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Stocks to Watch: General Motors, Merrill Lynch, Transocean

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

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Stocks to watch for Tuesday, December 4, 2007:

  • Agrium (AGU) has agreed to purchase UAP Holding (UAPH) for about $2.16 bln, essentially creating North America's largest retailer of crop services and inputs, valuing UAP at $39 a share. AGU will also assume $487 mln in UAP's debt.
  • eBay (EBAY) will team up with Yahoo Japan in an effort to offer US auctions to Japanese customers. By the end of the year, the companies hope to allow Japanese sellers to offer items up for bid to US customers as well.
  • General Motors (GM) said it will incur production cuts due to falling demand during the 1Q of 2008. The company said it will build 950,000 vehicles, down 11% from the year-ago period, as GM reported an 11% drop y/y in November sales.
  • Hologic (HOLX) has registered with the SEC to sell some of its stock, preferred stock, debt securities, rights, warrants, purchase contracts or units. Marketwatch reports the company plans to offer $1.3 billion in convertible senior notes due 2037 and expects to grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional $195 million to cover overallotments.
  • Merrill Lynch (MER) has hired a new chief financial officer, Nelson Chai, who currently serves as CFO of NYSE Euronext (NYX). Current MER CFO Jeffrey Edwards will reportedly be given an operating position with the company.
  • Transocean (RIG) has planned the issuance of $6 bln in convertible senior notes due 2037 issuable in series A, B and C, and $2.5 billion in senior notes due 2013, 2018, and 2038. The company will use the funds raised, along with a borrowed $1.5 bln towards repayment of outstanding borrowings under its $15.0 billion bridge loan facility.
  • UAL Corp. (UAUA) reported November airline traffic fell 1.4% to 9.01 billion revenue passenger miles from 9.13 billion a year ago. The company also said capacity fell 1.3% in November from a year ago. November load factor, or the percentage of available seats filled with paying passengers, dipped to 79.6% from 79.7% in the year-ago period.


Market Recap

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.77%, Nikkei -0.95%, Sensex -0.38%, Taiwan +0.79% and Shanghai +0.97%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -1.23%, DAX -0.26%, FTSE -1.24%, ATX -2.28%, Swiss Mkt. -0.90% and Stockholm -2.07%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower-0.22 to 89.09 while gold is higher +5.3 to 800.0 this morning.

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