Markets & Finance

Oracle to Buy Hyperion for $3.3 Billion


Staples posts higher earnings; Viacom's revenue gains 32%; plus more stocks in the news Thursday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchOracle (ORCL) is to acquire Hyperion Solutions (HYSL) in a $3.3 billion deal at $52 cash per Hyperion share.

Staples (SPLS) posted 46 cents vs. 37 cents fourth quarter EPS on an 18% revenue rise. The company expects to achieve EPS growth of 15% to 20% in the first quarter. It sees $1.43 to $1.49 fiscal 2008 EPS. Staples raised its annual dividend 32% to 29 cents per share.

Viacom (VIA) posted 69 cents vs. 17 cents fourth quarter EPS on a 32% revenue rise.

HealthSouth (HLS) posted 98 cents fourth quarter loss vs. $1.44 loss as lower expenses offset flat operating revenues.

Longs Drug Store (LDG) posted 71 cents vs. 93 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) despite 2.1% higher retail same-store sales and 3.7% higher pharmacy comps and 8% higher total sales. The company sees 6% to 8% higher first quarter revenue from continuing operations, 4% to 6% higher comps and 47 cents to 50 cents EPS from continuing operations.

Three teams of private equity firms have formed to consider bids for Home Depot's (HD) wholesale supply business, which could fetch about $11 billion in a sale seen as crucial to the company's refocusing on its core retail business, according to the Financial Times.

Credit Suisse is offering a debt package worth $40.2 billion to fund a competing offer for TXU Corp. (TXU), which this week agreed to be bought by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific Group in the largest leveraged buy-out deal, according to the Financial Times.

SunTrust Banks (STI) filed its its 10-K revising results previously reported Jan. 19. The company cut fourth quarter EPS to $1.39 from $1.46 and 2006's to $5.82 from $5.88. SunTrust cites the resolution of a nonperforming commercial loan resulting in a $40 million rise in loan loss provision.

Cooper Tire & Rubber (CTB) Posts $0.45 fourth quarter loss vs. $0.11 loss despite a 29% revenue rise. Says it is pleased with improvement in North American Tire operations. Sees more stable raw material prices in 2007.


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