Markets & Finance

Albertson's Jumps on Takeover Rumor


TheDeal.com reports that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Apollo Advisors LP, Bain Capital LLC, Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Carlyle Group are interested in buying Albertson's ( ABS), which could fetch $16 billion, including debt assumption. Albertson's wasn't available for comment.

Software maker PalmSource (PSRC ) said it agreed to be acquired by the Japanese software developer Access in an all-cash deal valued at $18.50 per share, or about $324 million.

Martek Biosciences (MATK ) posted breakeven third quarter, vs. 16 cent earnings per share a year ago, on 17% lower revenue. First Albany downgraded the company's investment rating to neutral from buy.

Ballard Power Systems (BLDP), an electrical equipment developer, inked a supply agreement with General Hydrogen (Canada) to deliver more than 100 fuel cells for integration into General Hydrogen's power units.

Pfizer (PFE), along with its research collaborators Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) and Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR ), said that the Food and Drug Administration recommended approval of Exubera, an insulin powder for oral inhalation.

McDonald's (MCD) posted higher August sales.

Northrop Grumman (NOC ) cut its earning per share guidance for 2005 by 6 cents to 12 cents, reflecting work delays and the negative impact of Hurricane Katrina. The technology services company sees lower-than-previosuly-guided revenue of $950 million, but expects its 2006 guidance will by largely unaffected by the hurricane.

Biogen Idec (BIIB) is planning to cut its workforce by about 17% and will seek to divest several non-core assets. The biotech company's Executive Vice President of Research Michael Gilman is leaving. Thomas Weisel reportedly cut its opinion on the stock to underperform; Citigroup reportedly cut its opinion to hold.

Yellow Roadway (YELL) said it expects third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of between $1.40 and $1.45, vs. previous guidance of $1.60 to $1.65. The company cited devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, and implementation challenges for new processes at Roadway such as the associated learning curve.

Texas Instruments (TXN) said it sees between 36 cents and 38 cents third-quarter earnings per share, including stock option expense, on revenue of between $3.48 billion and $3.62 billion. S&P raised its estimates and price target on the stock, but keeps a hold investment recommendation.

Intel (INTC) said it sees third-quarter revenue of between $9.8 billion and $10 billion, vs. its previous guidance of between $9.6 billion and $10.2 billion. The technology company said its gross margin percentage is now expected to be 60%, plus or minus a point. S&P kept its hold opinion on the stock.

El Paso Corp. (EP) said that approximately 3 billion cubic feet per day was shut-in on three natural gas pipeline systems in the Gulf of Mexico due to Katrina. Now 700 million cubic feet per day of its production is shut-in on the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, 550 million on the Southern Natural Gas, and none on the ANR Pipeline.

Shaw Group (SGR) won a contract from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide support services in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The contract is valued at up to $100 million, with provisions. S&P upgraded its opinion on Shaw's stock to hold from sell.

Molex (MOLX) posted 27 cents, vs. 30 cents, fourth quarter earnings per share (before charges) despite a slight sales rise. S&P upgraded the stock to hold from sell.

Open Text (OTEX) posted 10 cents, vs. 16 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) despite a 4% rise in revenue. The software company sees first-quarter adjusted earnings per share 4 cents to 15 cents on revenue of between $85 million and $95 million. It also expects to take the majority of a $25 million to $30 million restructuring charge in the first quarter. Jefferies upped its opinion on the stock to hold from underperform.

Cascade (CAE ) posted 84 cents, vs. 51 cents, second-quarter earnings per share on a 24% sales rise.

Progenics Pharmaceuticals (PGNX ) announced positive clinical findings regarding its investigational drug, PRO 140, which is a novel HIV entry inhibitor.

Brinker (EAT) posted 3.2% higher August same-store sales and raised its first quarter earnings per share guidance to between 47 cents and 48 cents, excluding equity-based compensation expense.

Avid Technology (AVID ) signed a multimillion dollar broadcast deal with CBS to install its end-to-end digital newsroom environments at the network's New York City headquarters and London news bureau.

Biovail ( BVF) said its New Drug Application for the once-daily formulation of tramadol hydrochloride received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe chronic pain.

Quiksilver (ZQK ) posted 20 cents, vs. 16 cents, third quarter earnings per share on an 11% revenue rise. The company sees 26 cents to 27 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share and 86 cents to 87 cents fiscal year 2005 earnings per share.


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