recall 967,000 toys that could contain hazardous levels of lead paint in the latest move in U.S. product recalls involving toys made in China.
  • Online music provider Napster (NAPS) posted a narrowed loss for its first-quarter ended June 30. Napster said its net loss for the quarter was $4.24 mln, or 10 cents a share, compared to $9.82 mln, or 23 cents a share in the period a year earlier. Revenue meanwhile rose 15% to $32.25 mln.
  • Prudential Financial (PRU) said that second-quarter net income came in at $835 mln, or $1.80 a share, almost double the same period a year earlier when the insurer made $424 mln, or 89 cents a share. After-tax adjusted operating income was $872 mln, or $1.87 a share.
  • Starbucks (SBUX) reported an in-line 9% profit rise on 20% sales growth, as store openings and strength internationally helped offset rising costs. Check out what Minyanville had to say about Starbucks...
  • Time Warner's (TWX) net rose 5.2% but AOL's ad-sales growth slowed from about 40% to 16% growth. The company also reported lackluster sign-ups of cable customers.
  • Walt Disney (DIS) reported a 5% profit rise and agreed to buy online children's site Club Penguin for $300 mln. DIS reported higher earnings and sales for the third quarter, driven by double-digit growth across nearly all its segments. Sales were $9.05 bln, up from $8.47 bln.

Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.05%, Nikkei +0.67%, Sensex +0.33%, Taiwan +0.66% and Shanghai +2.49%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +0.65%, DAX +0.94%, FTSE +0.81%, ATX +0.81%, Swiss Mkt. -0.77% and Stockholm +1.01%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.54 to 75.99 while gold is higher +0.9 to 676.8 this morning.
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No position in stocks mentioned.

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