Apple Shares Climb

Circuit City rises on a takeover offer; Agilent posts higher first-quarter profits; plus more of Tuesday's stocks in the news

Circuit City Stores (CC ) received a takeover proposal from Highfields Capital Management LP valued at $17 per share. The company says it will evaluate the proposal and other alternatives. It named Philip Schoonover president and Michael E. Foss executive vice president and CFO.

Shares of Apple Computer (AAPL ) moved higher Tuesday after Merrill Lynch raised its target price on the iPod maker to $102 from $85.

Agilent Technologies (A ) posted 20 cents, vs. 21 cents first-quarter operating earnings per share despite slight revenue rise. The company sees $1.60 billion to $1.7 billion second-half revenue and relatively flat vs. first quarter. It expects 18 cents to 23 cents second-half operating earnings per share. S&P reiterates hold.

3M (MMM ) raised its quarterly dividend about 17%.

According to SEC filings, Warren Buffett raised his stake in Comcast (CMCSA ) to 10 million shares from 5 million shares.

KLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC ) sets an initial 12 cents quarterly dividend and an additional 10 million share buyback. S&P reiterates buy.

Sybase (SY ) plans to offer, subject to market conditions and other factors, a $400 million aggregate principal amount of convertible subordinated notes. S&P reiterates buy.

Performance Food (PFGC ) delayed the release of fourth-quarter earnings. The company says it recently received anonymous allegations questioning certain accounting practices at one of its Broadline units. The SEC has issued an informal inquiry.

Molex (MOLXE ) sees lower-than-expected 27 cents second-half earnings per share on $651.8 million revenue. It sees 21 cents to 24 cents third-quarter earnings per share on $630 million to $640 million in revenue. The company says the SEC sent a follow-up letter questioning some of its accounting adjustments. S&P cuts to sell from buy.

Plato Learning (TUTR ) expects first-quarter revenues of about $24.5 million to $25.5 million. As a result of revenue reduction and change in revenue mix, the company sees a net loss of $8.5 million to $9.3 million, before restructuring and executive termination charges.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA ) posted 41 cents, vs. 31 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 40% higher sales.

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