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Stocks to Watch: Baidu.com, Microsoft, Foundry Networks...

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

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Stocks to watch for Friday, October 26, 2007:

  • Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) reported its fiscal first-quarter profit is up a total of 23% from a year earlier, its fastest growth in revenue for the fiscal first quarter since 1999. Net income rose to $4.3 bln for the period finishing in September, or 45 cents a share, from $3.5 bln a year earlier, or 35 cents a share. Revenue increased, to $13.76 bln from $10.8 bln. Estimates from analysts put earnings for the quarter at 39 cents a share, on revenue of $12.6 billion.

  • Accenture Ltd.'s (ACN) board approved an additional $3 bln for its share buyback plan, the company reported, also stating that its total remaining share repurchase authority was about $1.65 billion as of August 31.

  • Baidu.com (BIDU) stated its net income for the third quarter soared to 181.7 million yuan ($24.2 million), or 5.23 yuan a share (70 cents), from 85.3 million yuan a year ago (or 2.46 yuan a share). Revenue increased to 496.5 million yuan ($66.3 million) from $237.6 million yuan a year ago. Estimates from analysts showed a profit of 63 cents a share on revenue of $66 million for the latest quarter. Baidu sees fourth-quarter revenue of 560 million to 575 million yuan ($74.7 million to $76.7 million).

  • Vonage Holdings Corp. (VG) and Verizon Communications (VZ) have settled a patent dispute, the companies reported. The cost of Vonage's settlement to Verizon is capped at $32 million, Vonage stated, in addition to the $88 million already in escrow.

  • McAfee Inc. (MFE) had a preliminary third-quarter profit of $62.9 mln, or 38 cents a share, on revenue of $322 mln, the company reported. A year ago, it earned $30.3 mln, or 19 cents a share, in the same period on $288 mln in sales. McAfee would have earned $72.5 mln, or 44 cents a share if one-time items were excluded. Forecasts from analysts predicted McAfee would earn 40 cents a share on $320 mln. The results were preliminary, McAfee said, because, as the company previously announced, several financial statements will be restated to account for past stock-option grants. McAfee expects, as a result, to take a charge of between $100 mln and $150 mln.

  • Synchronoss Technologies Inc.'s (SNCR) earnings shot up over 150% in the third quarter with a large revenue gain, as it reported earnings of $8 mln, or 24 cents a share, compared to earnings of $3.1 mln, or 10 cents a share, for the same period last year. Earnings were boosted 6 cents a share due to tax rates coming in lower than expected. Revenue increased over 80% to $34.5 mln from $18.9 mln. Earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $33.4 mln were expected by analysts.

  • Wendy's International (WEN) reported on Thursday that its third quarter profit decreased by more than half, lowered by charges and the spin-off of Tim Horton's (THI). Wendy's reported earnings of $29.9 mln, or 34 cents a share, after the bell for the period, down from $69.2 mln, or 58 cents, in the 3Q '06. It said it would have earned $28.8 mln, or 33 cents a share, up from $23.7 mln or 20 cents on a continuing operations basis. Revenue came in at $631.1 mln, up 0.2%. The company expects, at this time, full-year earnings per share to be at the high end of the previously announced target estimate of $1.09 to $1.23.

  • Foundry Networks Inc.'s (FDRY) net income from the third-quarter more than doubled from the previous year to $27.6 mln, or 18 cents a share, from $12.2 mln, or 8 cents a share. Results include $13.3 mln in noncash stock-based compensation expenses and $60,000 from the company's stock option investigation and related restatement expenses. Net income was $35.9 mln, or 23 cents a share outside of these expenses. Revenue increased 34% to $159.5 mln from $118.8 mln a year ago, boosted by increased sales to the U.S. federal government. 17 cents on revenue of $148 mln were expected by analysts.


Market Recap

  • Asian markets were mostly up with the Hang Seng +1.84%, Nikkei +1.36%, Korea's Kospi +2.6%, Taiwan's TAIEX +0.66%, Shanghai +0.49%, and India's Sensex +2.56%.

  • Markets in Europe are Mixed with the CAC -0.08%, DAX +0.02%, FTSE +0.18%, Swiss Mkt -0..43%, ATX +0.92% and Stockholm -0.45%.

  • Crude oil is higher +0.84 to 91.29 and gold is up +8.6 to 779.6.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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