UAL Shares Pare Losses

Manulife bids for Canada Life; Skechers sees a loss; plus more of today's stocks in the news

UAL Corp. (UAL ) shares made a comeback hours after the parent company of United Airlines announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. UAL chairman Glenn Tilton says the company and its employees are gearing up to pull the nation's second-largest airliner out of bankruptcy in 18 months.

Manulife Financial offered to acquire Canada Life Financial (CLU ) for $6.4 billion Canadian dollars (US$4.1 billion) -- $40 Canadian dollars a share -- or 1.055 Manulife share per Canada Life share.

Skechers USA (SKX ) shares tumbled after it says it sees a fourth-quarter loss of 25 cents to 35 cents per share, vs. a consensus earnings per share estimate of 5 cents. CIBC World reportedly downgraded the stock to sector perform.

CheckFree (CKFR ) announced the resignation of president and COO Peter F. Sinisgalli, effective Jan. 31, 2003. The company does not expect to replace the position. S&P reiterates hold.

Prudential upgraded Schering-Plough (SGP ) to buy.

Merrill reiterates its sell rating on Ciena (CIEN ), saying the company's fundamentals haven't changed much since its last financial report, and that the stock is overvalued.

JP Morgan upgraded Allegheny Energy (AYE ) to overweight from underweight. S&P reiterates hold.

Pathology services firm AmeriPath (PATH ) agreed to be acquired by Amy Acquisition Corp., a buyout firm formed by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, in an $839.4 million deal. Terms: $21.25 cash per AmeriPath share.

Soundview downgraded Emulex (ELX ) to neutral.

Mercury Computer (MRCY ) expects second quarter revenue to exceed the high end of its previous $40 million to $43 million guidance. S&P reiterates hold.

Salomon Smith Barney reportedly downgraded Qualcomm (QCOM ) to in-line from outperform. On Friday, the company said it expects to ship at least 28 million MSM phone chips in the first quarter, and about 24 million to 27 million in the second quarter.

CIBC lowered its estimates for Interpublic Group (IPG ). On Friday, S&P Ratings cut its long-term debt rating to BBB- from BBB, kept long-term ratings on CreditWatch, and placed near-term ratings on CreditWatch, both with negative implications.

Salomon Smith Barney downgraded Nextel Communications (NXTL ) to in-line from outperform. It upgraded AT&T Wireless (AWE ) to outperform from in-line, and kept an outperform rating on Triton PCS (TPC ).

Salomon Smith Barney upgraded Nokia (NOK ) to outperform from in-line, citing relative stability in a challenging sector.

USB Piper reportedly downgraded Wavecom (WVCM ) to underperform from outperform. On Friday, the company forecast fourth-quarter revenue to fall 18% sequentially to a range of 132 million euros to 140 million euros due to a loss of orders from TCL Mobile, its largest customer.

In response to an analyst downgrade on Friday, Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS ) says its Affinitak trial remains blinded; the study design prevents insights; its trial database is secure; and analysis and new drug application plans have been finalized. Needham reiterates strong buy.

Banc of America downgraded Wendy's (WEN ). On Friday, Wendy's tightened its 2002 earnings per share growth goal to $1.88-$1.90, or 14%-15% vs. the previous 15%-16% guidance. BoA also downgraded Sonic Corp. (SONC ), which operates a chain of drive-in restaurants, and Yum Brands (YUM ), the operator of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell chains.

Hovnanian (HOV ) posted $1.66 vs. 74 cents in fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 55% revenue rise. The homebuilder says it is confident it can achieve $5.00 to $5.20 fiscal 2003 earnings per share projections.

Banc of America downgraded IBM Corp. (IBM ) to market perform from buy, citing valuation.

Cell Therapeutics (CTIC ) says preliminary study results of its Trisenox indicate a high response rates in patients with chemotherapy resistant multiple myeloma.

Novartis (NVS ) says a study showed chronic myeloid leukemia patients treated with its Gleevec were nine times more likely to achieve complete cytogenetic response than those taking an interferon-based regimen.

Lehman downgraded Forest Labs (FRX ) to equal-weight from overweight. UBS Warburg reportedly downgraded to buy. On Friday, the company said the FDA will require it to conduct additonal trials in order to approve its dosing regimen of lercanidipine. More trials could delay the launch of the drug for three years.

Citigroup (C ) and JP Morgan helped Enron conceal debt or avoid taxes in previously undisclosed deals, congressional investigators say, according to The Wall Street Journal. (SINA ) inked an alliance for online marketing with Nike, under which Nike will become a co-brand partner of Sina's sports channel.

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