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Stocks To Watch: Dell, Fortress, Sony, Tyco, Wal-Mart

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

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Stocks to watch for Wednesday, May 16:

  • Barnes & Noble (BKS) said it has authorized a share repurchase program of up to $400 million. The book retailer said the new stock buyback authorization is in addition to the $200 million share repurchase program announced in September of 2005, of which roughly $27 million remains.
  • Compuware (CPWR) reported fiscal fourth-quarter net earnings of $67.5 million, or 21 cents a share, up 20% from $56.4 million, or 15 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The software company said revenue in the three months ended March 31 rose to $313 million from $309.5 million in the comparable period last year.
  • Dell (DELL) was sued by New York's attorney general, who accused the PC giant and its financial-services affiliate of using deceptive sales practices.
  • Eddie Bauer Holdings (EBHI) first-quarter loss widened to $44.8 million, or $1.47 a share, from $35.6 million, or $1.19 a share, a year earlier. Results included $16.4 million in nonrecurring expenses, including charges from a merger termination and the resignation of its chief executive. The clothing retailer's revenue rose 10% to $214 million from $194.5 million a year earlier.
  • ESL Investments, a hedge fund run by Edward Lampert, held a big stake in Citigroup (C) earlier this year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Tuesday. ESL owned 10.9 million Citigroup shares worth more than $605 million, the filing said. The stake was filed with the SEC on Feb. 14 but was confidential. That confidentiality expired on Tuesday.
  • Fortress Investment Group (FIG), the first hedge fund manager to go public in the U.S., said its first-quarter net income dropped 52%.
  • Kinder Morgan Management (KMR) said late Tuesday it has priced a public offering of 5.7 million shares, representing limited liability company interests. The underwriter, Citi, has been granted an option to purchase up to an additional 855,000 shares to cover any over-allotments.
  • Limited Brands (LTD) said it will sell a majority interest in its Express apparel brand and explore strategic options for its Limited clothing chain.
  • Motorola (MOT) unveiled the next generation of its popular and ultraslim Razr cellphone in a bid to revive its handset business.
  • Salary.com (SLRY) reported fiscal a fourth-quarter net loss of $4.05 million, compared with a net loss of $1.2 million in the same period last year. Net loss attributable to common stockholders came in at $4.14 million, or 44 cents a share, versus $1.33 million, or 31 cents a share, last year. Excluding items, the company posted a loss of 11 cents compared with a loss of 11 cents a year ago. The provider of compensation management services said revenue in the three months ended March 31 rose 42% to $6.4 million from $4.51 million last year.
  • Sony's (SNE) quarterly net loss widened due to heavy losses at its games division, but the Japanese tech giant forecast a sharp rise in earnings for the year ahead.
  • TD Ameritrade Holding (AMTD) reported 253,000 average client trades per day in April. Qualified accounts totaled 3.28 million, the online broker said. As of April 30, client assets totaled roughly $292 billion.
  • Tyco (TYC) agreed to pay $3 billion to settle shareholder suits, but shareholders can still pursue claims of accounting malpractice against PwC.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) said profit rose 8.1%, helped by strong international sales, but it indicated that weakness in the U.S. will continue.
  • Wendy's (WEN) directors plan to conduct extensive interviews with big investors and franchisees to help determine the outcome of a strategic review at the fast-food chain.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.33%, Taiwan +0.17%, Shanghai +2.23%, Nikkei +0.09% and Sensex +1.42%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.30%, DAX -0.35%, FTSE -0.12%, ATX +0.30%, Swiss Mkt. -0.26% and Stockholm +0.08%.
  • Crude oil is -0.34 to 62.83 and gold is -2.90 to 671.6 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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