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Stocks to Watch: Capital One, Countrywide, KKR, Target, Viacom

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

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Stocks to watch for Tuesday, August 21, 2007:

  • Capital One Financial (COF) said it is closing its wholesale mortgage banking unit, GreenPoint Mortgage, immediately. The company said it will close GreenPoint's California-based headquarters, along with 31 locations across 19 states, resulting in the elimination of about 1,900 jobs, most by the end of the year, the company said. Capital One said it estimates the total after-tax charge associated with the closures will be about $860 million, or $2.15 a share.
  • Countrywide Financial's (CFC) stock fell 7.6% despite the company's attempts to reassure depositors that their funds were safe at the company's Countrywide Bank savings bank unit
  • Fortune Brands (FO) named Bruce Carbonari chief executive officer. Carbonari will replace Norm Wesley on Jan. 1. Fortune said Wesley, 57, will remain chairman of the board. Carbonari is currently president and chief operating officer and was elected a member of the board, effective Tuesday.
  • KKR (KFN) promised that in a worst-case scenario it would invest $100 million in KKR Financial, a real-estate company 12%-owned by the private-equity firm.
  • Lone Star Fund's LSF5 Accredited Investments unit filed counterclaims to a complaint Accredited Home Lenders Holding (LEND) had filed Aug. 13, alleging that Lone Star breached the obligations of its merger and that it had repudiated the merger agreement. Lone Star denied the claim and said Accredited wouldn't be able to force the merger because its only possible contractual remedy is a $12 million reverse break-up fee.
  • Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (SWRG) shareholders approved the plan to sell the New York steakhouse chain to Project Grill LLC for $11 a share.
  • Target (TGT) said its August sales at stores open at least one year are tracking in line with its forecast of a 4% to 6% gain, which is based on sales for the first two weeks of the month, plus outlook for the remaining two weeks, the company said. The forecast covers the four-week period from Aug. 5 to Sept. 1. The discount retailer expects to report August same-store sales results on Sept. 6.
  • Viacom's (VIA) MTV Networks is expected to announce a merger between its online digital music offerings with music software company RealNetworks.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) has stopped selling two brands of dog treats in July, after customers voiced concerns that the Chinese products may have caused their pets to fall ill, but no recall has been announced.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.62%, Nikkei +1.07%, Sensex -3.04%, Taiwan -0.43% and Shanghai +1.03%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +0.18%, DAX +0.04%, FTSE -0.15%, ATX -0.91%, Swiss Mkt. +0.19% and Stockholm -0.71%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.22 to 70.90 while gold is higher +0.7 to 667.2 this morning.
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