Investors to Buy Harrah's for $27.8 Billion

Ericsson to buy Redback Networks for $2.1 billion; Palm posts weaker earnings; plus more stocks in the news Wednesday

Trading in Harrah's Entertainment (HET) stock was halted late in the Dec. 19 session. After the close, Harrah's agreed to be acquired by affiliates of Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Mgmt L.P. in an all-cash deal valued at about $27.8 billion, including debt, or $90 per share.

Redback Networks (RBAK) agreed to be acquired by Ericsson (ERIC) in a deal valued at $2.1 billion, or $25 per Redback share.

Palm(PALM) posted 12 cents vs. $2.51 (including the partial reversal of a deferred tax-asset valuation allowance of $226.3 million) second quarter GAAP earnings per share (EPS) on a 12% revenue decline. Sees third quarter revenue of $400 million to $410 million and $0.08 to $0.10 GAAP EPS.

Alliant Energy (LNT) affirms 2006 EPS guidance for its utility business of $2.10 to $2.20; withdraws 2006 guidance for its non-regulated business. Sees $2.38 to $2.58 2007 EPS from continuing operations. Raises its annual dividend by 10%.

Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) affirms forecast for $1.90 to $1.93 2006 reported EPS. Sees $1.92 to $2.00 2007 EPS.

John H. Harland (JH) Agrees to be acquired by M&F Worldwide (MFH) in a deal valued at about $1.7 billion, at $52.75 per John H. Harland share.

Tupperware Brands (TUP) announces, effective January 1, 2007, that Simon C. Hemus will become president and COO.

Forrester Research (FORR) CFO and treasurer Warren Hadley resigns as a result of the initial findings of an internal investigation that uncovered irregularities with respect to an option grant made to Hadley in 1999.

Digitas Inc (DTAS) Agrees to be acquired by the French advertising group Publicis for $1.3 billion, or $13.50 per share.

Foxhollow Technogies (FOXH) Cuts fourth quarter revenue estimates to $44 million to $46 million. Says a slowdown in SilverHawk sales prompted it to conduct extensive analysis of internal programs and the market environment.

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