Markets & Finance

Occidental to Buy Vintage Petroleum


Vintage Petroleum (VPI) agreed to be acquired by Occidental Petroleum (OXY) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $3.8 billion, at $20 cash plus 0.42 Occidental Petroleum share per Vintage Petroleum share.

General Electric (GE) posted 44 cents vs. 38 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 9.4% revenue rise. It sees 56 cents to 58 cents fourth quarter earnings per share. It raised the lower end of its 2005 earnings per share guidance from $1.80 to $1.81, for a full year outlook range of $1.81 to $1.83.

Knight-Ridder (KRI) posted 61 cents vs. 93 cents third quarter earnings per share from continuing operations as higher operating costs offset a 2.2% revenue rise.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) posted 64 cents vs. 52 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 15% revenue rise. It sees $2.48 2005 earnings per share and 15% or more 2006 earnings per share growth prior to any contributions from the launch of its new prescription drug plans for seniors, pending the PacifiCare Health Systems(PHS) merger.

Electronic Arts (ERTS) says Steven Spielberg will be collaborating with game makers at the company's Los Angeles studio to create three new original franchise properties.

Hilton Hotels (HLT) says it is currently in talks with U.K.-based Hilton Group PLC with respect to the potential acquisition of the latter company's lodging business.

Stanley Works (SWK) says third quarter sales from continuing operations increased in excess of 12%, and organic sales growth about 7%. It noted results that surpassed previous estimates and now sees better-than-expected 88 cents to 90 cents third quarter earnings per share.

Boston Scientific (BSX) posted 42 cents (excluding charges) vs. 47 cents third quarter earnings per share despite a 2% sales rise. It sees 40 cents to 44 cents fourth quarter earnings per share, excluding charges, on $1.55 billion to $1.59 billion worldwide sales.

MAIR Holdings (MAIR) commited to providing $35 million in financing to its Mesaba Aviation unit as it files for reorganization under Chapter 11. It says Northwest Airline's (NWACQ.PK) Chapter 11 in September has left it with insufficient revenue to support its cost structure.

First Data (FDC) posted 54 cents vs. 54 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 5.7% revenue rise. It noted that the third quarter 2005 includes 7 cents of items, half of which are related to Concord integration expenses and the remainder of which are related to the Encorus mobile payments business.

FMC Technologies (FTI) says its FMC SOFEC Floating Systems unit expects higher costs associated with the installation of an offshore oil loading project in Algeria. It estimates the cost increase at 14 cents per share, to be reflected in third quarter results.

Waters (WAT) cut its 47 cents third quarter earnings per share guidance to 43 cents, excluding about $24 million in tax provision, on lower-than-expected sales growth of 3%.

IHOP (IHP) posted 4.5% higher third quarter system-wide same-store sales.

RF Monolithics (RFMI) posted a 3 cents fourth quarter loss vs. 7 cents earnings per share on an 8% sales decline. It says fourth quarter profitability was affected by Delphi's Chapter 11 filing; Delphi represents almost 12% of quarterly sales. It also notes significant orders for products were delayed.

Charlotte Russe Holding (CHIC) posted 13% higher fourth quarter same-store sales and 30% higher total sales. It raised its 16 cents to 20 cents fourth quarter earnings per share guidance to 25 cents to 27 cents.

Alcon (ACL) says 24-month safety data from its study of Retaane vs. Visudyne photodynamic therapy in the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) showed that no clinically relevant safety issues were observed.

EDO (EDO) says it has been awarded three competitively-procured contracts totaling $15.4 million for professional services provided to the U.S. Marine Corps. and Navy programs.

Span-America Medical Systems (SPAN) expects prices for polyurethane foam to increase by as much as 37% in the near future. This could reduce its first quarter earnings per share, but it cannot yet quantify the effect.

Maverick Tube (MVK) sees third quarter earnings per share, including the impact of Hurricane Rita and losses from discontinued operations and severance costs, in the upper range of previously announced guidance of between 80 cents and 90 cents.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) posted 25 cents vs. 29 cents third quarter earnings per share as a charge for a settlement with BNSF Railway Co. that offset its 11% revenue rise. S&P maintains its hold on the stock.

E. W. Scripps (SSP) posted 50 cents vs. 34 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 19% operating revenue rise. It sees 52 cents to 56 cents in fourth quarter earnings per share from continuing operations, including the impact of the consolidation project in Denver. S&P maintains its hold on the stock.

Cabela's (CAB) sees 12% higher third quarter consolidated revenues, with earnings per share at or slightly below the year ago's 25 cents. It cited higher fuel prices that resulted in lower consumer spending and lower gross margins, as well as hurricanes.

Alamosa Holdings (APCS) Says it added 33,000 customers in the third quarter (Alamosa and AirGate combined) vs. 52,000 in the second quarter. It says the third quarter is challenging due to lower consumer confidence due to higher energy prices, hurricanes, and competition in the wireless sector.

Popular (BPOP) posted 42 cents vs. 42 cents third quarter earnings per share on slightly lower net interest income and higher loan loss provisions.

Regions Financial (RF) posted 61 cents vs. 57 cents third quarter earnings per share from operations on 7% higher net interest income.

Cogent (COGT) was awarded a contract as the prime contractor for its new integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System for Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Orchid Cellmark (ORCH) said it supports the passage of US legislation expanding applications of forensic DNA identity testing, and expects it to increase the use of forensic DNA testing.

Durect (DRRX) announced the initiation of dosing for Phase III clinical studies for the Durin-based leuprolide program under development with Voyager Pharmaceuticals for treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Thermogenesis (KOOL) reported its global distribution deal and R&D partnership with GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric (GE). The companies will present AXP AutoXpress Platform, a closed and automated system for harvesting mononuclear cells from cord blood at a conference Oct. 17-18.


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