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Spotlight Stocks: Ambac, IBM, Schering-Plough, Yahoo


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


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, April 23, 2008:

  • Ambac Financial (ABK) posted a 1Q loss of $1.66 billion, or $11.69 a share, down sharply from a net income of $213.3 million, or $2.02 a share a year ago. Ambac says its charges related to losses on credit derivatives and other items totaled $3.06 billion.
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced it will purchase Sitris Pharmaceuticals for $720 million. Sitris is known to be researching a chemical found in red wine, resveratrol, which could be used to fight diabetes and also may increase lifespan. Sitris will remain an autonomous company.
  • International Business Machines (IBM) plans to announce a new computer, dubbed the iDataPlex, designed for large data centers operated by so-called Web 2.0 companies, such as Internet-search and email providers, reported The Wall Street Journal. The new line is meant for companies that buy vertical racks containing dozens of servers based on Intel (INTC) microprocessors.
  • Schering-Plough (SGP) reported 1Q net income of $291 million, or 15 cents a share, down 48% from $565 million, or 36 cents a share a year ago. The company cited increased spending on research, higher overhead and costs related to a huge acquisition in the prior quarter as reasons for the loss. Revenues totaled $4.66 billion, up from $2.98 billion a year earlier.
  • WellPoint (WLP) posted 1Q net income of $588.1 million, or $1.07 a share, down 25% from $783.1 million, or $1.26 a share a year ago. The company cited high medical costs, including in its Medicare plans for the elderly for the loss. It also cut its 2008 forecast. Total revenue climbed 3.1% to $15.55 billion.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) reported 1Q earnings of $542.2 million, or 37 cents a share, more than three times higher than a year ago when the company reported $142.4 million, or 10 cents a share. Revenue climbed 9 percent to $1.82 billion. Despite the strong performance, Microsoft (MSFT) said it will not change its bid for the company which is now worth about $43 billion, or $29.88 per share.

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +1.40%, Nikkei +0.23%, Sensex -0.51%, Taiwan -0.32% and Shanghai +4.15%.
  • A quick check of Europe finds the CAC -0.03%, DAX -0.88%, FTSE -0.15%, ATX +0.80%, Swiss Mkt. -1.03% and Stockholm +0.11%.
  • Over in commodities, crude oil is lower -0.38 to 117.69 and gold is also down -0.8 to 921.5 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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