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Stocks To Watch: CBS, DaimlerChrysler, Lennar, Microsoft, Yahoo


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


Stocks to watch for Tuesday, March 27:

  • Carrier Access (CACS) late Monday said it will pay $7.4 million to settle a class-action suit related to restatements of financials for 2003 and 2004, without admitting wrongdoing. The communications technology company also said the Securities and Exchange Commission closed its inquiry into the restatements without recommending any enforcement action. The company said the $7.4 million settlement liability was recorded in its 2006 annual report. The money will be funded by the company's directors' and officers' insurance policy. Carrier Access had 2006 revenue of $75.4 million.
  • CBS Corp. (CBS) said it has named Dan Mason as president and chief executive of CBS Radio. Mason will oversee CBS Radio's 144 radio stations, as well as the day-to-day operations of the division. He will report directly to Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS. Mason succeeds Joel Hollander, who has stepped down from his position, the media company said.
  • CombinatoRx (CRXX) said preliminary results show that CRx-139 did not meet its primary endpoint in a Phase II clinical trial in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but did show statistical significance on multiple other endpoints, requiring further analysis. The company said the results showed that CRx-102, a combination of 3mg prednisolone and the antidepressant paroxetine, is superior to 3mg of prednisolone alone.
  • DaimlerChrysler (DCX), which is considering how to handle its struggling U.S. unit, said it will delay the announcement of its first-quarter results because of its changeover to international accounting standards
  • Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) said it has increased its quarterly distribution to 78.75 cents per limited partner unit, or $3.15 on an annual basis. The new quarterly distribution will be paid on April 13 to unitholders of record as of April 6, 2007, the company said. Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) owns the general partner of Energy Transfer Partners and about 62.5 million ETP limited partner units.
  • Ethan Allan Interiors (ETH) said it expects third-quarter earnings-per-share of 53 cents to 56 cents. On average, analysts expect per-share earnings of 59 cents for the quarter ending March 31, according to a poll by Thomson Financial. The company said the home furnishings retail environment "remains challenging." Ethan Allen's shares closed Monday down 29 cents, or 0.8%, at $35.50.
  • Faro Technologies (FARO) said it and Hexagon AB's Romer Inc. unit have settled all outstanding disputes between them. Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed. The maker of software-driven three-dimensional measurement systems said patent suits pending in Florida and California, and a suit involving claims of false advertising, will be dismissed. Faro said the settlement also covers Romer-affiliated companies CimCore Corp., Hexagon Metrology AB and Hexagon Metrology Inc.
  • Friedman Billings Ramsey Group (FBR) said it has named President and Chief Operating Officer J. Rock Tonkel Jr. to the board. FBR is a provider of financial services.
  • Intersil (ISIL) named David Bell president and chief operating officer, effective April 2. Bell was also named to the board of the chipmaker. Bell was most recently president of Linear Technology (LLTC).
  • Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) said results from its Phase II clinical trial showed ISIS 301012 was well tolerated when co-administered with other statins. The trial found that treatment with ISIS 301012 added to statins for five weeks resulted in 75% of patients achieving LDL-cholesterol levels of less than 100 mg/dL, the company said. About 50% of patients achieved LDL-C levels of less than 70 mg/dL in the same trial, the company said.
  • Lennar's (LEN) net income dropped 73% in the midst of a deteriorating housing market, and the home builder said it doesn't expect to achieve its full-year earnings goal.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) said it has named Reed Hastings, chairman and chief executive of Netflix (NFLX), to its board of directors. With the election of Hastings, Microsoft's board was increased to 10 members from nine, the software giant said.
  • Nanometrics (NANO) named Bruce Rhine interim president and chief executive, effective immediately, replacing John Heaton. A board committee will conduct a search for a permanent CEO, the Milpitas, Calif.-based company said. Nanometrics, which makes process control metrology systems used in semiconductor manufacturing, said Rhine is a "significant" shareholder.
  • Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose 17% to $26.8 million, or 47 cents a share, from $22.9 million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier. The New York clothing manufacturer said sales for the quarter ended Feb. 4 increased 21% to $557 million from $460.1 million a year ago. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted fourth-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share and revenue of $530.2 million. Phillips-Van Heusen expects fiscal first-quarter earnings of 85 cents a share. Analysts, on average, also predict first-quarter earnings of 85 cents a share.
  • Rubio's Restaurants (RUBO) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $4.69 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $2.45 million, or 26 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The restaurant operator company posted total revenue of $41.3 million vs. $34.5 million. The results include a charge of $4.83 million related to a class-action settlement announced last week, the company said. Same-restaurant sales increased 4.9% during the quarter, Rubio's said.
  • Smith & Nephew (SNN) is recalling voluntarily 539 RF Denervation probes because they were mislabeled as sterile and potentially could cause a patient infection. The British medical device company said no injuries have been reported in relation to the mislabeling. The RF Denervation probes are used with the company's Electrothermal 20S Spine System in RF heat lesion procedures for the relief of pain.
  • Trubion Pharmaceuticals (TRBN) fourth-quarter loss narrowed to $4.8 million, or 33 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss of $5.73 million, or $5.81 a share, on fewer shares outstanding. The Seattle biopharmaceutical company's revenue rose on collaborative research funding to $6.36 million from $222,000 a year earlier. Trubion expects 2007 revenue of $20 million to $25 million generated from its collaborative research.
  • Unitrin (UTR) said its subsidiary, Trinity Universal Insurance Co., has agreed to acquire Merastar Insurance Co. in a cash transaction valued at about $45 million. The deal is subject to approvals by insurance regulators and other third parties, among other closing conditions. Chicago-based Unitrin, a financial services company, said it expects the acquisition to close in the second quarter.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) is recruiting other Web sites to help make its mobile search services more useful for consumers and advertisers.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.30%, Nikkei -0.90%, Shanghai +0.51 and Taiwan -0.41%.
  • Looking over at Europe, we find the CAC +0.14%, DAX +0.52%, FTSE +0.02%, ATX -0.52%, Swiss Mkt. +0.01% and Stockholm +0.36%.
  • Gold is trading +1.20 to 665.1 and crude oil is -0.39 to 62.52 this morning.
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