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Phillips Adds Tosco to Its Tank

Prudential upgraded Tosco (TOS) to strong buy and raised its price target to $41 after the company agreed to be acquired by Phillips Petroleum (P) in a $7 billion deal that includes $2 billion in Tosco debt assumption. The terms are 0.8 Phillips share per Tosco share. Phillips set a $1 billion share buyback.

Patterson Energy (PTEN) agreed to acquire UTI Energy (UTI) in a deal worth $2.6 billion. The terms are one Patterson share per UTI share.

Valmont Industries (VALM) sees $0.27-$0.29 vs. $0.33 Q4 EPS, citing new product R&D costs for wind energy turbines, and a loss from the sale of one business and closure of another facility.

Boston Acoustics (BOSA) posted $0.36 vs. $0.51 Q3 EPS as higher cost of goods sold and operating expenses offset 10% higher sales. The company cites a slowdown in U.S. retail sales in December.

Novartis' ophthalmics unit and QLT (QLTI) say the FDA issued an approvable letter to expand the use of Visudyne therapy, which is being co-developed by Novartis and QLT.

Exodus (EXDS) plans to offer 13 million shares and $500 million worth of convertible subordinated notes in concurrent public offerings. S&P maintained its hold ranking on the shares.

Aragdigm (ARDM) and Genentech mutually agreed to discontinue the development of rhDNase using Aradigm's proprietary AERx System. CS First Boston downgraded the shares to buy from strong buy.

Shares of (PPRO) are lower after a critical Barron's story.

International Multifoods (IMC) agreed to acquire Pillsbury's desserts, a specialty-products portfolio and General Mills' U.S. Robin Hood brand. The company is exploring alternatives for its Multifoods foodservice distribution business and plans to eliminate quarterly dividends.

Merrill Lynch upgraded Sunoco (SUN) to near-term accumulate and long-term buy from near-term neutral and long-term accumulate.

Salomon Smith Barney upgraded shares of Dillard (DDS) to buy from neutral.

Dain Rauscher upgraded Mercator Soft (MCTR) to buy from neutral.

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