Monday's stocks in the news
From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchActivision (ATVI) and Vivendi ink a deal to combine Vivendi Games, Vivendi's interactive entertainment business, with ATVI. The new company will be called Activision Blizzard. Vivendi will purchase 62.9 million newly issued shares of Activision common stock at $27.50 per share, or total of $1.7 bilion in cash. Within five business days after closing the deal, Activision Blizzard will launch a $4 billion all-cash tender offer to purchase up to 146.5 million of its shares at $27.50 each.
MetLife (MET) sees $1.40-$1.45 fourth quartyer operating EPS, compared with $1.36 a year ago, $6.04-$6.09 for 2007 vs. $5.21. It expects 2008 operating EPS of $5.90-$6.20. Also expects to achieve an operating return on equity of 13.0%-13.6% in 2008.
VeriFone Holdings (PAY) says its unaudited interim consolidated financial statements for 3 months ended Jan. 31, 2007, and 3 and 6 months ended April 30, 2007, 3 and 9 months ended July 31, 2007, should no longer be relied upon, principally due to errors in accounting related to the valuation of in-transit inventory and allocation of manufacturing and distribution overhead to inventory. Separately, it sees total revenues for 3 and 12 months ended Oct. 31, 2007, of $238 million and $904 million, respectively.
Research In Motion (RIMM) falls after Morgan Keegan downgrades to market perform from market outperform.
E*Trade Financial (ETFC) falls after Banc of America reportedly downgrades to sell from neutral.
UAP Holding (UAPH) agrees to be acquired by Agrium (AGU) for $2.65 billion, including $487 million of assumed debt. Terms: $39 per share in cash for each UAPH share held.
Cbeyond (CBEY) rises after Wachovia upgrades to outperform from market perform.
ParkerVision (PRKR) could move after Barron's reports the company has also lost $160 million over 17 years without delivering a successful product. PRKR responds, says its technology is documented, proven and tested.
IBM (IBM) sets $1 billion stock buyback.
CH Energy Group (CHG) estimates that its 2007 consolidated annual EPS will total between $2.50-$2.70, a revision from previous estimate of $2.55-$2.80, due to recent developments impacting two of its business units.
AmerisourceBergen (ABC) sees first quarter operating revenue growth below 5%-7% range expected for entire fiscal year 2008 due to negative impact from lower sales of anemia pharmaceuticals, loss of a large specialty customer because of its acquisition by competitor, loss of a large retail customer in January 2007. It sees first quarter EPS similar to first quarter last year's $0.62 (excluding items), due primarily to anticipated shift of price increases by a major branded pharmaceutical manufacturer, fewer generic launches, slower flu season.
Tribune (TRB) announces that the FCC has approved the transfer of its broadcasting licenses and the extension of its cross-ownership waivers in markets where the company owns both a television station and a newspaper. TRB's going-private transaction is expected to close by year end following satisfaction of the remaining closing conditions, including the receipt of a solvency opinion and completion of the committed financing. S&P cuts hold to buy.
PeopleSupport (PSPT) confirms that it received a letter from IPVG Corp. and AO Capital Partners proposing to acquire PSPT for $15.00 per share.
Jakks Pacific (JAKK) says Federal court has issued an order stating that it will dismiss the lawsuit against JAKK, its officers and other defendants in the federal lawsuit initiated by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Amgen (AMGN) says interim results from a Phase 3 study of Aranesp in 733 neoadjuvant breast cancer patients receiving dose-dense, dose-intense preoperative chemotherapy compared to a standard preoperative chemotherapy regimen showed there was no significant difference between the Aranesp and control groups.