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Spotlight Stocks: Citigroup, Clear Channel, Motorola, Oracle

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

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Stocks to watch for Thursday, March 27, 2008:

  • Citigroup (C) has reportedly settled claims accusing it of helping Enron deceive investors, according to the New York Times. The bank said it would pay $1.66 billion to the Enron Bankruptcy Estate, which represented Enron creditors.
  • Clear Channel (CCU) said it won a court ruling from a Texas judge against six banks led by Citigroup. The banks had backed out of its more than $22 billion commitment to lend money for a CCU buyout by private equity. CCU said the judge issued a temporary order directing the banks not to interfere with the merger by refusing to fund it or demanding new terms.
  • Motorola (MOT) yesterday said it would split into two separate publicly traded companies, by spinning off its mobile phone unit to investors. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn had pressured the company into taking this action and called it a "step in the right direction".
  • Nokia (NOK) is talking with major music labels about allowing it to sell their songs through its "Comes With Music Service", which is expected to launch later this year. Buyers of certain Nokia devices will be offered unlimited music from at least Universal Music Group, reported Reuters.
  • Oracle (ORCL) reported fiscal 3Q profit of $1.3 billion, or 26 cents a share, up from $1 billion, or 20 cents a share a year ago. Revenue rose to $5.3 billion from $4.4 billion. Excluding special items, Oracle said earnings for the quarter were 30 cents a share.
  • Paychex (PAYX) reported a 3Q profit of $142.5 million, or 39 cents a share, up from $126.6 million, or 33 cents a share a year ago. The company reported revenue of $532.2 million, compared to $485.3 million a year ago. The co. said that for its entire fiscal year, it expects its earnings to rise between 11% and 13%, and its sales to grow 9% to 11% over the prior year.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed skewed to the red with the Hang Seng +0.21%, Nikkei -0.80%, Sensex -0.44%, Taiwan -1.85% and Shanghai -5.42%.
  • A quick check of Europe finds green with the CAC +0.90%, DAX +1.36%, FTSE +1.06%, ATX +2.29%, Swiss Mkt. +1.26% and Stockholm +1.12%.
  • Commodities are trading up as we see crude oil +1.27 to 107.17 and gold up +0.2 to 949.4 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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