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Stocks To Watch: Boston Scientific, Ford, General Electric, Google, Intel


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


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, June 13:

  • American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) said it is raising its annual dividend rate 33%, to 40 cents a share from 30 cents.
  • A. Schulman (SHLM) cut its fiscal 2007 earnings forecast to a range of $17 million to $23 million, from its previous view of $25 million to $30 million. The Akron plastics company cited unexpected continued weakness in Europe and North America during the third quarter, and said it expects the weakness to run into the fourth quarter. A. Schulman said the estimate for the year ending Aug. 31 includes expected savings of $7 million from North American restructuring, and costs of about $2.5 million.
  • Boston Scientific (BSX) suffered a setback as a federal court refused to throw out plaintiffs' claims over faulty defibrillators.
  • Celanese (CE) said late Tuesday it will be required to shut down the acetic acid unit at its facility for additional repair. The company expects "sustainable operations" at the Clear Lake facility to resume by mid-July, and still expects full-year adjusted earnings to be within its previously announced range of $2.85 to $3.15 a share. However, Celanese expects second-quarter adjusted earnings to be "modestly below" the second-quarter consensus analysts' estimate of 87 cents a share.
  • Ceridian's (CEN) biggest holder said it opposes a $5.3 billion sale to Thomas H. Lee and Fidelity National and has hired Lazard Freres to seek a higher bid.
  • EOn Communications (EONC) reported fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $20,000, or breakeven a share, down from $294,000, or 2 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The provider of telecommunications products said revenue in the quarter ended April 30 rose 17% to $3.57 million from $3.05 million in the comparable period last year.
  • Finisar (FNSR) reported preliminary second-quarter revenue of $97.3 million, down 5% from the comparable period last year. The optical equipment company also announced the initial findings of its review of historical stock options grants, and said it found no evidence of "malfeasance on the part of any present or former officer, director, or employee relating to any Finisar options grant." However, the company said its investigation also determined that the measurement dates for a number of grants differed from the recorded grant dates, and as a result, Finisar will need to restate its previous financial results.
  • Ford (F) confirmed it is working with bankers to explore options for its Land Rover and Jaguar brands as the auto maker focuses on mass-market vehicles.
  • General Electric's (GE) WMC Mortgage has become one of the first subprime home lenders to adopt proposed federal guidelines on underwriting low-initial-payment mortgages to people with flawed credit.
  • Google (GOOG) and Intel (INTC) launched an effort to get computer makers and consumers to cut energy use.
  • Healthspring (HS) cut its full-year guidance, due to higher-than-expected medical services costs and high in-patient rates in Texas. The company said it expects earnings of $1.20 to $1.35 a share, rather than its earlier forecast of $1.55 to $1.65 a share, and a Medicare Advantage medical loss ratio of between 81% and 82%. The company said the new annual guidance includes about $5.5 million, or 6 cents a share, in an impairment charges and other items related to its expectation of declines in membership in its Tennessee health plan. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Analytics expect, on average, 2007 earnings of $1.59 a share.
  • IHS (IHS) said it acquired Jane's Information Group from Woodbridge Co. through the issuance of about $183.5 million in IHS shares. The technical information provider said Woodbridge also agreed to a three-year lock-up pact, restricting it from selling any IHS shares.
  • IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) upgraded terms in its bid for the Chicago Board of Trade, just a day after CBOT's deal with CME won antitrust clearance.
  • Measurement Specialties (MEAS) reported fiscal fourth-quarter net earnings of $2.97 million, or 21 cents a share, up from $2.84 million, or 20 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The maker of sensors for original equipment manufacturers said revenue in the three months ended March 31 rose to $54.4 million from $35.6 million in the comparable period a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting, on average, a per-share profit of 26 cents on revenue of $51 million. The company forecast fiscal first-quarter net earnings of 23 cents to 27 cents a share on revenue of $52 million to $53 million, and reaffirmed its fiscal 2008 revenue forecast of $225 million.
  • Rentrak's (RENT) fiscal fourth-quarter net income grew 5% to $1.66 million, or 15 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $1.58 million or 14 cents a share. The information management company's revenue fell to $28.3 million from $28.4 million. Wall Street expected fourth-quarter earnings of 11 cents a share, on revenue of $26.6 million, according to the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial.
  • Sapient (SAPE) swung to a first-quarter profit of $775,000, or a penny a share, from a year-earlier loss of $1.44 million, or 1 cent a share. The technology and business consulting company's revenue grew to $125 million from $90.1 million. On average, analysts expected the company to post a quarterly profit of 2 cents a share and revenue of $118.7 million, according to Thomson Financial. The company expects second-quarter service revenue of more than $126 million. The company also said it completed its options review, recording $47 million in additional stock-based compensation between 1996 and 2005.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.28%, Nikkei -0.16%, Sensex -0.91%, Taiwan -0.29% and Shanghai +2.56%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +0.01%, DAX -0.67%, FTSE +0.11%, ATX -0.57%, Swiss Mkt. -0.47% and Stockholm -0.15%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.25 to 65.08 and gold is also down -4.2 to 648.9 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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