Sun Microsystems to Slash Up to 5,000 Jobs

Vivendi settles tax dispute; retailers post May sales; plus more stocks in the news Thursday

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Sun Microsystems (SUNW) announces a restructuring plan which includes an 11% to 13% (4,000 to 5,000 people) reduction in its workforce and the consolidation of its real estate portfolio. It eliminates its Stockholder Rights Plan.

Vivendi (V) reaches an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over the tax treatment of its 1995 sale of shares in DuPont (DD). It says the company will make a $686 million payment to end the dispute. The pact eliminates $1.847 billion in deferred tax liabilities.

M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers (FLSH) announces it has, on its own initiative, commenced an internal review of prior stock option grants. As a result, it decides not to proceed at this time with its previously announced public offering.

Newly released emails from Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. provide some of the first details of a global conspiracy to raise prices on memory chips and could support allegations by Rambus (RMBS) in a closely watched antitrust case, according to the Wall Street Journal.

AK Steel Holding (AKS) is to modify its health care benefit plans for about 4,600 current retirees, effective Oct. 1, to be more cost competitive with other steelmakers and more consistent with the company's other retiree health care benefit plans.

Doral Financial (DRL) sells about $2.5 billion in mortgage loans to an affiliate of Deutsche Bank Securities. The sale is part of Doral Financial's initiative to restructure the terms of certain prior mortgage loan transfers and related servicing arrangements.

Novell (NOVL) posts 3 cents vs. a penny second quarter earnings per share (EPS) (non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) despite a 6.3% revenue decline. It sees third quarter net revenue, excluding Celerant, of $239 million to $247 million, and non-GAAP EPS of 3 cents excluding stock-based compensation expense of about 3 cents.

Tier Technologies (TIER) announces the resignation of James R. Weaver as chairman and CEO. This follows a recommendation by the audit committee that Mr. Weaver's employment be terminated. The company names Ronald L. Rossetti as interim CEO.

Bally Total Fitness (BFT) Says its Board of Directors has determined not to submit the company's Stockholder Rights Plan to stockholder vote. Accordingly, the Plan will expire pursuant to its terms on July 15, 2006.

US Airways Group (LCC) says one of its shareholders, Eastshore Aviation LLC, agreed to sell 3.05 million US Airways shares in an underwritten secondary offering. US Airways will not receive any proceeds from offering.

Dress Barn (DBRN) posts 29 cents vs. 17 cents third quarter EPS on 7% higher third quarter same-store sales and 11% higher total sales. It posts 9% higher May same-store sales. It also raises $1.05 to $1.07 fiscal year 2006 EPS estimate to $1.10 and sees fiscal year 2007 EPS of $1.25 to $1.30.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) posts 11% higher May same-store sales and 19% higher total sales. Based on May sales performance, it reiterates second quarter EPS guidance of 39 cents to 41 cents, which includes stock option expense of about a penny.

Aeropostale (ARO) posts 1.1% lower May same-store sales and 18% higher total sales.

Men's Wearhouse (MW) posts 5% higher May U.S. same-store sales and 7.4% higher comps in Canada. Total company sales rose 9% in May.

J.C. Penney (JCP) posts 11% higher May same-store sales and 11% higher total department store sales. He says May same-store sales were well above guidance for a low single digit sales increase. He raises second quarter EPS guidance by 2 cents to about 62 cents.

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