TEL AVIV (MarketWatch) – Stocks expected to move actively in trading on Monday include Alcatel-Lucent, Amgen, Black & Decker, Central European Distribution, Depomed, Google, Lazard, MasterCard, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Philips, Santarus, Tuesday Morning and Visa.
Alcatel-Lucent (ALU)(ALU)shares climbed in Paris on Monday after the telecom-equipment firm was upgraded to hold from sell at Societe Generale. The broker revised its estimates to reflect “an end of recession scenario.” And the firm upgraded its sales estimates by 6% to 16.31 billion euros for 2010 and by 8% to 16.79 billion euros for 2011. The broker expects the firm to “remain supported in the short-term by the solid economic data, particularly in the U.S., where end-of-year growth should be boosted by slower destocking and a positive effect from trade.”
Amgen (AMGN) was upgraded to buy from neutral by UBS which lifted the company’s price target to $70 from $63. “The pending approval and launch of denosumab should serve as a catalyst for shares, as we view this as the highest profile product launch in biotechnology over the next several years. In our model, we estimate total worldwide denosumab revenues will climb to $2.5 billion by 2013,” the broker said.
Barclays (BCS)(BARC) is planning to spin off a 4 billion pound ($6.3 billion) portfolio of complex credit assets, according to a report in the Financial Times. The deal could be similar to the transaction last month where Barclays sold 12.3 billion pounds of assets to Protium Finance, a fund run by a team of former Barclays staff, the report said. The bank is considering two options for the latest disposal – either a repeat of the Protium deal under which more staff would leave the bank to manage the portfolio, or a sale to a third-party, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the plan. The portfolio is made up of collateralized loan obligations, it added.
Black & Decker Corp. (BDK) raised its third-quarter guidance Monday due to better-than-expected sales from early shipments and a positive currency exchange. Quarterly net earnings are now expected to be about 91 cents a share, compared to the prior range of 35 cents to 45 cents a share. Sales are estimated to have fallen 23% in the quarter versus the year-ago period with an operating margin of about 7.5%. A lower tax rate is expected to contribute about 14 cents a share to the quarter.
Carpenter Technology Corp. (CRS) will be formally splitting the roles of chairman and chief executive officer into two positions. The board of directors appointed Gregory Pratt to serve as chair of the board and interim CEO and president, replacing Anne Stevens in those positions. Carpenter is currently conducting a search for a CEO to serve as Stevens’ successor, after which Mr. Pratt will serve as non-executive chair.
Central European Distribution Corp., (CEDC) the Bala Cynwyd, Pa., producer of alcoholic beverages for markets in Europe and worldwide, adjusted its estimates of results for 2009. The company now expects to earn $2.35 to $2.50 a share on a comparable basis, compared with its previous estimate of $2.40 to $2.65. Sales should come in at $1.58 billion to $1.7 billion compared with its previous estimate of $1.55 billion to $1.68 billion. The adjustments reflect the acquisition of certain equity interests, dilution from a stock offering, and changes in exchange rates, the company said in a statement on Monday. For 2010, CEDC expects to earn $3 to $3.15 a share on sales of $1.8 billion to $2 billion.
Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd., (CLM) the Montreal miner, offered to buy the Wabush Mines joint venture from U.S. Steel, (X) ArcelorMittal (MT) and Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) for US$120 million. The deal is conditioned on Cliffs not exercising its right of first refusal to acquire the interests of ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel in the iron-ore producer on the terms that Consolidated has offered. The right of first refusal expires Oct. 19.
DepoMed Inc. (DEPO) shares plunged in pre-market trading Monday after it reported mixed Phase III clinical data for its menopausal hot-flash treatment Serada. The company said that despite the results, it remains hopeful about the program and plans to discuss the results with U.S. regulators.
Fastenal Co. (FAST) third-quarter net income fell 35% to $47.59 million, or 32 cents a share, from $72.9 million, or 49 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue dropped 22% to $489.3 million from $625 million. Analysts expected earnings of 33 cents a share and revenue of $494.5 million, according to a survey by FactSet Research. The Winona, Minn., company said, “the weakened economy continues to have a substantial impact on our business.” While it’s seeing an uptick in its sales to manufacturing customers, it’s also experiencing further weakness in its non-residential construction business.
General Dynamics: (GD) A subsidiary of the defense contractor received a $647 million contract to provide the U.S. Army with 352 Stryker vehicles. General Dynamics plans to do the work at plants in Anniston, Ala., Sterling Heights, Mich., Lima, Ohio, and London, Ontario. It will deliver the vehicles beginning in July.
Google: (GOOG) Goldman Sachs upped its price target to $585 from $560 on higher earnings estimates from 2009 to 2011. “Discussions with advertising agencies, including a dinner we hosted with senior agency executives, point to rising spending on Google since June, led by travel, clothing and home improvement advertisers,” the broker said. Goldman kept Google’s rating at conviction buy. And in their own research note on Google on Monday, J.P. Morgan analysts raised their earnings per share and revenue targets for the tech giant’s third quarter. Morgan’s team now sees third quarter earnings per share at $5.41, compared to their prior $5.20 cents estimate. They upped their revenue target to $4.27 billion for the third quarter, compared to $4.12 billion previously.
Lazard Ltd., (LAZ) the New York investment bank, said late on Sunday that Chairman and Chief Executive Bruce Wasserstein, 61, had been hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat. “His condition is serious but he is stable and recovering,” the brief statement from the company said. Wasserstein’s biography on Lazard’s Website says he has held a number of positions there since 2002 and the top two posts since May 2005.
MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V) were both upped to outperform from neutral by Credit Suisse, as the broker sees an attractive entry point. “First, an improvement in spending volumes should translate into improving revenue growth for both Visa and MasterCard in the coming quarters. This will increase investor confidence in a higher long-term earnings growth rate. Second, despite the global economic downturn, the secular shift from cash to plastic continues,” the broker said in upping MasterCard’s price target to $255 from $210 and Visa’s to $84 from $70.
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., (NDAQ) the New York operator of stock exchanges, said on Monday that in an effort to help develop the Kuwaiti capital market, it agreed to provide a new trading platform for equities, bonds and derivatives plus strategic-advisory services to the Kuwait Stock Exchange. Terms weren’t disclosed. Kuwait marks the company’s 11th technology customer in the Middle East.
National Semiconductor Corp.(NSM) said late Friday that Donald Macleod will succeed Brian Halla as chief executive. Halla will retire as CEO on Nov. 30 and will remain chairman. Macleod, who currently serves as president and chief operating officer, will hold the positions of president and CEO.
New York Times Co. (NYT) was expecting bids from two suitors for the Boston Globe by a Friday deadline, but the question of whether the paper would be sold remained open, The New York Times reported Friday. Read the MarketWatch story.
Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., (ONXX) the Emeryville, Calif., drugmaker, definitively agreed to acquire closely held Proteolix Inc., the South San Francisco biopharmaceutical producer. Terms call for Onyx to pay $276 million at closing. It also will pay $40 million in 2010 based on achievement of a development milestone; and as much as $535 million additional if the drug carfilzomib, a potential treatment for multiple myeloma and other cancers, gains certain regulatory clearances in the U.S. and Europe.
Pacific Continental Corp., (PCBK) the Eugene, Ore., holding company for Pacific Continental Bank, began an offering of $35 million of common stock. The underwriters have an option on another 15% of the stock if demand for the offering requires.
Pfizer Inc., (PFE) the New York health-care giant, suspended enrolling patients in a Phase III clinical trial of a lung-cancer drug because more adverse events, including deaths, occurred among people taking the drug, figitumumab, than among patients who didn’t take the drug, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The trial compared patients who took figitumumab along with paclitaxel and carboplatin against patients who took only paclitaxel and carboplatin. The company didn’t disclose the number of adverse events tied to figitumumab, which is targeted at non-small-cell lung cancer, the Journal reported. Pfizer has been seeking new drugs to replace medications on which patents have been expiring, the Journal reported.
Philips Electronics: (PHG) Shares of the Dutch conglomerate surged in Europe on Monday after the company surprised the markets Monday by announcing third-quarter profit tripled, helped by cost cutting and better-than-forecast revenue. Read the full MarketWatch account.
Provident Financial Holdings Inc., (PROV) the Riverside, Calif., holding company for Provident Savings Bank, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission a public offering of as much as $46 million of common stock. The funds will serve to strengthen regulatory capital and will be used to expand mortgage-banking operations and for other purposes, the company said.
John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc., (JBSS) the Elgin, Ill., nut producer, voluntarily recalled two products because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The products are Baking Classics brand walnut halves and pieces in 16-ounce bags; and Baking Classics brand nut topping in 2-ounce bags. In a statement on Friday, the company said it hadn’t received any reports of illnesses tied to the products.
Santarus Inc., (SNTS) the San Diego biopharmaceutical company, granted an exclusive license under which Norgine BV will develop and produce prescription immediate-release Zegerid products incorporating omeprazole combined with one or more buffering agents, the companies said. The license to Norgine, the closely held Amsterdam pharmaceutical producer, covers certain markets in Western, Central and Eastern Europe. The companies said Norgine would pay Santarus $2.5 million up front. Santarus will also be due as much as $10 million in milestone payments, subject to certain reductions related to Norgine’s out-of-pocket costs. And Santarus will be due royalties based on sales. Santarus’s Zegerid treats upper-gastrointestinal diseases and disorders.
Sun Bancorp Inc., (SNBC) the Vineland, N.J., parent of Sun National Bank, expects to report a third-quarter loan-loss provision of $16.2 million, increasing its allowance for loan losses to about 1.7% of loans outstanding at Sept. 30 from 1.62% at June 30. The company also estimates an $800,000 write-down on the value of a commercial warehouse, the largest property Sun has classified as real estate owned. Sun expects that its “underlying operating performance will continue the positive trends” it has seen in the past few quarters, President and Chief Executive Thomas X. Geisel said in a Friday statement.
Tuesday Morning Corp., (TUES) the Dallas housewares retailer, estimated that for the first quarter ended Sept. 30, its net loss widened to 11 cents to 13 cents a share from 10 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Comparable-store sales fell 5.8% while total sales declined 4.3% to $165.9 million from $173.4 million in the year-earlier quarter.
Wynn Resorts Ltd., (WYNN) the Las Vegas casino operator, said two subsidiaries priced a total of $500 million of 7.875% first-mortgage notes due 2017. They were priced at 97.823% of par and are on offer to institutional buyers outside the U.S. Wynn plans to use the funds to pay down revolving-credit lines and a term-loan facility.
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