Movers: Ambac, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Diebold
Ambac Financial Group (ABK) announces that it has reduced its quarterly dividend to $0.01 from $0.07 and that it will suspend all new structured finance writings for six months.
Boeing (BA) may move on news the U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman (NOC) and EADS a contract for refueling aircraft, which some analysts estimate the value of up to $40 billion. Northrop Grumman Announces that it has been selected by the U.S. Air Force to provide the KC-45A aerial refueling tanker for the KC-135 tanker replacement program. The Air Force's KC-45A is based on the highly successful A330 commercial airframe, produced by EADS.
United Technologies (UTX) announces that it has made a proposal to the board of directors of Diebold (DBD) to acquire all the outstanding shares of DBD for $40 per share cash, representing a total enterprise value of about $3 billion.
Thornburg Mortgage (TMA) say it has been subject to additional margin calls of about $270 million on its reverse repurchase agreement borrowings outstanding as of Feb. 29, 2008. It says it selling either selling portfolio securities or raising additional debt or equity capital to meet all outstanding margin calls. As a result of meeting its margin calls as of Feb. 27, 2008, says it left with limited available liquidity to meet its current margin calls as well as any future margins calls. S&P reiterates hold.
Finish Line (FINL) rises 1.14 to 3.97 after the company and UBS AG (UBS) agree to settle dispute with Genesco (GCO) over whether UBS would be required to finance a $1.5 billion tie-up between FINL and GCO. Merger agreement between FINL and GCO will be terminated. FINL and UBS will pay GCO an aggregate of $175 million in cash along with number of Class A shares of FINL common stock equal to 12.0% of the total post-issuance FINL outstanding shares of common stock. S&P maintains hold.
Ford Motor (F) posts 6.9% lower February sales volume vs. a year ago. Notes car sales dropped 9.3%, while light truck sales fell 5.6%. The company says it plans to produce 730,000 vehicles in the second quarter, down 10% from a year ago, due to current economic conditions. During the first quarter, Ford still expects to produce 685,000 vehicles. S&P reiterates hold. Earlier, Citigroup downgraded Ford, citing headwinds and relative value.
Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) falls 1.73 to 24.74 after Lazard says the FDA is recommending trial design changes for type 2 diabetes drugs, downgrades AMLN to hold from buy.
Arthrocare (ARTC) says its Board of Directors has begun evaluation of the company's financial and strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. The Board intends to consider the full range of available options, including a recapitalization, a stock repurchase, a sale or disposition of one or more corporate assets and/or a strategic business combination.
Pier 1 Imports (PIR) rises after Wachovia reportedly upgrades to outperform from market perform.
Apollo Group (APOL) falls after Banc of America downgrades to sell from buy.
Force Protection (FRPT) announces that its Audit Committee concluded that FRPT will restate its previously reported interim financial statements for the three and nine month periods ended Sept. 30, 2007 due to discovery of "significant accounting errors during its year end review, including errors specifically related to the recording of accounts payable related to inventory purchased from a sub-contractor as a result of a contract termination."
Limelight Networks (LLNW) announces the jury in the case against Akamai Technologies (AKAM) returned a verdict in favor of AKAM. The verdict found that LLNW infringed certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,108,703 and rejected LLNW's invalidity defenses. The jury awarded AKAM damages of $45,524,946, plus prejudgment interest. LLNW plans to appeal.
Bunge Limited (BG) says it is correcting net sales and cost of goods sold that were overstated in its 2007 unaudited quarterly financial statements, Feb. 7 2008 press release containing its preliminary results for 2007. It says these corrections represent about $7 billion reduction in net sales and cost of goods sold. Says it remediating control deficiencies that led to the need for these corrections, and which it has determined constitute material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting in 2007.