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Stocks To Watch: Cadbury, Delta, Google, Whole Foods, Yahoo


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


Stocks to watch for Tuesday, June 19:

  • Abaxis (ABAX) said that Chief Operating Officer Robert Milder plans to retire, effective June 29. The medical products company said it has retained an executive search firm to help find a successor. In the meantime, all operating functions will be overseen by President and Chief Executive Clint Severson, the company said.
  • Ashworth (ASHW) swung to a second-quarter loss of $2.53 million, or 17 cents a share, from a year-earlier net income of $4.68 million, or 32 cents a share, as revenue fell more than 9%. The sportswear company's revenue dropped to $59.9 million from $66 million in the year-ago period.
  • Cadbury Schweppes (CSG) said it will likely opt for a sale of its U.S. drinks business in the coming months. The world's largest confectioner also unveiled plans to cut about 7,500 jobs and raised its sales growth and margin targets.
  • Celestica (CLS) said it has named Paul Nicoletti as chief financial officer, effective immediately. Nicoletti has been serving as acting CFO since March 28, 2007, when Tony Puppi retired, the provider of electronics manufacturing services said.
  • Delta (DAL) is likely to order as many as 125 of Boeing's (BA) new 787 jets by the end of the year, the airline's operating chief said.
  • Epix Pharmaceuticals (EPIX) shares soared more than 17% after the Food and Drug Administration declined to approve the company's experimental blood-pool imaging agent but indicated it may not need further clinical trials to be conducted.
  • Electronic Arts (ERTS) said it plans to organize its business into four labels: EA Sports, EA Games, EA Casual Entertainment and The Sims. Each Label will operate with dedicated studio and publishing teams focused on consumer-driven priorities, the maker of interactive entertainment software said. The new structure is designed to streamline decision-making, improve global focus, and speed new ideas to the market, the company said. The transition will be implemented over the coming months, EA noted.
  • ESS Technology (ESST) said James B. Boyd, chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance and administration, resigned to become financial chief at Silicon Storage Technology (SSTI), effective June 20. ESS, a semiconductor and software company, said Boyd will act as its interim chief financial officer until the filings for the June quarter have been made. The company said a search for Boyd's successor is underway and expects to find a successor by the time he resigns about August 14.
  • Google (GOOG) said it received preliminary regulatory approval to provide Internet content in China.
  • Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) GmbH unit filed a second lawsuit against Pelikan Hardcopy Deutschland GmbH, in which it alleges misleading advertising and unfair competition violations. Pelikan inkjet cartridges in packaging describing the products as "remanufactured" are allegedly new products, according to tests conducted by Hewlett-Packard. H-P said the first lawsuit, filed in May, alleges patent infringement and seeks to prevent Pelikan from selling color inkjet print cartridges.
  • Journal Register's (JRC) revenue from continuing operations in the four weeks ended June 3 fell 9.2% to $37.6 million, from $41.4 million for the four weeks ended May 28, 2006. Advertising revenue fell 11.5% to $29 million, from $32.8 million a year earlier. The newspaper publishing company said the decline reflects a difficult advertising market "and the transitioning economies" of Michigan and Greater Cleveland.
  • Kellwood (KWD) said it has agreed to acquire Royal Robbins, a division of Phoenix Footwear Group (PXG) , for about $40 million. Kellwood said it doesn't expect the acquisition to significantly impact its 2007 results. Royal Robbins designs and markets active sportswear and travel apparel for men and women.
  • Leggett & Platt (LEG) cuts its second-quarter and 2007 financial forecasts. The maker of engineered components and products lowered in second-quarter earnings outlook by 11 cents to a range of 31 cents to 36 cents a share, and said it now expects revenue of $1.3 billion, down from the $1.375 billion it previously predicted. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial are expecting, on average, a per-share profit of 39 cents on revenue of $1.37 billion. Leggett & Platt also cut its 2007 earnings forecast by 25 cents to a range of $1.35 to $1.55 a share, and cut its revenue outlook by $200 million to $5.2 billion. Analysts are looking for a per-share profit of $1.58 on revenue of $5.4 billion.
  • Microchip Technology (MCHP) cut its fiscal first-quarter forecast citing weakness in European sales and the U.S. consumer market. The company predicted earnings for the first quarter ending June 30 of 36 cents a share, or 39 cents a share excluding stock compensation expense, on sequential net sales growth of 2%. In April, the company forecast first-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, on sequential sales growth of 5% from fiscal fourth-quarter revenue of $258.2 million. Wall Street expects first-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, on revenue of $270.4 million, according to the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial.
  • Omnova Solutions (OMN) reported a second-quarter net loss $9.8 million, or 23 cents a share. During the same period a year ago, the chemicals company posted net earnings of $5.3 million, or 13 cents a share. Revenue for the three months ended May 31 rose to $188 million from $177.8 million. Excluding debt redemption, restructuring and severance costs, earnings were $2.7 million, or 7 cents a share, the company said. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast, on average, a per-share profit of 8 cents for the quarter.
  • Progressive (PGR) said it's offering $1 billion of 6.7% fixed-to-floating rate junior subordinated debentures due 2067. Progressive is an insurance holding company.
  • Sharper Image (SHRP) reported a first-quarter net loss of $16.8 million, or $1.12 a share, compared with a net loss of $12.7 million, or 85 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The specialty retailer said that revenue for the three months ended April 30 fell to $67.6 million from $106.8 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast, on average, a per-share loss of 88 cents on revenue of $73 million for the quarter.
  • Silicon Storage Technology (SSTI) named James Boyd chief financial officer, effective Wednesday. Boyd was most recently CFO of ESS Technology. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Silicon Storage is provider of flash memory semiconductor devices.
  • TD Ameritrade (AMTD) reported 247,000 average client trades per day in May. The online broker also reported a total of 6.3 million accounts. Average client margin balances in May were $7.4 billion, while client assets totaled $300 billion, TD Ameritrade said.
  • Standard & Poor's said it will add TTM Technologies (TTMI) and Tower Group (TWGP) to the S&P SmallCap 600 to replace Viasys Healthcare (VAS) and Biosite (BSTE), respectively. S&P, a New York unit of McGraw-Hill, said TTM will be added on Wednesday, and Tower will be added June 25.
  • Whole Foods Market (WFMI) said it has extended the expiration date for its tender offer to acquire shares Wild Oats Markets (OATS) until July 20. As of the close of business Friday, 57.9% of Wild Oats' shares have been tendered and not withdrawn, Whole Foods said. On Feb. 21, the natural foods retailer agreed to acquire Wild Oats for $18.50 a share in a deal valued at $565 million. On June 7, the Federal Trade Commission filed suit to block the transaction. Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats consented to a temporary restraining order pending a hearing on the FTC request for a preliminary injunction. The hearing has been scheduled for July 31.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) said Chief Executive Terry Semel is stepping down from the top job at the Internet portal giant. He will be replaced by company co-founder Jerry Yang, Yahoo said.

Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed in the green with the Hang Seng +2.69%, Nikkei +0.08%, Sensex +1.53%, Taiwan +1.45% and Shanghai +0.38%.
  • A quick check across is skewed to the downside with the CAC +0.05%, DAX -0.01%, FTSE -0.07%, ATX -0.37%, Swiss Mkt. -0.22% and Stockholm -0.43%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.05 to 69.04 and gold is also down -0.6 to 659.3 this morning.
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