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Stocks to Watch: Broadcom, DirecTV, Home Depot, UBS, Wal-Mart


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


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, August 15, 2007:

  • Agilent Technologies (A) reported third-quarter net earnings of $185 million, or 45 cents a share, down 19% from $227 million, or 54 cents a share, during the year-ago period. Excluding share-based compensation expense, taxes, and other net benefits, adjusted earnings were $194 million, 48 cents a share, compared with $166 million, or 39 cents a share, a year ago. The maker of testing and measurement equipment said net revenue for the three months ended July 31 rose to $1.37 billion from $1.24 billion.
  • Applied Materials (AMAT) saw its net income fall 7.5% in its third fiscal quarter, though the bottom line beat Street estimates.
  • Broadcom (BRCM) disclosed that its senior vice president and general counsel, David A. Dull, has received a Wells notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the company's stock-option granting practices. This indicates that the SEC staff plans to recommend that the agency pursue civil action against Dull, who will have the opportunity to respond in writing to the notice before the SEC staff makes its final recommendation.
  • DirecTV Group (DTV), the satellite television provider, is expected to announce a wholesale agreement today with Current Group LLC to provide high-speed Internet service over electric-power lines. The company will market a bundled package of Current's broadband and voice over Internet protocol, or Voip, services under its brand.
  • Dominion Homes (DHOM) reported a second-quarter net loss of $29.7 million, or $3.63 a share, compared with a net loss of $5.93 million, or 73 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The current results include a non-cash charge of $17.2 million related to real estate inventory impairments, the company said. The home builder said revenue for the three months ended June 30 fell to $38.8 million, from the delivery of 206 homes, versus $75.8 million, from the delivery of 398 homes.
  • Eddie Bauer Holdings (EBHI) reported that its second-quarter net loss narrowed to $22.2 million, or 73 cents a share, from a year-ago net loss of $42 million, or $1.40 a share. For the second quarter ended June 30, the retailer said revenue increased slightly to $227 million from $225.7 million in the comparable period of 2006.
  • Home Depot (HD) says it expects a soft housing market, which caused fiscal second-quarter net income to drop 15%, will continue into 2008. HD also raised concerns about the fate of its share buyback and its wholesale business's pending sale.
  • Massey Energy (MEE) said it has restarted share buybacks under its existing program approved in November 2005. The authorization allows for the repurchase of up to $500 million of its common shares from time to time.
  • UBS AG (UBS), after a solid earnings report, stopped its aggressive expansion of its investment-banking staff amid declining stock and bond markets and cautioned that continued market turmoil could hurt profits in the second half of the year.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) has agreed to pay more than $3.9 million in overtime, waiting-time penalties and interest to about 50,000 employees in California, the state's labor commissioner said on Tuesday. "We are ensuring that the workers are completely compensated what is owed to them in overtime and interest, and that penalties are provided for," said California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet. The payments affect all California workers who were employed by WMT from Feb. 1, 2002, through Jan. 19, 2007, the commissioner said.
  • WCI Communities (WCI) late Tuesday said it has rescheduled its second-quarter earnings release to Aug. 22 from Aug. 16, allowing it to complete its review of real estate inventories and other assets for possible impairment charges. The company expects to record pretax asset impairment charges of $34 million to $54 million for the quarter.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -2.87%, Nikkei -2.19%, Sensex -0.11%, Taiwan -3.57%, Shanghai -0.06% and Jakarta -6.44%.
  • A quick check of European markets finds the CAC -1.60%, DAX -0.94%, FTSE -1.50%, ATX -0.36%, Swiss Mkt. +0.05% and Stockholm -1.80%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher +0.52 to 72.90 while gold is lower -4.9 to 674.8 this morning.

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