Markets & Finance

CDW Gets Bought by Private Equity Firm


eSpeed agrees to merge with BGC Partners, and more stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchCDW Corp. (CDWC) agrees to be acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners LLC in deal valued at about $7.3 billion, or $87.75 per share cash.

eSpeed (ESPD) agrees to merge with BGC Partners; the combined company will be named BGC Partners Inc. The combined company's 2007 projected revenues areseen at about $1 billion. eSpeed plans to issue 133.9 million shares valued at $9.75 each.

International Business Machines (IBM) raises 2007 EPS growth outlook to 13%-14% from 11%. It notes the benefit of 2-3 points of growth, or approximately 14-17 cents per share, from accelerated stock repurchases of $12.5 billion. S&P raises target and reiterates buy.

Pulte Homes (PHM) sets a restructuring plan, which will include workforce reduction of about 16%. It expects to take $40-$50 millioin pre-tax charge in 2007, the majority of which will be incurred in the second quarter.

Biogen Idec (BIIB) says its board has authorized a $3 billion share repurchase via a modified "dutch auction" tender offer of about 57 million shares, or 16% of its common stock outstanding. CIBC World adjusts estimates and reiterates sector perform.

Coldwater Creek (CWTR) posts 13 cents, vs. 12 cents a year ago, first-quarter EPS on 7.3% higher same-store sales and 31% higher net sales. CIBC World reiterates sector outperform, raises estimates and target.

Novaceo (NOVC) surges on news that the company and Schering-Plough (SGP) are in a worldwide license agreement for development and commercialization of Asentar for treatment of prostate cancer. Novaceo plans to get upfront payment of $60 million and commitment by Schering-Plough to buy $12 million of NOVC stock.

Solarfun Power Holdings (SOLF) posts RMB 0.011 loss, vs. RMB 0.33 EPS a year ago, despite an 86% revenue rise. It says the first quarter was challenging. It revises 2007 guidance to net revenue of US$250-US$270 million.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PEI) was seen higher on buyout speculation.

Deutsche Bank upgrades Avalonbay Communities (AVB), Apartment Investment and Management (AIV), Boston Properties (BXP), Kilroy Realty (KRC), Developers Diversified Realty (DDR), Kimco Realty (KIM), Macerich (MAC), and Simon Property Group (SPG) to buy from neutral. S&P upgrades Avalonbay to hold from sell.

Joy Global (JOYG) posts 70 cents, vs. 66 cents a year ago, second-quarter EPS on a 12% revenue rise. The company sees $2.8-$3.0 billion in revenue, $3.25-$3.50 EPS over next 12 months. BMO Capital keeps outperform.

Apple (AAPL) launches iTunes Plus. Separately, WR Hambrecht raises estimate and target.

S&P says salesforce.com (CRM) shares are higher today after news company plans a June 5 announcement with a strategic partner. S&P downgrades to strong sell from sell, based on valuation.

Smithfield Foods (SFD) expects fourth-quarrer EPS from continuing operations of 30-35 cents. It notes increased raising costs in its hog production operations and losses in its cattle feeding business. Wachovia cuts estimate and maintains outperform.

Borders Group (BGP) posts 61 cents first-quarter loss, vs. 31 cents loss a year ago, on 1.9% lower same-store sales at domestic Borders, 1% decline at Waldenbooks, and 2.5% decline at international Borders. S&P cuts estimates and reiterates sell.

Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR) posts 38 cents, vs. 31 cents a year ago, first-quarter EPS on 5.8% higher same-store sales and 14% higher total sales.

Late yesterday, Qualcomm (QCOM) said a federal jury found that certain Qualcomm products infringe on three patents owned by Broadcom (BRCM); the jury awarded Broadcom $19.6 million in damages. S&P maintains hold.

Polo Ralph Lauren (RL) posts 68 cents, vs. 58 cents a year ago, fourth-quarter EPS on 7.9% comp-store sales rise and 7.3% total revenue rise. It sees fiscal year 2008 revenue increasing by mid-teen percentage, and EPS of $3.70-$3.80 including 27 cents net diluted effect from acquisitions.


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