GM Agrees on a Buyout Plan with UAW and Delphi

Morgan Stanley posts higher first quarter earnings; consumer version of Microsoft's Windows Vista delayed; plus more stocks in the news Wednesday

General Motors (GM) said Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers union and Delphi, in which more than 100,000 U.S. hourly employees will receive buyouts to help reduce the size of the workforce.

Morgan Stanley (MS) posts $1.50 vs. $1.24 first quarter earnings per share (EPS) on a 24% revenue rise.

Microsoft (MSFT) says the business version of Windows Vista will be available 11/06 but the consumer version won't be available until 1/07.

New York Times (NYT) posts a 3.7% rise in February advertising revenue for its business units and 3.4% higher total revenues. Results include, which the media company acquired last year.

Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) agreed to settle a patent infringement lawsuit with Apotex relating to the blood-thinning drug Plavix.

Nike (NKE) posts $1.24 vs. $1.01 third quarter EPS on a 9% sales rise. It says worldwide futures orders for athletic footwear and apparel are scheduled for delivery from 3/06-7/06.

FedEx (FDX) posts $1.38 vs. $1.03 third quarter EPS on a 9% revenue rise. It sees $1.65 to $1.80 fourth quarter EPS. It raises $5.45 to $5.70 fiscal year 2006 EPS guidance to between $5.66 and $5.81, which includes the net effect of 15 cents per share lease accounting charge in the first quarter.

J.C. Penney (JCP) raises its quarterly dividend 44%.

China Techfaith (CNTF) and Qualcomm announce plans to found a new company to focus on new development of application software for wireless devices; the new company, TechFaith Software China, will be funded by both companies.

Regis (RGS) cuts its 56 cents to 60 cents third quarter EPS forecast to 45 cents to 48 cents on flat same-store sales; it sees fourth quarter EPS of 58 cents to 62 cents and fiscal year 2006 EPS of $2.10 to $2.17. It cites lower-than-expected product margins and sales.

Interpublic (IPG) posts 8 cents fourth quarter loss (including $92.1 million non-cash charge) vs. 22 cents EPS on a 3.6% revenue decline.

Applied Materials (AMAT) raises its 3 cents quarterly dividend to 5 cents.

Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH) discloses an excerpt from its expected 10-K filing, and says the company, auditors, and CEO received subpoena's from the SEC regarding loss mitigation products.

TransMontaigne (TMG) Up 1.53 to 8.95 Morgan Stanley offers to buy remaining shares of TMG it does not already own for $8.50 per share.

Sigma Designs (SIGM) posts lower-than-expected 2 cents fourth quarter EPS vs. breakeven on 33% higher revenue.

Myriad Genetics (MYGN) the Journal of American Medical Association publishes a study showing the company's test for genetic mutations linked to breast cancer failed to work in some women.