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Spotlight Stocks: Beazer, Citigroup, General Motors, UBS


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


Stocks to watch for Friday, August 8, 2008:

  • Beazer Homes (BZH) reported a fiscal 3Q loss of $109.8 million, or $2.85 a share, an improvement from a loss of $118.7 million, or $3.09 a share a year ago. The company took a charge of $95.5 million as land option contracts were deserted and the value of its unsold homes declined. Revenue dropped 40% to $455.6 million, reported the Associated Press.

  • Citigroup (C) will reportedly buy back over $7 billion in auction-rate securities and pay $400 million in fines related to a settlement with federal and state regulators regarding the marketing of investments as safe despite liquidity risks. These buybacks are not expected to cause serious losses for the company.

  • General Motors (GM) said it plans to spend $900 million to adjust its manufacturing capacity over the next few years, including closing plants and reducing output, reported Reuters. The company recently announced a $10 billion planned cost cutting initiative. Additionally, the company agreed to lend Delphi Corp. $300 million to further help it out of bankruptcy protection.

  • Merrill Lynch (MER) will offer buy backs of $12 billion for its auction-rate securities clients. CEO John Thain said "Our clients have been caught in an unprecedented liquidity crisis... We are solving it by giving them the option of selling their positions to us." The Wall Street Journal reports this offering will cover 30,000 clients who hold municipal, closed-end funds and student loan auction rate securities.

  • UBS (UBS) will reportedly buy back $19.4 billion worth of auction-rate securities as a settlement to charges alleging it misled US investors. The firm also agreed to pay $150 million in fines, split between Massachusetts and New York, said the Boston Globe.

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.99%, Nikkei +0.33%, Sensex +0.33%, Taiwan +2.63% and Shanghai -4.47%.

  • Over in Europe we see the CAC +0.52%, DAX +0.15%, FTSE -0.01%, ATX +0.23%, Swiss Market +0.82% and Stockholm +0.14%.

  • In commodities, crude oil is trading lower -2.25 to 117.77 and gold is also down -8.7 to 862.0 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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