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Spotlight Stocks: Ambac, BHP, Diebold, General Electric


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


Stocks to watch for Tuesday, March 4, 2008:

  • Ambac Financial (ABK) has chosen not to follow through with its rumored split as part of a $2-3 billion restructuring plan. Ambac planned to split its operations into a triple-A-rated municipal bond insurance business and a structured finance business with potentially lower ratings.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) is in talks to receive backing worth a record $55 billion for its hostile takeover bid of Rio Tinto (RTP). According to Reuters, the company and mandated lead arrangers have approached around ten relationship banks to sub-underwrite the loan, sources said.
  • Diebold (DBD) rejected the $2.63 billion buyout offer by United Technologies (UTX) citing undervaluation. Diebold hasn't filed financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission for almost a year because of a continuing investigation into its revenue-recognition practices, reported the Wall Street Journal. The company says that puts shareholders at a disadvantage with regards to available information.
  • General Electric (GE) will provide jet engines to EADS and Northrop (NOC), the consortium that just won a $35 billion contract from the US Airforce to provide refueling tanks. GE will earn at least $5 billion over the next 20 years for this service.
  • General Motors (GM) named Chief Financial Officer Frederick "Fritz" Henderson its president and chief operating officer filling previously unoccupied spots. GM continues to struggle as sales dipped again last month for cars and light trucks.
  • Staples (SPLS) reported 4Q earnings of $331 million, or 47 cents a share, down slightly from $337 million, or 46 cents a share a year ago. Sales rose 1 percent to $5.32 billion, from $5.29 billion a year ago.

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.97%, Nikkei finished flat, Sensex -2.03%, Taiwan +2.51% and Shanghai -2.32%.
  • A glance across the pond finds the CAC -1.03%, DAX -1.35%, FTSE -0.97%, ATX -1.26%, Swiss Mkt. -1.17% and Stockholm -1.38%.
  • Over in commodities, crude oil is trading higher +0.09 to 102.54 and gold is also up +2.2 to 986.4 this morning.
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