Chiquita to Peel Off Assets?

HP in spotlight as Dunn exits board; Federal court judge expected to rule on tobacco stocks; plus more stocks in the news Monday

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Chiquita Brands (CQB) Monday announced two initiatives designed to enhance financial flexibility and reduce debt. They think an asset sale would generate significant capital. The company also noted the impact of lower banana prices and the recent spinach scare on its third quarter results.

HP (HPQ) late Friday announced that Mark Hurd, HP chief executive officer and president, has been appointed to the additional role of chairman, succeeding Patricia Dunn, who is leaving the company's board, effective immediately

Altria Group (MO) Tobacco stocks could be in focus as wires report that a federal court judge is expected to rule on whether to grant class-action certification to a racketeering lawsuit filed against Philip Morris USA and other light cigarette makers.

Walgreen (WAG) Posts $0.41 vs. $0.32 fourth quarter EPS on a 16% sales rise.

BP Exploration (Alaska) (BP) said late Friday it will re-start a portion of the Eastern Operating Area of Prudhoe Bay in order to run cleaning pigs and conduct an in-line inspection of the crude oil transit line using a "smart pig." The eastern portion of Prudhoe Bay was shut down on Aug. 10 following discovery of a spill caused by isolated pitting corrosion on Aug. 6.

CVRD (RIO) Inco recommends shareholders tender their shares to an offer made by CVRD to purchase all outstanding common shares of Inco at a price of C$86.00 cash per share.

Zale (ZLC) the SEC notifies the company that its investigation of Zale has been terminated with no enforcement action being recommended.

Hansen Natural (HANS) Raises a $50 million stock buyback to $75 million.

Ethan Allen (ETH) Sees $240M-$245M first quarter revenue, and cites slowdown in sales as consumer confidence remains weak.

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