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Stocks to Watch: Chesapeake Energy, General Electric, Guess, Hewlett-Packard, Mattel

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

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, September 5, 2007:

  • Applebee's International's (APPB) said that domestic, systemwide same-store sales fell 0.9% in August. The restaurant operator said same-store sales at franchise restaurants fell 0.7%, while same-store sales for company-owned restaurants decreased 1.6%, reflecting a 6% to 6.5% decline in guest traffic.
  • Bob Evans Farms' (BOBE) August same-store sales at Bob Evans Restaurants rose 4.3% from the year-earlier period. For the four weeks ended Aug. 24, same-store sales at Mimi's Cafe fell 1.9% from a year earlier.
  • Chesapeake Energy (CHK) will sell producing assets in Kentucky and West Virginia for about $550 million. The company expects the deal to close by the end of the year. The company also plans to pursue the sale of four similar packages of mature properties every six months in 2008 and 2009 for total proceeds of about $2 billion.
  • Finisar (FNSR) put revenue for the fiscal first-quarter ended July 29 at $105.7 million, down slightly from $106.2 million a year earlier. The provider of fiber-optic products and services said Tuesday it has delayed reporting its earnings results for the quarter because of an ongoing option grant review.
  • General Electric's (GE) NBC Universal plans to sell episodes of its fall shows through Amazon.com's (AMZN) online download store Unbox. This news comes after the announcement that NBC was pulling all of its shows from Apple's (AAPL) iTunes store.
  • Guess (GES) reported second-quarter net earnings of $37.5 million, or 40 cents a share, up from $20.6 million, or 22 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The company said revenue rose to $388.3 million from $261.9 million.
  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) selected David Murphy to lead the company's new printing Web services and software unit. Murphy, a former executive with Mercury Interactive, which H-P acquired in 2006, will serve as senior vice president of the unit.
  • Mattel (MAT) announced its third product recall this summer. The new recall involves about 775,000 Chinese-made toys believed to contain lead paint. The majority of the involved toys belong to the company's Barbie brand.
  • Palm (PALM) said in a regulatory filing that Bruce Dunlevie is resigning from the company's board of directors. The company said Dunlevie, formerly of Benchmark Capital, informed the company of his move in an Aug. 28 letter. The company also said that Scott Mercer has decided to remain on the board.
  • UAL Corp.'s (UAUA) United Airlines reported that traffic in August rose 2.3% while capacity fell 1%. Load factor, or the percentage of the plane filled with passengers, increased by 2.8 percentage points to 86.3%, the company said.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) agreed to buy online advertising company BlueLithium for about $300 million in a move to expand its ad reach.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.77%, Nikkei -1.60%, Sensex -0.12%, Taiwan -0.10% and Shanghai +0.31%.
  • A quick look over to Europe finds the CAC -0.97%, DAX -0.64%, FTSE -0.63%, ATX -0.73%, Swiss Mkt. -0.31% and Stockholm -0.79%.
  • Crude oil is trading up +0.05 to 75.13 while gold is lower -2.2 to 689.3 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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