Movers: GE, Ford, Yahoo, Mentor, AON, GM
General Electric (GE) falls 1.26 to 15.91 after Merrill Lynch cuts GE EPS forecasts to reflect the incrementally worse industrial, financial services environment.
Rohm & Haas (ROH) announces that The Rohm and Haas Powder Coatings business will discontinue its distribution relationship with ChemPoint on Dec. 23, 2008. Thinks the future needs of its powder coatings customers can be best served through a direct market channel, supported by a web purchasing site.
Host Hotels & Resorts (HST) falls 0.83 to 6.69 after RBC Capital downgrades HST to sector perform from outperform.
Ford Motor (F) rises 0.25 to 2.94 after the company announces it will re-evaluate strategic options for Volvo Car Corp., including the possible sale of the Sweden-based premium automaker. Says decision to re-evaluate strategic options for Volvo comes in response to the significant decline in the global auto industry particularly in the past three months, severe economic instability worldwide.
Alkermes (ALKS) announces it has regained from Cephalon (CEPH) full commercialization rights to Vivitrol in the U.S. following a portfolio review by CEPH. ALKS will get $11 million from CEPH to cover its share of estimated losses on Vivirtrol for next 12 months; ALKS will pay CEPH $16 million to buy mfg equipment for product.
Ebay (EBAY) falls 0.23 to 12.90 after Stifel Nicolaus cuts estimates and target on EBAY; maintains buy.
WSJ's AllThingsDigital blog says Britain's Sunday Times report that Microsoft (MSFT) would buy Yahoo's (YHOO) search business for $20 billion is -- in the words of one key player -- "total fiction." It says that key player is internet exec Ross Levinsohn.
Inergy, L.P. (NRGY) posts $0.62 fourth quarter loss per limited partner unit (excluding items), vs. $0.59 loss a year ago, despite 25% revenue rise. Reiterates previously announced adjusted EBITDA guidance range for fiscal year 2009 of $277-$294 million.
Mentor (MNT) agrees to be acquired by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) in a deal valued at about $1.07 billion in cash. Terms: MNT holders to get $31.00 per share.
AON Corp. (AOC) announces that it has completed its acquisition of Benfield Group Ltd. for GBP 3.50 per common share and GBP 2.80 per preference share, in each case in cash, assumption of GBP 91M of Benfield net debt, representing an enterprise value of approximately GBP 935M. In connection with acquisition, announces global restructuring plan, with cumulative costs of about $185 million, estimated job cuts of 500 to 700 positions.
General Motors (GM) management on Sunday was racing to finalize a viability plan to take to Congress, with a boardroom hellbent on securing a federal rescue loan. At the same time, directors -- unlike chief executive Rick Wagoner -- are also insisting that all options stay on the table, including a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, if a bailout doesn't come through: WSJ.
Morgan Stanley (MS) - Two months after converting to a bank-holding company, executives at the New York firm are considering a variety of scenarios to increase deposits, including acquisitions of regional banks with a customer base that overlaps with MS's existing brokerage and asset-management clients: WSJ.
Parametric Technology (PMTC) announces that it has increased share repurchase authorization from $50 million to $100 million.
DHT Maritime (DHT) says it reached agreement with Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) whereby OSG has declared part of extension options for the seven vessels on time charter from DHT upon expiry of the vessels current initial charter periods. Says declared extensions increase DHT's fixed charter coverage from an average of 3.7 years to 4.6 years for the total fleet of 9 vessels. Notes contracted fixed charter hire revs for DHT will increase by a minimum $70 million to about $400 million as a result of extensions.