GE Gains After Hiking Dividend

Delphi declines after job cuts; Motorola falls on Bear Stearns warning; plus more of Friday's stocks in the news

General Electric (GE ) raised its quarterly dividend by 10%. The company also set a $15 billion stock buyback.

Motorola (MOT ) fell amid reports that Bear Stearns believes a Nextel(NXTL )-Sprint(FON ) merger would be negative for Motorola.

Delphi (DPH ) cut its fourth-quarter revenue forecast by $200 million to $6.9 billion to $7.0 billion due to low production volumes and higher commodity prices. The company sees a fourth-quarter GAAP net loss of $123 million to $143 million. It sees $28.5 billion to $29 billion in 2005 revenue, and a $359 million GAAP net loss. The company will cut 8,500 jobs.

CIBC World raised its Sirius Satellite (SIRI ) target price and reiterated a sector outperform rating.

Banc of America initiates Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV ) at buy.

St. Paul Travelers (STA ) received a subpoena from the New York Attorney General seeking information relating to the underwriting of lawyers' professional liability insurance.

Software company Autodesk (ADSK ) set an additional 24 million share buyback. It says the primary purpose of increase is to offset the dilutive impact of employee stock option grants.

Activision (ATVI ) says November sales of its console and handheld for October and November combined increased 27% to $114 million, vs. $90 million last year, according to NPD Funworld. Sales were driven by Tony Hawk's Underground 2 and X-Men Legends.

Shuffle Master (SHFL ) posted 27 cents, vs. 21 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 48% revenue rise. The company set a 3-for-2 stock split. It sees 21 cents to 23 cents first-quarter earnings per share, and $1.14 to $1.18 fiscal 2005 earnings per share (post split).

Esterline Technologies (ESL ) posted 70 cents, vs. 44 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 21% sales rise. It sees $1.70 to $1.80 fiscal 2005 earnings per share.

Rowe Companies (ROW ) expects $71 million to $74 million in fourth-quarter shipments, below a year ago's $74.5 million. Shipments will result in lower earnings per share, vs. a year ago's fourth-quarter.

Martek Biosciences (MATK ) posted 33 cents, vs. 21 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share (excluding items), on a 54% revenue rise. S&P maintains a buy rating.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Accredo Health (ACDO ) to underweight from equal-weight.

Merix (MERX ) acquired Data Circuit Systems for $43 million. The deal is expected to be accretive to Merix's financial results.

Ecolab (ECL ) raised its quarterly dividend 9%. The company set a 10 million share buyback.

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