Stocks to Watch: Costco, Merrill Lynch, Toyota
Wednesday's top stories and stocks with potential to move...
Stocks to watch for Wednesday, December 26, 2007:
- Costco (COST) reported "pretty good" holiday sales according to Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti. The retailer also noted it will continue to avoid markdowns by keeping inventory under control. Among the better selling items this season were health and beauty gift packs, chocolate and nut gift packs and DVDs.
- Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT) has sold its minority stake in T&WA Inc. as EnovaPremier looks to buy up all of T&WA's assets. Due to the sale, GT expects a 4Q loss of $30-35 mln.
- Harrah's Entertainment (HET) reported the proposed buyout by Apollo Management and Texas Pacific Group was approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission, which was the last approval necessary for the acquisition. The Wall Street Journal reports a year ago, Harrah's agreed to be bought by TPG and Apollo for $90 a share in cash, or $17.1 billion, along with the assumption of about $10.7 billion in debt.
- Merrill Lynch (MER) sold $6.2 bln worth of stock at a 12% discount to last week's price to Temasek Holdings of Singapore and U.S. mutual fund company Davis Selected Advisors. According to the Wall Street Journal, Merrill gave the Singapore fund unusual price protection, agreeing to reduce its purchase price if Merrill sells its stock at a lower price during the next year.
- Toyota Motor (TM) raised its global sales target for 2008 by 5.2% to 9.85 mln vehicles, up from the expected 2007 sales number of 9.36 mln. If TM meets the target, it will break General Motors' 30-year record of 9.55 mln vehicles.
- Wyeth (WYE) is trying to protect its patents for its Protonix heartburn drug by filing a patent-infringement claim against Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA). WYE's patent does not expire until July 2010.
- Asian trading closed with the Nikkei +0.65%, Sensex +1.70%, Taiwan -0.13% and Shanghai +0.62%.
- Crude oil is trading higher +0.49 to 94.62 and gold is also rising +1.2 to 812.8 this morning.
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