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Stocks to Watch: Biogen, News Corp, United Technologies


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


Stocks to watch for Thursday, December 13, 2007:

  • Biogen (BIIB) said it had not received any offers to be purchased after exploring the possible sale of the company. BIIB predicted doubling its profits with its new strategy by 2010. Shares dipped 27% after hours yesterday from $75.88 to $55.50, erasing about $6 bln in market value.
  • Boeing (BA) was selected by NASA as the prime contractor for the Ares 1 rocket, a contract valued at $799.5 mln including $265.5 million for support and initial unit production. According to MarketWatch, Boeing will provide one instrument unit avionics ground test article, three flight test units and six production flight units to supported tests and missions through 2016 and could provide as many as 12 additional units at an estimated value of $114 million each.
  • CKE Restaurants (CKR) reported 3Q net profit of $6.2 mln, or 11 cents a share, down from $9.5 mln, or 14 cents a share a year ago. Revenue at CKR was down to $351.6 mln vs. $354.4 mln a year ago.
  • Danaher (DHR) raised its continuing operations guidance of $1.09 a share to $1.14 a share for the 4Q, excluding a $75 million pretax research and development charge and inventory valuations.

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  • Merck (MRK) is recalling about 1 mln doses of its childhood vaccine Hib, which protects against meningitis, pneumonia and other illnesses. The reason for the recall is sterilization problems in the plant where it is made.
  • News Corps' (NWS) acquisition of Dow Jones (DJ) for more than $5 bln is expected to be completed today as DJ shareholders will vote on the deal. The Wall Street Journal reported as of yesterday, a count of proxy votes showed that shareholders owning more than 50% of the voting power had approved the $60-a-share sale.
  • Proctor & Gamble (PG) has filed a lawsuit against Fruit of the Earth on the grounds that it infringed on patents and PG's Olay Regenerist trade dress. The company is asking that Fruit of the Earth stop distributing the relevant products and to notify its retailers to impound or return the products.
  • United Technologies' (UTX) Sikorsky Aircraft unit has signed an agreement with the US government to the tune of $7.4 bln over five years for the production of 263 aircrafts, spares and kits, which has a potential total value of $11.6 billion.

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -2.72%, Nikkei -2.48%, Sensex -1.33%, Taiwan -3.57% and Shanghai -2.70%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -2.14%, DAX -1.00%, FTSE -2.36%, ATX -1.36%, Swiss Mkt. -1.72% and Stockholm -2.01%.
  • Crude oil is trading higher +0.33 to 94.61 while gold is lower -4.6 to 814.2 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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