Sara Lee Names New CEO

Verizon reportedly makes informal offer for MCI; Aetna posts higher earnings; plus more of Thursday's stocks in the news

Sara Lee (SLE ) named Brenda Barnes as its new CEO. The consumer-products conglomerate also announced it will be spinning-off of its apparel business and shedding three of its other businesses.

Verizon (VZ ) has floated an informal acquisition offer in cash and stock for MCI (MCIP ), according to people familiar with situation, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Aetna (AET ) posted $1.82, vs. $1.32 fourth-quarter operating earnings per share on a 13% revenue rise, higher membership levels, and increased premiums and fees. The health insurer raises 2005 operating earnings per share guidance to $8.75 to $8.90. It sets a 2-for-1 stock split.

b>Krispy Kreme Dounuts (KKD ) announced a services agreement with Stephen Cooper, Steven Panagos, and Kroll Zolfo Cooper LLC to perform management services for the company. Krispy Kreme will pay a monthly fee of $400,000 to Kroll Zolfo Cooper.

DaimlerChrysler (DCX ) posted 0.52 euro, vs. 1.39 euro fourth-quarter earnings per share despite a 7.1% revenue rise. The automaker says after a weaker first quarter and second-quarter of 2005, it expects slightly higher operating profit for all of 2005.

Napster (NAPS ) posted 36 cents third-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 92-cent loss on sharply higher revenues. The company sees fourth-quarter revenues of $14 million and raises $35 million to $40 million fiscal 2005 revenue guidance to $43 million.

Ericsson (ERICY ) posted 0.38 krona vs. 0.01 krona fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 9% sales rise.

Office Depot (ODP ) posted 30 cents, vs. 22 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (pro forma) on 2% higher worldwide same-store sales and 7% higher total sales. Given the expected arrival of a new CEO in 2005, the company decides to suspend practice of issuing formal business and earnings per share guidance.

Whole Foods Markets (WFMI ) posted 73 cents, vs. 60 cents first-quarter earnings per share on 11% same-store sales growth and a 22% revenue rise. The company sees 8% to 10% fiscal 2005 same-store sales growth and 15% to 20% total sales growth. It sees fiscal 2005 earnings per share growth lower than sales growth.

Shire Pharmaceuticals (SHPGY ) says Health Canada requested suspension of sales of its ADHD treatment, Adderall XR, in Canada following Health Canada's interpretation of adverse event data as part of routine label updating.

Dean Foods (DF ) posted 64 cents, vs. 54 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on an 11% sales rise. The company sees $2.20 to $2.30 2005 earnings per share on sales of about $10.6 billion.

KLA-Tencor (KLAC ) bids to acquire August Technology (AUGT ) for $11.50 cash per August share.

Immunogen (IMGN ) says a collaborative partner Boehringer Ingelheim is to discontinue its development of bivatuzumab mertansine, but retains its right to use Immunogen's DM1 Tumor-Activated Prodrug technology for a different antigen target.

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