SangStat Medical Surges on Merger News

CV Therapeutics skids; Church & Dwight raises guidance; plus more of today's stocks to watch

Genzyme Corp. (GENZ ) agreed to acquire SangStat Medical Corp. (SANG ) in an all cash transaction valued at $22.50 per SANG share, or about $600 million. The transaction is expected to cause Genzyme's GAAP EPS to be lower due to amortization through 2004. SangStat shares jumped nearly 44% to $22.21 on the merger news.

CV Therapeutics (CVTX ) shares skidded after the company reached an agreement with the FDA to cancel the September, 2003, review of Ranexa by the agency's Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee. CIBC World believes substantial weakness in stock today could create buying opportunity.

Monster Worldwide (MNST ) shares fell on news that the America Online unit of AOL Time Warner (AOL ) signed deal with to replace Monster as its online job services content provider. S&P reiterates sell.

Tivo (TIVO ) shares lost ground on a Barron's article that says the company needs more users. The magazine reports that its product is expensive and hard to explain. Also, the magazine says the company's capital is constrained, with $60 million in cash following a recent $27-million stock offering, and can't launch big ad campaign.

AMR Corp. (AMR ) intends to sell $250 million of convertible notes in a private placement; initial purchasers expected to have option to buy additional $50 million.

Ribapharm (RNA ) shares rose after ICN Pharmaceuticals (ICN ) raised its offer to acquire the shares not already owned by ICN to $6.25 per share.

Qwest Communications (Q ) signs wholesale agreement to provide nationwide wireless voice and data services throughout a 14-state local service region and business customers across the U.S. using enhanced Sprint PCS wireless infrastructure. S&P keeps avoid.

Esco Technologies (ESE ) shares fell after Baird downgrades to neutral from outperform on valuation. On Friday, the company announced its intention to sell its microfiltration businesses.

Janney Montgomery downgrades On Assignment (ASGN ) to hold from buy.

UBS Financial downgraded Province Healthcare (PRV ) to reduce from neutral on valuation.

Wachovia upgraded AnnTaylor Stores (ANN ) to outperform from market perform, citing a good chance of better-than-expected earnings per share in the second half.

JP Morgan reportedly upgrades Borders Group (BGP ) to overweight from neutral.

Handleman (HDL ) shares fell after the company extends time to file fiscal year 2003 10K to Aug. 18, citing a review resulting from an SEC investigation of a unit. The company has also decided that a change in its revenue recognition method is appropriate, and will result in changes to fourth quarter and fiscal year 2003 results.

Banc of America downgrades Monsanto (MON ) to neutral from buy.

HSBC Holdings (HBC ) posted $273 million vs. $199 million third quarter net income on a 6% rise in net interest income.

Church & Dwight (CHD ) posted 46 cents vs. 40 cents second quarter earnings per share (excluding items) despite a slight revenue decline. The company raised its $1.77-$1.81 2003 earnings per share guidance to $1.84-$1.86.

Ascential Software (ASCL ) will acquire Mercator Software in a deal valued at $106 million. Terms: $3 in cash per Mercator share.

General Electric (GE ) plans to sell its financial-guaranty insurance business for about $2.16 billion, slightly below book value, to a consortium led by PMI Group, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Union Pacific's (UNP ) board approved the sale of Overnite, its Richmond, Va.-based trucking unit, through an initial public offering.

Gilead Sciences (GILD ) entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Chiron for research, development, and commercialization of small molecule therapeutics against selected HCV drug targets.

UBS Financial downgraded Province Healthcare (PRV ), LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT ), and Triad Hospitals (TRI ) on valuation.

UBS Financial downgraded Knight Ridder (KRI ) to neutral from buy.

Two telephone companies claim AT&T (T ) has engaged in routing practices similar to those WorldCom has been accused of, namely rerouting calls to cut access costs, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The Communications Workers of America says it has made "significant progress" in contract bargaining with Verizon Communications (VZ ), "although a few outstanding issues remain to be resolved."

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.