Albertson's Jumps on Takeover Rumor

Access agrees to acquire PalmSource; Yellow Roadway cuts guidance; plus more companies in the news Friday

TheDeal.com reports that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Apollo Advisors LP, Bain Capital LLC, Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Carlyle Group are interested in buying Albertson's ( ABS ), which could fetch $16 billion, including debt assumption. Albertson's wasn't available for comment.

Software maker PalmSource (PSRC ) said it agreed to be acquired by the Japanese software developer Access in an all-cash deal valued at $18.50 per share, or about $324 million.

Martek Biosciences (MATK ) posted breakeven third quarter, vs. 16 cent earnings per share a year ago, on 17% lower revenue. First Albany downgraded the company's investment rating to neutral from buy.

Ballard Power Systems (BLDP ), an electrical equipment developer, inked a supply agreement with General Hydrogen (Canada) to deliver more than 100 fuel cells for integration into General Hydrogen's power units.

Pfizer (PFE ), along with its research collaborators Sanofi-Aventis (SNY ) and Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR ), said that the Food and Drug Administration recommended approval of Exubera, an insulin powder for oral inhalation.

McDonald's (MCD ) posted higher August sales.

Northrop Grumman (NOC ) cut its earning per share guidance for 2005 by 6 cents to 12 cents, reflecting work delays and the negative impact of Hurricane Katrina. The technology services company sees lower-than-previosuly-guided revenue of $950 million, but expects its 2006 guidance will by largely unaffected by the hurricane.

Biogen Idec (BIIB ) is planning to cut its workforce by about 17% and will seek to divest several non-core assets. The biotech company's Executive Vice President of Research Michael Gilman is leaving. Thomas Weisel reportedly cut its opinion on the stock to underperform; Citigroup reportedly cut its opinion to hold.

Yellow Roadway (YELL ) said it expects third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of between $1.40 and $1.45, vs. previous guidance of $1.60 to $1.65. The company cited devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, and implementation challenges for new processes at Roadway such as the associated learning curve.

Texas Instruments (TXN ) said it sees between 36 cents and 38 cents third-quarter earnings per share, including stock option expense, on revenue of between $3.48 billion and $3.62 billion. S&P raised its estimates and price target on the stock, but keeps a hold investment recommendation.

Intel (INTC ) said it sees third-quarter revenue of between $9.8 billion and $10 billion, vs. its previous guidance of between $9.6 billion and $10.2 billion. The technology company said its gross margin percentage is now expected to be 60%, plus or minus a point. S&P kept its hold opinion on the stock.

El Paso Corp. (EP ) said that approximately 3 billion cubic feet per day was shut-in on three natural gas pipeline systems in the Gulf of Mexico due to Katrina. Now 700 million cubic feet per day of its production is shut-in on the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, 550 million on the Southern Natural Gas, and none on the ANR Pipeline.

Shaw Group (SGR ) won a contract from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide support services in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The contract is valued at up to $100 million, with provisions. S&P upgraded its opinion on Shaw's stock to hold from sell.

Molex (MOLX ) posted 27 cents, vs. 30 cents, fourth quarter earnings per share (before charges) despite a slight sales rise. S&P upgraded the stock to hold from sell.

Open Text (OTEX ) posted 10 cents, vs. 16 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) despite a 4% rise in revenue. The software company sees first-quarter adjusted earnings per share 4 cents to 15 cents on revenue of between $85 million and $95 million. It also expects to take the majority of a $25 million to $30 million restructuring charge in the first quarter. Jefferies upped its opinion on the stock to hold from underperform.

Cascade (CAE ) posted 84 cents, vs. 51 cents, second-quarter earnings per share on a 24% sales rise.

Progenics Pharmaceuticals (PGNX ) announced positive clinical findings regarding its investigational drug, PRO 140, which is a novel HIV entry inhibitor.

Brinker (EAT ) posted 3.2% higher August same-store sales and raised its first quarter earnings per share guidance to between 47 cents and 48 cents, excluding equity-based compensation expense.

Avid Technology (AVID ) signed a multimillion dollar broadcast deal with CBS to install its end-to-end digital newsroom environments at the network's New York City headquarters and London news bureau.

Biovail ( BVF ) said its New Drug Application for the once-daily formulation of tramadol hydrochloride received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe chronic pain.

Quiksilver (ZQK ) posted 20 cents, vs. 16 cents, third quarter earnings per share on an 11% revenue rise. The company sees 26 cents to 27 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share and 86 cents to 87 cents fiscal year 2005 earnings per share.

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