Merrill Lynch (MER
) is in talks to buy a stake in the money manager BlackRock (BLK
) for $8 billion, in a deal that would create a $1 trillion fund-management colossus and transform the nation's largest retail brokerage firm, according to the Wall Street Journal.
) shares were lower Monday after a Barron's article said the company's share price could well be cut in half over the next year; the story cited growing competition, mounting concern about click fraud. S&P keeps hold. UBS Financial reiterates neutral.
) shares fell after UBS Financial downgraded its recommendation to neutral from buy.
Vimpel Communications (VIP
) The Russian telecom heavyweight confirms that it has sent in the past week an offer to both the Norgwegian telecom operator Telenor ASA (TELN
) and Altimo (the telecom subsidiary of Alfa Group) to acquire 100% of their jointly owned Ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar G.S.M. for $5 billion in Vimpelcom shares, plus debt assumption.
K&F Industries (KFI
) posts 41 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) vs. breakeven on a 10% sales rise. It sees $1.22 to $1.27 2006 EPS on revenue growth of 4% to 6%.
) posts 8 cents vs. 56 cents fourth quarter EPS as higher costs offset a 5% revenue rise. It expects to deliver high-single digit revenue growth and low-double digit EPS growth in 2006.
Illinois Tool Works (ITW
) says operating revenue rose 8% for the three months ended Jan. 31, 2006. It continues to see first quarter EPS of $1.12 to $1.18 and in 2006 of $5.60 to $5.78.
) announces a multimillion dollar worldwide distribution agreement with Cisco Systems (CSCO
), whereby Cisco will distribute Opsware's Network Automation System under the Cisco Systems brand.
) posted a breakeven fourth quarter vs. 26 cents earnings per share (EPS) as $12.3 million expense associated with repatriation of foreign earnings of its Syntel Ltd. foreign unit offset a 27% revenue rise. It sees $1.00 to $1.05 2006 EPS on $250 million to $260 million revenue.
China Medical Technologies (CMED
) posted 42% higher third quarter net income on a 62% rise in revenue.
) The Chinese healthcare provider posts 7 cents third quarter loss vs. 69 cents loss on a 22% revenue rise.