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Stocks To Watch: Cablevision, ClearChannel, DreamWorks Animation, News Corp., Time Warner


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


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, May 2:

  • Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) late Tuesday said fiscal third-quarter net income rose 6.5% to $82.1 million, or 82 cents a share, from $77 million, or 61 cents a share, a year ago. The Dallas provider of outsourcing and information-technology services said both quarters included items. Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 rose 10% to $1.44 billion from $1.31 billion.
  • Allied Waste Industries (AW) reported that first-quarter net income of $39.9 million, or 8 cents a share, down from $41.2 million, or 8 cents a share, a year ago. The results include a one-time cost of 7 cents a share to refinance $750 million of debt. Income from continuing operations rose 13.9% to $235 million from $206 million. Revenue for the three months ended March 31 rose 2.4% to $1.46 billion from $1.42 billion.
  • Atmel (ATML) reported first-quarter revenue fell 10% to $391.3 million, from a year ago. This year's results exclude $36 million in revenue from a foreign business unit Atmel sold in July 2006. Taking that into account, Atmel's sales fell 2% from a year ago. The company didn't say whether it posted a profit or loss for the quarter due to its pending investigation into its stock-option accounting. Atmel hasn't reported such data for nearly a year. It also said it sold an Irving, Tex.-based factory for $38 million in cash as part of its broader restructuring under a new management team.
  • Cablevision (CVC) is in advanced talks with the founding Dolan family on a deal to take the company private for at least $10.5 billion.
  • Cephalon (CEPH) reported first-quarter net earnings of $75.2 million, or 99 cents per diluted share, up from $3.57 million, or 5 cents per diluted share, during the year-ago period. Excluding amortization expense and certain other items, basic adjusted per-share earnings were $1.45, compared with 78 cents a year ago. Total revenue at the biopharmaceutical company rose to $437 million from $356.9 million last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast first-quarter earnings of $1.01 a share on revenue of $423 million.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill's (CMG) first-quarter earnings rose 56% to $12.4 million, or 38 cents a share, from $7.99 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier. The Denver-based restaurant chain said first-quarter revenue rose 26% to $236.1 million from $187 million in the year-ago period, helped by new restaurants and comparable-store sales growth due to an increase in customer visits.
  • Clear Channel's (CCU) top executives agreed to a cut in payments they would get if they leave. Shareholder adviser ISS recommended against a privatization plan.
  • DreamWorks Animation's (DWA) first-quarter earnings rose 25% to $15.4 million, or 15 cents a share, from $12.3 million, or 12 cents a share, a year earlier, boosted by continued strength in its home-video business. The animation company said Tuesday that operating revenue climbed 56% to $93.7 million from $60.1 million.
  • Freddie Mac's (FRE) president and operating chief Eugene McQuade announced he is stepping down, leaving questions about who will become the mortgage purchaser's next CEO.
  • Lincoln National's (LNC) first-quarter net income jumped 79% to $396.5 million, or $1.42 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $221.2 million, or $1.24 a share. The Philadelphia annuity and life insurance company's income from operations increased to $379.1 million, or $1.36 a share, from $221.4 million, or $1.25 a share. Revenue climbed 88% to $2.67 billion from $1.42 billion.
  • MetLife (MET) said that first-quarter net income came in at $1.02 billion, up 36% from a year earlier when the life insurer made $747 million. Net income available to common shareholders was $1.28 a share, vs. 93 cents a share a year earlier. Operating earnings available to common shareholders was $1.08 billion, or $1.41 a share, the company added.
  • News Corp. (NWS) made a $5 billion offer for Dow Jones (DJ), publisher of The Wall Street Journal. The bid, a roughly 67% premium, could spark others. Bancroft-family shares representing a slight majority of the voting power would oppose the deal.
  • Sirius Satellite's (SIRI) loss narrowed, but subscriber growth was weak at the retail level. The company remains confident it will complete its merger with XM Satellite Radio (XM) this year.
  • Time Warner's (TWX) net income fell 18%, but cable revenue, helped by the addition of acquired cable systems, offset weaker subscription revenue at AOL.
  • Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) reported first-quarter net earnings of $31.6 million, or 29 cents a share, up 26% from $25.2 million, or 23 cents a share, during the year-ago period. Excluding special items, adjusted earnings were $37.3 million, or 34 cents a share. Revenue at the pharmaceutical company rose to $671.6 million from $407.2 million last year.
  • Yum Brands (YUM) reported first-quarter net earnings of $194 million, or 70 cents a share, up 14% from $170 million, or 59 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the restaurant operator rose 7% to $2.22 billion from $2.09 billion last year.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.34%, Taiwan +0.35% and Nikkei +0.69%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +0.31%, DAX +0.35%, FTSE +0.57%, ATX -0.81%, Swiss Mkt. -0.27% and Stockholm -0.70%.
  • Crude oil is -0.25 to 64.15 and gold is down -3.6 to 673.7 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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