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Stocks to Watch: BHP Billiton, Merck, Qualcomm


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


Stocks to watch for Friday, November 9, 2007:

  • Barrick Gold (ABX) agreed to resolve its legal disputes with NovaGold Resources. The companies will combine efforts on the Donlin Creek gold project, forming a separate limited liability company.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) made $142 bln bid for Rio Tinto (RTP). The world's largest mining company's hopes that by acquiring RTP, it would significantly increase its global reach.
  • Clear Channel (CCU) said that Providence Equity Partners might back out of its offer to buy 56 of its television stations for $1.2 bln. The company said the sale of the stations to Providence wouldn't affect the planned buyout of Clear Channel by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners LLC.
  • Disney (DIS) reported 3Q net income of $877 mln, or 44 cents per share compared with $782 million, or 36 cents a share from a year ago. Sales for the company were $8.93 billion vs. last year's $8.65 billion.
  • General Electric (GE) has plans to increase pension benefits for over 130,000 retirees beginning Dec. 1. Eligible employees will be those that left the company before June 1, 2003.
  • Merck (MRK) is expected to announce a settlement in its lawsuit with patients claiming they suffered injuries related to its Vioxx pain killer. The company will pay $4.85 bln for a large portion of the 27,000 related cases.
  • Nvidia (NVDA) reported 3Q net income of $235.7 mln, or 38 cents a share, on revs of $1.12 bln compared to income of $106.5 million, or 18 cents per share, on revenue of $820.57 million for the year-ago quarter.
  • Qualcomm (QCOM) reported earnings of $1.13 billion, or 67 cents a share, compared to earnings of $614 million, or 36 cents a share, for the same period last year, an 84% jump. Revenue grew 15% to $2.31 billion for the period from $2 billion last year. Analysts were expecting earnings of 53 cents a share on revenue of $2.26 billion. QCOM attributed the strong numbers to demand for its wireless phone chipsets.

Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.08%, Nikkei -1.19%, Taiwan +0.37% and Shanghai -0.27%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC -1.03%, DAX +0.29%, FTSE -0.73%, ATX -0.88%, Swiss Mkt. -1.33% and Stockholm -1.60%.
  • Crude oil is trading down -3.60 to 95.10 and gold is also lower -6.1 to 831.4 this morning.
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