Schering-Plough CEO Buys Stock

Aber Diamond to buy jeweler Harry Winston; Rambus Climbs; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Schering-Plough ;s (SGP ) chairman and CEO Fred Hassan purchased $4.68 million worth of Schering-Plouh stock, citing his long-term confidence in the company.

Aber Diamond (ABER ), a Canadian mining company, signed a letter of intent to acquire diamond distributor Harry Winston, a New York-based boutique chain.

B. Riley says strength in chip-to-chip interface product maker Rambus (RMBS ) is based on news that an administrative law judge of the Federal Trade Commission cleared Unocal of an antitrust claim that's similar to one that Rambus is fighting, which will be ruled upon in December. The broker reiterated its buy rating.

Reliant Resources (RRI ) says NMa, the Dutch regulator, approved plans for Dutch utility Nuon to take over Reliant's three European power plants in return for concessions.

Late Wednesday, Visteon (VC ) said George Strickler withdrew, for personal reasons, from the appointment of executive vice president and chief financial officer, which was to be effective Dec. 1. Daniel Coulson has agreed to continue as CFO on an interim basis.

8x8 (EGHT ) is among voice-over Internet protocal stocks continuing their upward momentum following recent positive comments from Net2Phone's CEO, according to a report.

Inkine Pharmaceuticals (INKP ) filed to offer 10 million shares. (OSTK ) CEO Patrick Byrne says on CNBC the company is nearing breakeven, and won't likely have to raise capital anytime soon. Separately, Forrester Research says holiday-season sales at Overstock, Amazon, and other online retailers may surge more than 40%.

Dutch supermarket chain Ahold (AHO ) posted a 42 million euro loss for the first three months of 2003, vs. 17 million euros in net income on 11% lower sales, including non-cash losses of 110 million euros. Ahold noted some slippage of operating income in its U.S. retail operations, and an increase in operating losses at unit US Foodservice.

Wells Fargo Montgomery Emerging Market Fund's portfolio manager Josephine Jimenez reportedly says Aluminum Corp. of China (ACH ) is one of her favorite stocks to own as demand in China for basic materials is increasing due to an rise in car purchases.

North Coast Energy (NCEB ) agreed to be acquired by Exco Resources for $10.75 per share.

Hormel Foods (HRL ) raised its annual dividend from 42 cents per share to 45 cents.

The market launch of Eon Laboratories' (ELAB ) Bupropion HCI, ER 100mg tablets, a treatment for depression, was delayed to Dec. 1 as a result of a motion brought by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK ) for a restraining order. Bupopion is the generic version of Glaxo's Wellbutrin.

BB&T Capital initiated coverage of Thor Industries (THO ) with buy.

Stolt Offshore (SOSA ) sees a $400 million to $450 million net loss for fiscal 2003.

Simulations Plus (SIMU ) posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 56 cents, vs. 4 cents one year earlier, on a 68% rise in total consolidated revenue.

Dress Barn (DBRN ) posted 4% lower November same-store sales and flat total sales.

Schering AG (SHR ) says the EU approved its contrast agent Gadovist 1.0 for use in Magnetic Resonance Angiography. Separately, the company received approval in Finland for Nebido, a new type of depot preparation for the treatment of hypogonadism.

Beckman Coulter (BEC ) agreed to settle with Flextronoics (FLEX ) in a breach of contract lawsuit where Beckman will receive $23 million in damages.

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