Martha Stewart Living Shares Sink

Kos Pharmaceuticals climbs; Smucker turns lower; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Martha Stewart will tell directors of the company she founded, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO ), that she knows she must quit the board, according to the New York Post. Stewart was convicted Friday of lying to federal investigators about the timing of her sale of ImClone (IMCL )stock.

Kos Pharmaceuticals (KOSP ) acquired Azmacort, along with the rights to an environmentally safe hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) propellant product under development, for $200 million from Aventis. Kos will pay royalty to Aventis on future sales of the HFA product.

J.M. Smucker (SJM ) agreed to acquire International Multifoods (IMC ), the maker of Pillsbury brand foods. The deal is valued at about $840 million, including a $340 million debt assumption. Terms: International Multifoods holders will receive $25 per share in combination of 80% Smucker stock and 20% cash, subject to adjustments. Merrill downgraded to neutral.

Extended Stay America (ESA ) agreed to be acquired by affiliates of The Blackstone Group for $19.625 per share.

General Electric (GE ) will offer 118 million shares at current market prices. GE says this offering is being made from an existing shelf registration statement. The diversified conglomerate gave no reasons for the sale, but it will soon pay $3.8 billion to Vivendi Universal (V ) for a majority stake in the French company's U.S. entertainment assets, which GE plans to combine with its NBC television business.

Eastman Kodak (EK ) will buy Heidelberg Druckmaschinen's 50% interest in NexPress Solutions (the other 50% is owned by Kodak), and will also buy unit Heidelberg Digital, for a maximum of $150 million cash. Kodak sees some restructuring actions following these acquisitions, and says its 2004 GAAP earnings per share guidance of $2.25 to $2.75 will be affected.

Spinal company Interpore (BONZ ) agreed to be acquired by Biomet (BMET ) for $14.50 per share, which represents a total value of about $280 million.

Vion Pharmaceuticals (VION ) received fast-track designation from the FDA for Cloretazine in relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia.

Pegasus Communications (PGTV ) posted a $6.63 fourth-quarter loss per share, vs. a $10.25 loss a year ago, despite 2.6% revenue drop.

Array Biopharma (ARRY ) received notification from the FDA that its investigational new drug application is now in effect for ARRY-142886, allowing the company to proceed with human clinical studies in cancer patients. Legg Mason upped its target.

Shares of Apple Computer (AAPL ) may have rose on Friday on speculation that Sony Corp. (SNE ) may be looking to buy Apple.

CIBC World upgraded Varian Semiconductor (VSEA ) to sector perform from sector underperform, and raised its estimates. The brokerage firm cited valuation and increased visibility, and set a $56 target.

BellSouth (BLS ) will sell its interests in 10 Latin American operations for after-tax cash proceeds of about $4.2 billion, which will reduce BellSouth's consolidated debt by $1.5 billion.

Landry's Restaurant (LNY ) says it has been awarded a 15-year, multimillion-dollar contract to operate Tower of the Americas in San Antonio.

Lockheed Martin (LMT ) confirmed there are allegations that improper payments were made, or items of value were provided, by certain Titan Corp. consultants, or subsidiaries to foreign officials in connection with Lockheed's proposed acquisition of Titan.

Terra Nitrogen (TNH ) says in response to the New York Stock Exchange's request for the company's statement as to whether there are any developments which may explain "unusual activity" in the partnership's unit price, Terra says it doesn't comment on unusual market activity or rumors.

Ethyl (EY ) unanimously voted to recommend to its shareholders that the company move to holding company structure. Under this structure, Ethyl would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the new holding company, to be named NewMarket Corp.

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