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More Companies Face Option-Probe Woes

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Marvell Technologies (MRVL) shares fell Wednesday after the company received a letter of informal inquiry from the SEC and a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney for documents relating to stock option grants and ractices. S&P keeps strong sell, Friedman Billings keeps market perform.

Zoran (ZRAN) receives a grand jury subpoena from the US Attorney for documents from 1995 through the present relating to stock options. The company also receives an informal inquiry from the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting documents related to its stock option grants.

Quest Software (QSFT) is to restate its annual and interim financial statements for 2000 through 2005, as well as for the first quarter of 2006, related to stock option grant practices.

Nissan Motor's (NSANY) board approved that the company should proceed with exploratory discussions concerning a potential alliance with GM (GM), if GM supports and endorses a proposal made by its shareholders.

Duquesne Light (DQE) agreed to be acquired by a consortium led by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners and Diversified Utility & Energy Trusts for $20 per share or a total equity market value of about $1.59 billion. S&P ups to hold from sell.

Mittal Steel (MT) announces final approval and a timetable of the agreed tender offer for Arcelor: shareholders may tender shares until 7/13. Results of the offer should be announced 7/26; settlement and delivery of offered shares and cash should occur by 8/1.

First Data (FDC) and Visa U.S.A. settle a legal dispute over the processing of Visa payment card transactions. Specific terms of the settlement are confidential.

Wendy's (WEN) posts 0.5% to 0.6% higher Wendy's US company second quarter same-store sales, 0.9% to 1.0% higher US franchised same-store sales, and 6.0% to 6.1% higher same-store sales at Tim Hortons in Canada. It targets Oct. 1 to complete the Tim Hortons spin-off.

Tim Hortons (THI) posts 6.0% to 6.1% second quarter same-store sales increases at restaurants in Canada, and 8.1% to 8.3% higher at restaurants in the US.

Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM) receives a subpoena from the US Attorney for the Northern District of California asking for documents relating to its stock option grants and practices.

Trend Micro (TMIC) says its CEO Eva Chen advised the Board that the Securities and Exchange Commission staff may recommend that the SEC commence civil enforcement action against Ms. Chen.

Wet Seal (WTSLA) the SEC terminates its formal investigation with no enforcement action recommended in connection with an investigation that began on April 19, 2005 related to events and announcements surrounding the company's second quarter 2004 financial results.

Rambus (RMBS) signs a patent license agreement with Toshiba (TOSBF) which grants Toshiba license to Rambus patents for SDRAM and DDR SDRAM memory controllers.

Anika Therapeutics (ANIK) signs an exclusive worldwide development and commercialization agreement with Galderma Pharma S.A., a joint venture between NESTLE and L'Oreal, for cosmetic tissue augmentation therapies.

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