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Spotlight Stocks: Smucker, Sony, UAL, Yahoo


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


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, June 4, 2008:

  • J.M. Smucker (SJM) revealed plans to buy the Folgers coffee unit of Procter & Gamble (PG) later this week in an all stock transaction, reported MarketWatch, citing The Wall Street Journal. Financial terms were not disclosed, but its expected that with annual sales at Folgers totaling $1.6 billion, the deal could go for more than $2 billion. According to the Journal, the deal will nearly double the size of Smuckers.
  • Novartis (NVS) purchased drug firm Protez Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to $400 million, reported Reuters. According to NVS, the deal gives it the rights to an antibiotic, PZ-601, which could be used to fight superbugs such as MRSA. Novartis will initially pay $100 million for privately held Protez, with a potential for up to $300 million of additional payments depending on the success of PZ-601, the company said.
  • Sony (SNE) has agreed with IGA International Worldwide, which places advertisements in video games, to allow ads to be served through its PlayStation 3 consoles, reported The Wall Street Journal. IGA plans to announce that Electronic Arts (ERTS) will be the first company to use its ads in the games such as Madden NFL football, NBA Live and Need for Speed.
  • UAL Corp. (UAUA) said it will reduce its mainline fleet by an additional 70 aircrafts by the end of 2009, along with further job cuts, reported The Wall Street Journal. The company just last week turned down a plan to merge with US Airways (LCC). UAUA is continuing to deal with rising costs and said it will reduce capacity by a double-digit percentage by 4Q of this year compared to the same period a year ago, reported the newspaper.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) set the date for its annual shareholder meeting for August 1, where the company's board expects to engage in a proxy battle with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who has proposed an alternate slate of directors for Yahoo's board, reported Reuters. Icahn was quoted in the WSJ, talking on the Microsoft (MSFT) deal breakdown, as saying, ""How can Yahoo keep saying they're willing to negotiate and sell the company on the one hand, while at the same time they're completely sabotaging the process without telling anyone?"

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed skewed red with the Hang Seng -1.04%, Nikkei +1.59%, Sensex -2.81%, Taiwan +0.56% and Shanghai -1.93%.
  • A quick check of Europe finds the CAC -2.02%, DAX -1.35%, FTSE -1.69%, ATX -1.61%, Swiss Mkt. -1.42% and Stockholm -1.76%.
  • In commodities, crude oil is trading down -0.58 to 123.73 and gold is also lower -3.3 to 882.2 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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