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Stocks To Watch: Citigroup, Dominion Homes, Harrah's, Halliburton, Yahoo


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


Stocks to watch for Monday, April 9:

  • Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) may delay patient enrollment to the third quarter from the second for its Phase III trial for cancer drug AP23573. After receiving Food and Drug Administration feedback, Ariad said it intends to use the same proposed treatment setting, which will result in the delay. The drug development company's trial will study patients with metastatic sarcoma following a favorable response to chemotherapy with overall survival as the primary endpoint and progression-free survival as a key secondary endpoint.
  • Candela's (CLZR) chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance and administration, F. Paul Broyer, is leaving the company to become finance chief at a privately held company, effective April 30. Candela said Robert E. Quinn, treasurer and corporate controller, will assume Broyer's day-to-day responsibilities while the company conducts a search for a successor.
  • Citigroup (C) may buy Old Lane, a hedge fund launched last year by Vikram Pandit and other Morgan Stanley alumni, in a move to tap Pandit for a top job.
  • Daktronics (DAKT) lowered its fourth-quarter outlook, saying it now expects earnings of 6 cents to 10 cents a share on revenue of $101 million to $105 million. The supplier of large screen video displays had previously forecast per-share earnings of 12 cents to 19 cents on revenue of $106 million to $118 million. Daktronics said it made the revision after it was unable to book enough orders early in the quarter to generate sales
  • Dominion Homes (DHOM) reported a 54% drop in homes sold during the first quarter, becoming the latest home builder to feel the sting of the housing slump.
  • Global Payments (GPN) said it has approved a share repurchase program of up to $100 million. The authorization has no expiration date, the Atlanta-based provider of electronic transaction processing services said.
  • Halliburton (HAL) completed the spinoff of KBR (KBR), with both companies now independent. Halliburton, a Houston oilfield services company, accepted 85.3 million Halliburton shares in exchange for the 135.6 million KBR shares held by Halliburton. KBR also named John Huff and Loren Carroll to its board to fill vacancies created by the resignation of Halliburton executives. Huff is chairman of Oceaneering International (OII) and chairman and chief executive of Huff International. Carroll is former president and CEO of M-I SWACO.
  • Harrah's Entertainment (HET) said its stockholders approved the company's acquisition by affiliates of Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management L.P. The Las Vegas-based casino operator expects the deal to close by the end of the year. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Harrah's stockholders will receive $90 a share in cash. The deal, which includes $10.7 billion in debt, is valued at $27.8 billion.
  • Jackson Hewitt Tax Services (JTX) said it has launched an internal review of allegations made against a franchisee of the company. The review is being led by former Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Fred Goldberg. On Tuesday, the U.S. government filed charges against five corporations that operate Jackson Hewitt tax preparation franchises, as well as 24 people who manage or work at the franchises.
  • Kinetic Concepts (KCI) said the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas has denied all post-trial motions in the company's patent litigation against Medela AG and BlueSky Medical Group. The court also entered a final judgment in the case, upholding the jury's decision affirming the validity and enforceability of the patents involved in the litigation, Kinetic Concepts said. The San Antonio-based company makes wound care and therapeutic products.
  • Longs Drug Stores (LDG) preliminary retail drug-store sales from continuing operations grew 4.9% to $452.7 million for the five-week period ended March 29, from $431.5 million in the same period a year earlier. The company said pharmacy sales were 53.1% of sales in the recent period, compared with 52.1% last year. For the nine weeks ended March 29, retail drug-stores sales from continuing operations grew 4.8% to $820.3 million, from $782.8 million in the comparable year-earlier period. Pharmacy sales in the nine-week period were 52.2% of sales, compared with 51.3% a year earlier.
  • Memory Pharmaceuticals (MEMY) said it has completed enrollment in its Phase IIa trial of MEM 1003 in Alzheimer's disease. The company expects to report top-line results for the trial in the fourth quarter. The trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of two dose levels of MEM 1003 in roughly 180 subjects with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
  • Novavax (NVAX) said that Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Church has resigned, and plans to leave later this month to accept a position with another company. The biopharmaceutical company said it has named Len Stigliano as interim CFO.
  • Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (SWRG) said that same-restaurant sales for March fell 2.3% to $11.7 million, compared with the year-ago period. Total restaurant sales for the fiscal month ended April 2 were up 4% to $12.8 million, the New York-based restaurant chain.
  • VeriSign (VRSN) said is it increasing registry domain name fees for .com and .net, effective Oct. 15. VeriSign said the registry fee for .com domain names will increase to $6.42 from $6.00, while the registry fee for .net domain names will increase to $3.85 from $3.50. The company added that this is the first registry fee increase for .com and .net since the fee structure was put in place by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in 1999.
  • The board of WCI Communities (WCI) recommended that its shareholders reject the unsolicited tender offer from entities controlled by Carl Icahn. The homebuilder's board called the offer "highly conditional, opportunistic and inadequate," as well as "structurally coercive" to the company's shareholders. Icahn, who has a 14.5% stake in WCI, has offered $22 a share for the rest of the company's outstanding shares. WCI added that it has initiated a sale process with the assistance of Goldman Sachs.
  • Yahoo (YHOO), SanDisk (SNDK) and Zing have teamed up to launch an MP3 player that can download music wirelessly, in the latest attempt to take on Apple's iPod.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Nikkei +1.48%, Shanghai +2.27%, Sensex +2.50% and Taiwan +0.65%.
  • Gold is trading -0.6 to 678.8 and crude oil is -0.47 to 63.81 this morning.
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