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Stocks To Watch: Applebee's, Baidu.com, Broadcom, Exxon Mobil, Google

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

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Stocks to watch for Friday, April 27:

  • Amdocs (DOX) fiscal second-quarter net income rose to $87.2 million, or 40 cents a share, from $81.8 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding items, earnings were 52 cents a share for the quarter. The provider of software products and services' revenue for the quarter ended March 31 rose to $706.4 million from $601.1 million a year ago.
  • Applebee's (APPB) received several bids to be acquired and put Richard Breeden on its board, making it the latest restaurant chain to respond to an activist shareholder after years of overbuilding and struggles to lure diners.
  • Arch Capital Group (ACGL) reported first-quarter net earnings of $205 million, up from $132.3 million last year. The insurer and reinsurer said total revenue in the three months ended March 31 rose to $859.8 million from $840.3 million a year ago, while net written premiums fell to $871.7 million from $873.7 million.
  • Baidu.com (BIDU) reported first-quarter net earnings of 85.5 million yuan ($11.1 million), or 2.47 yuan per share (32 cents), up from 35.2 million yuan, or 1.02 yuan a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to 275.6 million yuan ($35.7 million) from 135.6 million yuan last year. The Beijing-based Internet search provider forecast second-quarter revenue of 378 million yuan to 388 million yuan ($48.9 million to $50.2 million).
  • Boeing (BA) confirmed that Russia's S7 Group has ordered 10 737-800s and secured purchase rights for an additional 10 aircraft. At list prices, the order is valued at $705 million.
  • Broadcom (BRCM) said that first-quarter earnings slipped by 48% despite a small increase in sales. For the quarter ended March 31, the company said earnings were $61 million, or 10 cents a share, compared to earnings of $117.7 million, or 20 cents a share, for the same period last year. Revenue was up slightly to $901.5 million compared to $900.6 million last year.
  • Columbia Sportswear (COLM) reported first-quarter net earnings of $26.1 million, or 71 cents a share, up 34% from $19.5 million, or 52 cents a share, during the same period last year. The apparel company said revenue in the three months ended March 31 rose to $289.6 million from $260.2 million in the same period last year.
  • DeVry's (DV) fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 46.2% to $22.9 million, or 32 cents a share, from $15.7 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier. The higher-education company's revenue for the period ended March 31 increased 12.5% to $247.8 million from $220.2 million in the year-ago period.
  • Exxon Mobil's (XOM) net rose 10% to $9.28 billion despite lower crude-oil prices, as the company's capital spending dropped 11% and refining margins increased. Revenue slipped 2%.
  • Federated Investors (FII) said its fourth-quarter net income grew 6% to $51.8 million, or 50 cents a share, from $48.9 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier. The Pittsburgh investment-management company's increased 11% to $264.4 million from $238.8 million a year earlier, on growth in managed assets.
  • Ford (F) reported a narrower-than-expected loss of $282 million, but its North American loss deepened. Nissan pushed back its sales target by a year.
  • Google (GOOG) aims to become the largest Internet search engine in China, where it currently ranks second, by giving local management more authority.
  • Hartford Financial Services (HIG) reported a 20% increase in first-quarter net income late Thursday, driven by the company's life insurance division. The company also lifted its full-year profit forecast. Net income came in at $876 million, or $2.71 a share, vs. $728 million, or $2.34 a share, a year earlier, Hartford said. Core earnings, which exclude net realized capital gains and losses, were $843 million, or $2.61 a share, the company added.
  • Hilton (HLT) agreed to sell 10 hotels in Europe to a fund managed by Morgan Stanley Real Estate in a deal valued at $770 million.
  • IPCS (IPCS) declared a special cash dividend of $11 a share, payable on May 16 to shareholders of record as of May 8.
  • KLA-Tencor (KLAC) reported fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $154.8 million, or 76 cents a share, up 60% from $96.7 million, or 47 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The chip-equipment maker said revenue in the three months ended March 31 rose to $716.2 million from $519.6 million in the comparable period last year.
  • Massey Energy's (MEE) first-quarter net income jumped to $32.6 million, or 40 cents a share, from $5.6 million, or 7 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue for the coal company increased 8.5% to $607.3 million from $559.5 million.
  • McAfee's (MFE) first-quarter net income rose 13% to $46.2 million, or 28 cents a share, from $40.9 million, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue climbed 16% to $314.2 million from $272 million. As previously announced, these results are preliminary as McAfee will restate its historical financial statements to record additional non-cash charges from past stock-option grants.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) reported a 65% jump in fiscal third-quarter earnings and projected better-than-expected results for fiscal 2008, pointing to solid gains for the Windows Vista operating system.
  • ON Semiconductor, (ONNN), a Phoenix-based provider of semiconductor device reported that first-quarter revenue rose 12% to $374.2 million from $334 million. The company expects second-quarter revenue of about $375 million to $385 million.
  • Rackable Systems (RACK) swung to a first-quarter loss of $10.2 million, or 36 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $5.97 million, or 23 cents a share, as pricing pressure from competitors on its top three accounts eroded earnings and expenses rose. The data-storage company said Thursday that revenue fell 15% to $72 million from $84.4 million.
  • SanDisk (SNDK) reported it swung to a small loss in the first quarter, hurt by steep price cuts for flash-memory chips used in consumer electronics. SanDisk posted a loss of $575,000, or breakeven on a per-share basis, compared with a profit of $35 million, or 17 cents a share a year ago. For the three months ended April 1, SanDisk said sales rose 26% to $786 million, outpacing Wall Street's forecast.
  • Universal Health Services (UHS) first-quarter net income fell to $49.5 million from $51.1 million a year earlier. Earnings per share rose to 92 cents from 88 cents, as the number of outstanding shares fell. Revenue increased 16% to $1.2 billion from $1.03 billion.
  • Western Digital's (WDC) third-quarter net income rose to $121 million, or 53 cents a share, from $102 million, or 45 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The data storage company's revenue rose to $1.41 billion from $1.13 billion.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.68%, Nikkei -0.17%, Sensex -2.25%, Taiwan -0.63% and Shanghai -0.61%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.09%, DAX 0.10%, FTSE -0.53%, ATX -0.57%, Swiss Mkt. -0.35% and Stockholm -0.42%.
  • Crude oil is +0.18 to 65.24 and gold is down -0.1 to 677.9 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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