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Stocks to Watch: Chevron, Dell, General Motors, Home Depot, ITT

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

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Stocks to watch for Friday, August 31, 2007:

  • Boston Scientific (BSX) agreed to pay $16.8 million to 35 states and the District of Columbia over allegations that its Guidant unit concealed flaws in its defibrillators.
  • Chevron (CVX) said its subsidiaries, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and Chevron Credit Bank N.A., have agreed to sell their respective proprietary credit-card businesses. Chevron said it has selected GE Money Bank N.A. to own and operate its Chevron- and Texaco-branded consumer credit cards, and FleetCor Technologies Operating Co. to own and operate its branded commercial credit cards. These terms are subject to approval.
  • Credence Systems (CMOS) reported it swung to a fiscal third-quarter net profit of $10.3 million, or 9 cents a share, from a net loss of $461.4 million, or $4.61 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The maker of semiconductor test equipment said revenue rose to $123.5 million from $114.5 million.
  • Dell (DELL) reported a 46% gain in second-quarter earnings, which the world's No. 2 computer company credited to strong sales of computer servers and notebook PCs.
  • Freddie Mac (FRE), the second-largest U.S. home-mortgage financier, posted a 45% drop in second-quarter net income as it set aside $320 million for losses, saying it expects credit losses to continue to rise as the housing slump persists. The company said that credit-market turmoil would force it to mark down the value of the securities it guarantees this quarter.
  • General Motors (GM) said it will cut more than 1,100 hourly jobs in January at a pickup-truck plant in Oshawa, Ontario. The company will reduce annual production by 90,000 vehicles of Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras, or roughly 10% of the nearly 920,000 light-duty versions of the models sold last year in North America. Sales of those vehicles have fallen about 7% through August in the U.S.
  • Home Depot (HD) said it's closed its sale of HD Supply to three private-equity firms for about $8.5 billion. In June, Home Depot announced that it had agreed to sell its supply business to Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and Clayton Dubilier & Rice for $10.3 billion. Under the revised terms announced earlier this week, Home Depot will pay $325 million for a 12.5% equity interest in HD Supply and guarantee a $1 billion senior secured loan of HD Supply.
  • ITT (ITT) will undergo the first part of upgrading the nation's stretched and aging air-traffic control system under a newly awarded contract worth up to $1.8 billion, said the Federal Aviation Administration, beating out Lockheed Martin (LMT) for the spot.
  • OmniVision Technologies' (OVTI: News, Quote) fiscal first-quarter net income fell to $13 million, or 23 cents a share, from $15.9 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier. Results from the most recent period include a $4.5 million tax benefit, offset by stock-based compensation expenses and related tax charges. Excluding those items, net income for the company was $19.7 million, or 35 cents a share. Non-GAAP net income was $22.1 million, or 39 cents a share, a year earlier.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +2.13%, Nikkei +2.57%, Sensex +1.30%, Taiwan +2.41% and Shanghai +0.99%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +1.34%, DAX +0.77%, FTSE +0.90%, ATX +0.67%, Swiss Mkt. +0.97% and Stockholm +0.60%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher +0.44 to 73.80 while gold is also up +5.1 to 679.0 this morning.

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