Movers: SLM, NetManage, Bank of America, Office Depot, International Speedway

Wednesday's stocks in the news

SLM Corp. (SLM) expects fourth quarter core EPS to be in range of $0.52-$0.57, excluding non-recurring items such as merger related costs, impacted by funding costs, increased reserves for FFELP loan portfolio. It lowers 2008 core EPS guidance from $3.25 to $2.60-$2.80, primarily due to increased costs from replacing company's interim funding facility. It says Flowers Group has indicated that it does not wish to pursue opportunities proposed by SLM for the acquisition of the company.

United Online (UNTD) says its wholly-owned subsidiary, Classmates Media Corp., intends to withdraw its S-1 registration statement as previously filed with the SEC. UNTD says proceeding with the IPO under current market conditions would not be in the best interests of its stockholders.

NetManage (NETM) agrees to be acquired by privately held Rocket Software for $7.20 per share, a 95% premium over NETM's closing share price on Dec. 11, for an aggregate transaction value of about $69 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed in February, 2008.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM) falls after Cowen downgrades to neutral from outperform.

Schering-Plough (SGP) falls after a Congressional committee is investigating Merck (MRK) and Schering-Plough for their handling of a critical clinical trial of Zetia, their blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug, according to the New York Times.

Morgan Stanley reportedly downgrades Delta Air Lines (DAL), US Airways (LCC), and Northwest Airlines (NWA) to equal-weight.

Bank of America (BAC) expects provision expense to be about $3.3 billion in the fourth quarter, reflecting increased reserves of about $1.3 billion. It says about one-third of the increase is due to growth, seasoning in its consumer lending portfolios with remaining two-thirds due to deterioration principally in consumer real estate, some in small business. It says based on conditions today, expects recently forecast sizeable writedowns particularly in CDOs will be larger than already reported, but won't know until the company closes the fourth quarter. Merrill reportedly downgrades to neutral.

Merrill Lynch reportedly downgrades JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) to neutral from buy. It also reportedly downgrades Wachovia (WB) to sell from neutral.

NYSE Euronext (NYX) agrees to acquire the 50% stake in AtosEuronext Market Solutions (AEMS) owned by Atos Origin. Upon successful completion of this transaction, NYX would re-acquire ownership of NSC cash trading and LIFFE CONNECT derivatives trading platform technology, as well as AEMS's third-party exchange technology business. Atos Origin would acquire the third-party Clearing & Settlement and Capital Markets businesses from AEMS.

International Speedway (ISCA) says driven by a strong fourth quarter, it raises fiscal year 2007 EPS guidance to $2.75-$2.80 (excluding items) on $810-$815 million revenue. For fiscal year 2008, it expects revenues of $805-$825 million, EPS of $3.05-$3.15. It notes the company is currently more comfortable at the low to mid-point of the earnings range.

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