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Stocks to Watch: Citigroup, eBay, Palm, PDL Biopharma, Wal-Mart


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


Stocks to watch for Tuesday, October 2, 2007:

  • AngioDynamics' (ANGO) fiscal first-quarter net income rose 25% to $2.38 million from $1.9 million a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the company's earnings fell to 10 cents from 12 cents a year earlier and its average outstanding share count increased from a year earlier. Sales jumped 85% to $38.5 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 10 cents a share on sales of $38 million. ANGO reaffirmed its fiscal 2008 forecast for earnings of 56 cents to 60 cents a share, pro forma earnings of at least $30 million, and sales of $170 million to $175 million.
  • Citigroup (C) announced its third quarter earnings would drop 60% from the year ago period, offering several reasons for the decline. These included turmoil in global markets to consumer credit woes. The company also said it will buy the remaining unowned one third stake in Japan broker Nikko Cordial for about $4.6 bln. Upon the acquisition, Citi will have a 100% stake in the company.
  • eBay (EBAY) said it will take a third quarter charge of $1.4 bln related to its Internet-calling company Skype, which it purchased for $2.6 bln in 2005. Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom will step down as chief executive, to be replaced temporarily by Michael van Swaaij, eBay's chief strategy officer.
  • Hershey (HSY) said that Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Lenny plans to retire at the end of the year. Lenny has held the positions since 2001.
  • Noble Energy (NBL) will replace Archstone-Smith Trust (ASN) in the S&P 500 index. Archstone-Smith is being acquired by affiliates of Tishman Speyer and Lehman Bros. Holdings.
  • Palm (PALM) reported a fiscal first-quarter net loss of $841,000, or 1 cent a share. The company also issued a disappointing forecast for the current period as sales of its line of smartphones fail to keep pace with rivals.
  • PDL BioPharma's (PDLI) board will seek offers for the full sale of the company or as a sale of its key assets. The biopharmaceutical company also said Mark McDade stepped down as chief executive and a director. The board elected L. Patrick Gage as interim chief executive and Karen Dawes as chairman to replace Gage.
  • Steel Dynamics (STLD) plans to buy OmniSource, a scrap recycling company based in Fort Wayne, for just over $1 billion in November. The transaction value includes the assumption of certain liabilities, including net debt, which is expected to be about $210 million at closing.
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) will buy Commerce Bancorp (CBH) in a cash and stock deal worth $8.5 billion, the banks said on Tuesday.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) cut the prices of its "Top 12 Toys of Christmas" by between 10%-50%, 12 weeks before the holiday. There is promise of more price cuts to come. The early price cut puts pressure on companies like Toys "R" Us and Target (TGT), who have about half the toy market share of WMT.

Market Update

  • Asian trading ended with the Hang Seng +3.90%, Nikkei +1.19% and Taiwan +1.42%. Hong Kong and India markets were closed.
  • Sneaking a peek towards Europe, we find the CAC +0.78%, DAX +0.58%, FTSE +0.32%, ATX +1.34%, Swiss Mkt. +0.76% and Stockholm +1.09%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -1.08 to 79.16 and gold is down hard -16.3 to 737.8 this morning.
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