Markets & Finance

KLA-Tencor Reportedly Part of Option-Grant Probe


From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

KLA-Tencor (KLAC) the Wall Street Journal reports that KLA-Tencor is among five more companies that show questionable option granting patterns.

Trident Microsystems (TRID) says it referred the question of stock option pricing practices to the Audit Committee for review. It also notes that in 2004, it had received and responded to an SEC inquiry regarding its stock option grants to executives from 2000 to 2004.

Atmel (ATML) RDG Capital LLC says it remains interested in acquiring Atmel, despite a rejection by the company of its offer of $5.50 per share, or $2.7 billion.

NYSE Group (NYX) offers to acquire Euronext in a deal in which each NYSE share is to be converted into one share of the combined company (NYSE Euronext). Holders of ordinary Euronext shares can swap each of their shares for 0.980 NYSE Euronext shares and ??21.32 in cash.

Aztar (AZR) agrees to be acquired by Columbia Sussex's Columbia Entertainment unit in a $2.75 billion deal (including the assumption of $676 million in debt,) at $54 cash per Aztar share.

Bausch & Lomb (BOL) receives notice from the Internal Revenue Service relating to Wilmington Partners LP, in which Bausch & Lomb units hold a majority of partnership interests. Adjustments could increase tax liabilities of partners by more than $200 million, plus penalties and interest.

Lowe's (LOW) posts $1.06 vs. 73 cents first quarter earnings per share (EPS) on a 5.7% same-store sales rise and 20% total sales rise. It sees $1.21 to $1.24 second quarter EPS and $4.14 to $4.22 in fiscal year 2007.

Supervalu (SVU) expects fiscal year 2007 total sales to be in the $37.4 billion to $38 billion range, reflecting combined operations of Supervalu and soon to be acquired premier properties of Albertsons, assuming the close of its acquisition in early June.

Campbell Soup (CPB) posts 40 cents vs. 35 cents third quarter EPS on a 6% sales rise. It expects to exceed previous fiscal year 2006 net sales guidance.

Engelhard (EC) BASF AG (BF) raises its all-cash takeover bid for Engelhard to $39 per share from $38. The company sees 48 cents to 52 cents second quarter EPS (including 11 cents of expenses and 3 cents of dilution due to the impact of BASF's unsolicited tender offer).

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)'s Centocor unit says the Food and Drug Administration approved Remicade for reducing signs, symptoms, inducing, and maintaining clinical remission in pediatric patients with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease.

Dillard's (DDS) posts 77 cents vs. 46 cents first quarter EPS on a 2% same-store sales rise and 1.9% total sales rise.

Volvo (VOLV) says total deliveries of trucks from Volvo Group's three truck companies increased 1% through April this year, compared with the year-earlier period.

CNET Networks (CNET) notes a report that identified the company as having granted stock options on four occasions in '98-'01 with exercise prices that matched or were close to a 40-day stock low. The company appoints a special committee to conduct an investigation.

Tyson Foods (TSN) names Richard Bond as President and CEO; John Tyson will continue to serve as Chairman.


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