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Stocks to Watch: BEA Systems, Blackstone, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, UBS


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

Stocks to watch for Monday, October 29, 2007:

  • BEA Systems (BEAS) investor Carl Icahn said the company should sell itself in an auction. Oracle (ORCL) has made an offer of $17 a share but was turned down by the board which was looking for $21.
  • Blackstone (BX) has found a new president and chief executive for its recently acquired Hilton Hotels. The company will reportedly hire Christopher Nassetta, who will leave his position as chief executive of Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., the nation's largest publicly traded hotel owner.
  • Brookfield Homes (BHS) reported a 3Q net profit of $1.6 million, or 6 cents a share, down from the year-ago period of $27.6 million, or $1.03 a share. The company said revenue in the quarter totaled $120.8 million compared with $175.5 million a year ago. Net new-home orders for the third quarter slid to 130 units from 264 units while the company's backlog as of Sept. 30 recorded 323 units compared with a backlog of 531 units at the end of September last year.
  • Coca-Cola Bottling (COKE) reported third-quarter net profit of $5.3 million, or 58 cents a share, up from $4.9 million, or 54 cents a share. Revenue in the quarter totaled $367.4 million compared with $370.6 million a year ago.
  • Merrill Lynch (MER) CEO Stan O'Neal is being forced to resign from his position, expected as early as today. This comes on the tail end of huge write-downs by the company, stemming from losses in the sub-prime mortgage industry.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) has agreed to buy the assets of Global Care Solutions Thailand Ltd. a Thailand-based company that provides a package of clinical and back-office software, according to Microsoft officials. MSFT officials say its global reach will be helpful in making sure Global Care software is distributed world wide and cutting the time it takes to make healthcare more affordable.
  • WellCare Health Plans (WCG) said that due to an investigation in response to certain governmental or private proceedings, it has formed a special audit committee.
  • UBS (UBS) said its third-quarter loss will be in line with a profit warning earlier this month, but warned of further write-downs due to U.S. mortgage-securities the bank still holds. The bank said it will post a pretax loss of between 600 million and 800 million Swiss francs ($515.5 million and $687.3 million).

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +3.89%, Nikkei +1.17%, Sensex +3.82%, Taiwan +1.85% and Shanghai +2.83%.
  • A quick check towards Europe finds the CAC +0.61%, DAX +0.64%, FTSE +1.85%, ATX +2.17%, Swiss Mkt. +0.44% and Stockholm +0.51%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher +0.91 to 92.77 and gold is also up +9.9 to 797.4 this morning.
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