Amgen Falls on Anemia Drug News

Wal-Mart gives soft outlook, Home Depot reports a drop in first-quarter EPS, plus more stocks in the news

Amgen (AMGN) shares fell after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposes limiting payments for Amgen's and Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) anemia drugs. Baird downgraded Amgen to neutral from outperform.

Ingersoll-Rand (IR) says it is exploring alternatives for its Bobcat and construction-related businesses, including Utility Equipment and Attachments. The alternatives may include a sale of these businesses or spin-off to shareholders.

Limited Brands (LTD) agrees to sell 67% interest in Express brand to affiliates of Golden Gate Capital for cash proceeds of $548 million. The company says it is exploring options for Limited Stores. It cuts first-quarter EPS view to 12-14 cents and fiscal year 2008 to $1.55-$1.65.

Winn-Dixie Stores (WINN) shares jumped to a new high after it reported 33 cents third-quarter EPS on a 1.6% rise in same-store sales. The company says the EPS number can't be compared to the 2006 period because new stock was issued in the third quarter of 2007.

Wal-Mart (WMT) said first-quarter earnings per share rose to 68 cents, vs. 63 cents a year ago, on 3.9% higher U.S. comp-store sales and 8.3% higher total sales. It sees 1%-2% U.S. comp-store sales rise in the second quarter and EPS from continuing operations of 75-79 cents. The consensus forecast for the current quarter is 79 cents, according to Thomson Financial.

Home Depot (HD) said first-quarter earnings per share dropped to 53 cents, from 70 cents a year ago, on 7.6% same-store sales decline and 0.6% total sales rise. The home improvement chain now believes fiscal year 2008 EPS will be at the low end of guidance for a 4%-9% decline.

DaimlerChrysler (DCX) posts $2.53, vs. $1.03, first-quarter EPS despite a 5.6% drop in revenue. It posts $2.73 billion, vs. $1.579 billion, first-quarter EBIT. The auto maker sees 2007 revenue of the same magnitude as in 2006, $9.4 billion EBIT, vs. $7.4 billion last year. UBS Financial reportedly upgrades to buy.

Agilent Technologies (A) posts 30 cents, vs. 26 cents, second-quarter GAAP EPS on 7% revenue rise. It posts 43 cents second-quarter adjusted EPS. The company sees third-quarter revenue of $1.36-$1.4 billion, 46-50 cents adjusted EPS. S&P reiterates hold, and Credit Suisse and Goldman up targets.

American International Group (AIG) agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of 21st Century Insurance (TW) that it does not already own for $22 in cash each. AIG currently owns about 60.8% of 21st Century's outstanding shares.

Reuters Group (RTRSY) and ThomsonCorp (TOC) agreed to merge. Reuters will to be acquired by a newly formed UK holding company, Thomson-Reuters PLC. Terms: 352.5 pence per share in cash, 0.16 Thomson-Reuters PLC share for each RTRSY share.

Biosite (BSTE) receives a revised binding offer from Inverness Medical Innovations (IMA) to acquire, by way of cash tender offer, all Biosite outstanding shares not already owned by IMA for $92.50 per share.

Beckman Coulter (BEC) says it will not increase price offered for Biosite beyond the current offer price of $90 per share.

Illlinois Tool Works (ITW) sees 86-90 cents second-quarter EPS and $3.27-$3.39 for 2007. It posts 15% higher operating revenue for the three months ended April 30, 2007.