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Markets & Finance

Movers: Countrywide Financial, ImClone Systems, McDonald's


Tuesday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchCountrywide Financial (CFC) falls after the New York post reports the company is putting together another multi-billion dollar bailout plan as the nation's largest home lender continues to struggle amid the global credit crunch and declines in the housing market. S&P maintains sell.

ImClone Systems (IMCL) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) announce that Phase III study of Erbitux in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy met its primary endpoint of increasing overall survival compared with chemotherapy alone in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Bear Stearns upgrades ImClone to outperform from peer perform.

McDonald's (MCD) posts 7.4% higher August U.S. comp-store sales and 8.1% higher global comp sales.

King Pharmaceuticals (KG) falls after a federal appeals court reportedly ruled that KG's patent for its biggest product, the blood-pressure medicine Altace, was invalid, opening the door to competition from cheap generic versions of the drug.

Comverse Technology (CMVT) posts $73.5 million second quarter GAAP loss, vs. $24.7 million loss a year ago, on 2.9% revenue rise. Merriman Curhan upgrades to buy from neutral.

National Medical Health Card Systems (NMHC) posts $0.87 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $0.07 EPS a year ago, on 31% revenue drop. It notes the decrease in revenues primarily attributable to a decrease in covered lives vs. last year resulting from the loss of various customers.

Sharper Image (SHRP) posts $1.36 second quarter loss per share, vs. $0.98 loss a year ago, on 25% revenue drop. S&P widens loss estimate, maintains hold.

Sepracor (SEPR) inks deal with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), whereby Glaxo will market sleep drug Lunivia (the international brand name for Lunesta) globally, excluding the US, Canada, Mexico and Japan. Sepracor will to get licensing and milestone payment of up to $155 million.

Western Digital (WDC) raises $1.45-$1.5 billion first quarter revenue forecast to $1.6-$1.65 billion, $0.43-$0.47 EPS to $0.61-$0.65 (non-GAAP, excl. impact of Komag acquisition). It cites improvements in demand, product mix, pricing. Bear Stearns upgrades to outperform.

Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) posts $0.64 third quarter non-GAAP loss per share, vs. $0.27 loss, excluding items, on 14% revenue decline. It sees $1.1-$1.4 billion fiscal year 2008 revenue, GAAP EPS in range of $0.80-$1.00 (incl. items). S&P ups estimate, target; keeps hold. Credit Suisse keeps overweight.

Biosante Pharmaceuticals (BPA) receives clarity from and is in agreement with FDA on key FDA requirements for development, approval of LibiGel in treatment of female sexual dysfunction (FSD).

United Retail Group (URGI) agrees to be acquired by Redcats USA in a $198.9 million deal. Terms: $13.70 cash per URGI share. Separately, URGI posts $0.16, vs. $0.49, second quarter EPS on 1% same-store sales drop, 1.1% total sale rise.

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (NABI) agrees to sell its Nabi Biologics unit to Biotest Pharmaceuticals Corp. for $185 million.

Shuffle Master (SHFL) posts $0.08, vs. $0.20 a year ago, third quarter GAAP EPS as higher costs offset 11% revenue rise.

G-III Apparel Group (GIII) posts $0.05 second quarter loss per share, vs. $0.14 loss a year ago, on 21% sales rise. It raises fiscal year 2008 EPS guidance to $0.98-$1.03 from $0.90-$0.95.


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