Markets & Finance

Johnson & Johnson to Buy Guidant for Less


Guidant (GDT) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) agreed that Johnson & Johnson will buy Guidant for $19 billion instead of the prior $21.5 billion.

Allergan (AGN) bid to acquire Inamed (IMDC) in a $3.2 billion deal, at a premium of about $450 million over the current value of Medicis Pharmaceutical's (MRX) offer. The terms are $84.00 cash or 0.8498 per Allergan share, at the election of the holder.

American International Group (AIG) posted 65 cents vs. $1.02 third quarter earnings per share. This includes catastrophe related losses of 60 cents in the third quarter of 2005 vs. 19 cents last year. The insurance company reportedly says some employees face possible disciplinary action by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to its investigations.

Vodafone Group (VOD) posted 4.36 pence vs. 5.40 pence first half basic earnings per share despite a 9% total revenue rise. It says the costs of funding anticipated growth in Japan is likely to cause further significant reduction in earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, margin for fiscal year 2007.

Target (TGT) reportedly expects November same-store sales growth to fall short of expectations.

Home Depot (HD) posted 72 cents vs. 60 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 3.6% same-store sales rise and 11% total sales rise. It sees 10% to 12% fiscal year 2006 sales growth vs. previous estimates of 9% to 12%. It raises 14% to 17% earnings per share growth guidance to 17% to 18%.

Ross Stores (ROST) posted 25 cents vs. 25 cents (restated) third quarter earnings per share as lower gross margin offset a 9% same-store sales rise and 20% total sales rise. It sees 44 cents to 47 cents fourth quarter earnings per share and $1.60 to $1.70 fiscal year 2007. It sets a $400 million stock buyback and ups quarterly dividend 20%.

J.C. Penney (JCP) posted 94 cents vs. 50 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 2.5% same-dept.-store sales increase and 2% higher total sales. It raised fourth quarter earnings per share from continuing operations guidance to $1.58, resulting in $3.51 fiscal year 2006 earnings per share from continuing operations.

Amazon.com (AMZN) is to be added to the S&P 500 after the close of trading on Nov. 18, replacing AT&T (ATT), which is being acquired by SBC Communications (SBC).

American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) posted 47 cents vs. 38 cents third quarter earnings per share on 14% higher same-store sales and 20% higher total sales. It noted a decline in gross profit as percent to sales from a year ago, due primarily to lower merchandise margin. It sees 73 cents to 75 cents fourth quarter earnings per share.

School Specialty (SCHS) posted 85 cents vs. $1.30 second quarter earnings per share on a 4.7% revenue drop. It revised its fiscal year 2006 earnings per share guidance to $1.70 to $1.80 to reflect softness in retail trade channels for the publishing business.

Illinois Tool Works(ITW) posted a 9% rise in third quarter operating revenue. It continues to forecast fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.34 to $1.40, and 2005 earnings per share of $5.12 to $5.18. It assumes fourth quarter revenue growth of 3% and 2005 growth of 4.3%.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) says clinical research data provided evidence that Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection) may offer protection from axonal injury and induced neuronal metabolic recovery in patients with relapsing-remitting MS.

Agilent Technologies (A) posted 38 cents vs. 30 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (adjusted) on a 5.3% revenue rise. It sees first quarter earnings per share of 25 cents to 30 cents on $1.28 billion to $1.35 billion revenue. It set a "Dutch Auction" tender offer for 73 million shares at $32 to $37 per share.

AmerisourceBergen (ABC) raised its quarterly dividend 100% and set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Baxter (BAX) is to voluntarily withdraw its 6060 Multi-Therapy Infusion Pump from the marketplace over the next 12 months. It sees an after-tax charge of $45 million (7 cents per share) in the fourth quarter from product withdrawal, 60% of which will be cash.

China Netcom (CN) and Telefonica (TEF) entered into a 6-month strategic alliance. Telefonica is to increase its stake in China Netcom from 5% to 9.9%.

Jo-Ann Stores (JAS) posted 18 cents third quarter loss vs. 30 cents earnings per share on slightly lower same-store sales and 5.8% higher total sales. It says the need to liquidate excess inventory will likely impact gross margins.

Health Management Associates (HMA) posted 35 cents vs. 30 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 17% revenue rise.

BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ) posted 41 cents vs. 33 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 4.1% same-store sales rise and 9.3% total sales rise. It sees $1.85 to $1.89 fiscal year 2006 earnings per share, which includes a 3 cents gain from a VISA/MasterCard litigation settlement vs. $1.85 to $1.91 previous guidance.

Biovail (BVF) is to spin-off of substantially all of its branded off-patent pharmaceutical products to shareholders on a pro rata basis, either as dividend or return of capital. The new independent company would be Crystaal Pharmaceuticals.

Avon Products (AVP) set its restructuring. It sees total costs of $300 million to $500 million before taxes and projects initial pre-tax costs of $20 million to $40 million, or 4 cents to 7 cents per share after taxes, which could be incurred in fourth quarter 2005.

ESCO Technologies (ESE) posted 39 cents vs. 45 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 5% sales drop. It sees $1.15 to $1.30 2006 earnings per share.

UTStarcom (UTSI)shares rose amid CNBC reports that the company will announce that it won a major China contract poentially worth billions of dollars.

World Fuel Services (INT) posted 44 cents vs. 23 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 47% revenue rise.

Interoil (IOC) posted 18 cents third quarter earnings per share vs. 19 cents loss on a sharp rise in revenue.


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