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Stocks to Watch: Centex, Circuit City, Comcast, MedImmune, Pfizer

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

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Stocks to Watch for Tuesday, May 1:

  • Axis Capital Holdings (AXS) reported first-quarter net earnings of $236.8 million, up from $204.8 million in the same quarter last year. Net income available to common shareholders rose to $227.6 million, or $1.37 a share, from $195.2 million, or $1.19 a share, in the year-ago period. The insurer and reinsurer said revenue in the three months ended March 31 rose to $812.8 million from $716.9 million last year, while net written premiums rose 15% to $1.14 billion.
  • Centex (CTX) said it swung to a quarterly loss and booked impairment charges on a slower housing market.
  • Circuit City (CC) shares fell 10% after yesterday's close after the company forecast a loss from continuing operations for the first quarter of fiscal 2008 and withdrew its previously issued outlook for the first half of the full-year 2008 period.
  • Comcast (CMCSA) said its Comcast Interactive Media has entered into a multi-year strategic partnership with Yahoo (YHOO) for online display and video advertising services on Comcast.net. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
  • Delta Airlines emerged from bankruptcy after a 19-month process by cutting $3 bln in annual costs and transferring excess capacity from unprofitable domestic routes to promising international destinations. The stock will begin trading on the NYSE on Thursday.
  • Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) for the first time plans to release a detailed report today on its grants to nonprofit groups and educational institutions amid criticism that money from drug companies is overly influential in the practice of medicine, .
  • EOG Resources (EOG) reported first-quarter net earnings of $217.7 million, down 49% from $426.7 million in the same quarter last year. The oil and gas company said net income available to common shareholders came in at $216.8 million, or 88 cents a share, down from $424.8 million, or $1.73 a share, a year ago. Revenue in the three months ended March 31 fell to $875.2 million from $1.08 billion.
  • Genworth Financial (GNW) said that first-quarter net income came in at $324 million, down 3% from a year earlier when the insurer made $334 million. Net income per common share was 71 cents vs. 70 cents a year ago. Genworth affirmed its 2007 outlook for net operating income of $3.15 to $3.25 per share.
  • J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) has alerted thousands of its Chicago-area millionaire clients, as well as some of its own employees, that it can't locate a computer tape containing their account information and Social Security numbers.
  • MedImmune (MEDI) reported first-quarter net earnings of $160 million, or 66 cents a share, up from $47 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding share-based compensation, the company's net earnings for the 2007 first quarter were $166 million, or 69 cents a share, compared to $59 million, or 23 cents a share, in the 2006 first quarter The biotechnology company said revenue in the three months ended March 31 came in at $574.8 million, up from $498 million last year. MedImmune agreed last week to be acquired by AstraZeneca (AZN) for $15.6 billion.
  • Pfizer (PFE) said a Canadian appeals court has reversed a lower court ruling that would have allowed Novopharm to launch a generic version of Pfizer's pain reliever Celebrex. The court prohibited regulatory approval of the generic manufacturer's product in Canada until Celebrex's compound patent expires in November 2014, Pfizer said.
  • Principal Financial Group (PFG) said that first-quarter net income came in at $265.3 million, down 10% from a year earlier when the 401-k specialist made $293.9 million. Net income available to common shareholders was $257.1 million, or 95 cents a share, the company added. Operating earnings were $236.8 million, or 87 cents a share, little changed from a year ago, Principal said.
  • TXU (TXU) Chief Executive C. John Wilder will receive stock payouts valued at $279.3 million if a group led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and TPG buys the Dallas utility company.


Market Update

  • In Asian trading , the Nikkei closed lower -0.72%
  • Over in Europe, the FTSE is currently down -0.45%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.03 to 65.68 and gold is also down -2.0 to 681.5 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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