Movers: Anheuser-Busch, Lehman, Merrill Lynch, Microchip, Hooker Furniture

Wednesday's stocks in the news

Anheuser-Busch (BUD) says it received an unsoliticed offer from InBev (INBVF)to acquire the beer company for $65 a share in cash. Anheuser-Busch said that its board of directors will evaluate the proposal carefully.

Lehman Brothers Holdings (LEH) falls after Merrill Lynch reportedly downgrades to neutral from buy. Separately, Financial Times reports that LEH nearly struck a deal with a group of Korean financial institutions as part of its latest $6 billion capital raising and may still reach such a strategic arrangement by the end of the year, people close to the matter said. Also, rumors seem to be making their way around that Goldman Sachs (GS), Lehman, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) will take more big write-downs.

Merrill Lynch (MER) falls 2.49 to 35.46 after JP Morgan lowers EPS estimate on MER. Separately, S&P reiterates its negative fundamental view on investment banking & brokerage group.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) says Susan Lyne has stepped down as president and chief executive officer, and MSO will promote President of Media Wenda Harris Millard and President of Merchandising Robin Marino to the positions of co-CEO, reporting to Charles Koppelman, chairman of the board.

Corporate Express (CXP) agrees to be acquired by Staples (SPLS) for €9.25 per ordinary share. The enterprise value of Corporate Express on the basis of offer is approximately €3.1 billion.

Hooker Furniture (HOFT) posts $0.23, vs. $0.33, first quarter EPS on 8.1% sales decline. Says first quarter gross margin improvement is somewhat offset by its domestic manufacturing upholstery operations running reduced work schedules due to lower demand.

Fertilizer companies Potash (POT) and CF Industries (CF) are higher on positive comments from Potash's CEO, who reportedly says that the next five years will be the greatest period of growth in the company's history, and that we're nowhere near peak pricing for fertilizer.

Microchip Technology (MCHP) falls after JP Morgan reportedly downgrades to neutral from overweight.

Alcoa (AA) drops after JP Morgan downgrades to neutral from overweight.

Agrium (AGU) sees second quarter EPS of $2.80-$3.00, up from former guidance of $1.92-$2.22, $4.03-$4.23 in the second half of 2008 (both excluding items). It says significant increase from previous second quarter guidance due to very strong results from both its Retail and Wholesale operations, with Retail expected to account for half of the increase.

OptionsXpress Holdings (OXPS) posts 14% higher May daily average revenue trades vs. May 2007, 2% higher vs. April 2008; also says May ending client assets were 12% higher vs. May 2007, 4% higher vs. April 2008.

Talbots (TLB) says it is seeing improving sales trends at both its brands and remains on track to achieve its previously announced outlook for fiscal year 2009 EPS from ongoing core operations. Also announces that Aeon Co., Ltd., which through its wholly owned subsidiary is the majority shareholder of TLB, has agreed to provide to TLB with a $50 million unsecured subordinated working capital term loan credit facility to support its turnaround plan.

Diodes (DIOD) expects second quarter revenue to be in the range of $114-$117 million, including projected revenue of $11-$13 million from recently completed acquisition of Zetex plc. Now expects a sequential increase of 18%-21% in second quarter revenue, vs. prior guidance of sequential growth of 4%-9%.

Korn/Ferry International (KFY) posts $0.36, vs. $0.30 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 16% higher fee revenue. Assuming constant forex, estimates first quarter EPS will likely be in the range of $0.28-$0.32, revenue likely in the range of $190-$200 million.

Sonic Solutions (SNIC) posts $0.08, vs. $0.04 a year ago, fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS despite 7.6% revenue decline. Sees first quarter revenue of at least $29 million (vs. fourth quarter's $34.9 million), operating costs, excluding share-based compensation and one-time acquisition-related charges and charges related to stock option review, of about $27 million; results in estimated first quarter loss of about $0.09 per share. S&P maintains hold.

Oxford Industries (OXM) posts $0.59, vs. $0.95, first quarter EPS on 6.7% sales decline. Says EPS in line with its quarterly guidance. However, due to an "increasingly challenging environment, reduces fiscal year 2009 EPS estimate to $1.90-$2.05 from $2.35 on sales of about $1.0 billion (down from $1.01-$1.06 billion). Sees second quarter EPS of $0.31-$0.36 on sales of $225-$235 million.

Quality Systems (QSII) posts $0.41, vs. $0.31, fourth quarter EPS on 14% revenue rise.