Agilent Jumps on Plans to Sell Chip Unit

Lowe's posts higher profits, Maytag declares Whirlpool's bid superior to Triton's offer, plus more of Monday's stocks in the news

Agilent Technologies (A ) says it will sell its Semiconductor Products unit to KKR and Silver Lake Partners for $2.66 billion. The company will sell a stake in Lumileds Lighting to Royal Philips Electronics for $950 million plus repayment of $50 million debt from Lumileds. Also, Agilent posted 21 cents, vs. 20 cents, second-quarter earnings per share (GAAP basis).

Home-improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW ) Monday posted a better-than-expected 20% increase in second-quarter profit, thanks to sales of installed items, special orders and sales to businesses. Quarterly income came in at $838 million, or $1.05 per share.

The New York Post reports that younger heirs of the controlling Bancroft family are pressing their elders to sell Dow Jones & Co. (DJ ). S&P believes the Bancroft family intends to maintain control of Dow Jones; it keeps strong sell.

Piper Jaffray selects Apple Computer (AAPL ) as its top large cap pick.

Maytag (MYG ) board declares Whirlpool's (WHR ) $21 per share cash and stock offer superior to Triton Acquisition Holding's $14 per share cash offer.

News Corp. (NWS ) is in talks to buy Blinkx, a privately held Internet search company based in San Francisco, according to people close to the company, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Taser International (TASR ) says in addition to reductions in suspect and officer injuries, a study of Taser devices by the Columbus, Ohio police found the Taser device was successfully used to intervene in 14 cases in which use of lethal force was justified.

Bear Stearns upgrades Activision (ATVI ) to outperform from peer perform.

EPlus (PLUS ) posted 14 cents, vs. 23 cents, first-quarter earnings per share as lower gross margin on sales of product offset 40% revenue rise.

Overland Storage (OVRL ) posts 9 cents fourth-quarte loss per share, vs. 14 cents EPS (GAAP), on flat revenue. It cites shortage of LTO3 tape drives from its supplier and significantly lower gross margin. It sees fiscal year 20 06 loss of about 10 cents per share.

Connetics (CNCT ) announces positive outcome of a Phase III clinical trial evaluating Desilux VersaFoam-EF, 0.05%, a low-potency topical steroid formulated in the company's proprietary emollient foam delivery vehicle to treat atopic dermatitis.

Kosan Bioscience (KOSN ) says the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) intends to amend protocols for the NCI's 17-AAG and DMAG clinical trials.

Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFVE ) submits a request to Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel for additional extension of deadline for company to file its annual report on form 10-K for 2004 and quarterly report on form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2005.

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