Scottish Re Shares Plummet

Sandisk to buy M-Systems; Wal-Mart posts higher July sales; plus more stocks in the news Monday

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Scottish Re Group (SCT) shares plunged Monday after the company reported a $130 million net operating loss due to a valuation allowance on deferred tax assets and other factors. The company sees third- and fourth-quarter EPS lower than guidance; it also suspended its cash dividend. President and CEO Scott Willkomm resigned. Bear Stearns downgraded the shares.

M-Systems (FLSH) agrees to be acquired by Sandisk (SNDK), for 0.76368 Sandisk shares per M-Systems share.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Sanofi-Aventis (SNY)'s patent infringement lawsuit against Apotex failed to receive the required antitrust clearance from the state attorneys general, which if received would have prevented generic competition for the anti-clotting drug Plavix.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) says comparative sales in the U.S. are estimated to be approximately 2.4% for the July four-week period.

Phelps Dodge (PD) was seen higher Monday on speculation its bid to acquire Inco Ltd.(WMT) will fall through following news Teck Cominco Ltd. sweetened its hostile bid for Inco. Prudential upgraded Phelps Dodge to overweight from underweight.

Pfizer (PFE) names Jeffrey Kindler as CEO, succeeding Hank McKinnell, who will remain chairman until his retirement in Feb. 2007.

RadioShack (RSH) names James Gooch as Chief Financial Officer.

Avon Products (AVP) posts 33 cents vs. 69 cents second quarter earnings per share (EPS) as higher costs and expenses offset a 4.8% sales rise.

Tyson Foods (TSN) posts 15 cents third quarter loss vs. 36 cents earnings per share (EPS) on 4.5% lower sales. It sees 41 cents to 51 cents fiscal year 2006 loss.

Playtex Products (PYX) posts 16 cents vs. 10 cents second quarter EPS on a 1.9% revenue rise. It reiterates guidance for 2006 operating income of $103 million to $108 million.

U.S. Airways Group (LCC)'s CEO Doug Parkers phoned Delta's (DAL) CEO Gerald Grinstein earlier this summer to gauge his interest in a possible merger, according to people familiar with the situation. Grinstein told Parker that Delta wasn't interested, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Activision (ATVI) receives a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting certain documents and information related to its stock option grant practices.

Humana (HUM) posts 53 cents vs. 49 cents second quarter EPS on a 52% revenue rise. It sees 95 cents to $1.00 third quarter EPS and it continues to see $2.82 to $2.88 2006 EPS. It also sees second half Medicare marketing costs of about 15 cents per share higher than its previous forecast.

Compass Minerals (CMP) posts 7 cents second quarter loss vs. 16 cents loss (excluding items) on an 11% sales rise.

Gehl (GEHL) posts 75 cents vs. 55 cents second quarter earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations on an 8.7% sales rise. It reaffirms $2.20 to $2.30 2006 EPS (including 6 cents stock option expense) guidance.

Agco (AG) posts 45 cents vs. 47 cents second quarter EPS on a 7.9% sales drop. It notes that unit production was down 20% from the second quarter of 2005. It also says demand for farm equipment in 2006 are expected to be below 2005 levels.

Pozen (POZN) announces it plans to submit a full response to an Approvable letter for Trexima during the fourth quarter of 2006.

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