Markets & Finance

Movers: GE, Energizer, Baker Hughes, Hovnanian


Friday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchGeneral Electric (GE) posts second quarter EPS from continuing operations of $0.52, matching expectations and up from $0.46 a year ago, on a 12% revenue rise. It raises its stock buyback plan to $14 billion for 2007, with $12 billion expected to be completed between now and yearend. The company sees $0.54-$0.56 third-quarter EPS from continuing operations. It also says it plans to exit the U.S. mortgage business.

Playtex Products (PYX) agrees to be acquired by Energizer Holdings (ENR) in a $1.9 billion deal. Terms: PYX holders will get $18.30 per share in cash.

Alcoa (AA) withdraws offer for Alcan (AL) in light of Rio Tinto's (RTP) announced agreement to buy Alcan. Alcoa says it has more attractive options for delivering additional value to shareholders.

Baker Hughes (BHI) falls after it sees $1.07-$1.09 second quarter EPS, vs. $1.17 in the first quarter. It cites deterioration of activity and profitability in Canada -- particularly in Drilling and Evaluation segment. S&P cuts estimates, target, and keeps buy opinion.

Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) is seen higher on speculation that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) might be buying a stake in the company

Shaw Group (SGR) rises after Citigroup upgrades to buy from hold. Yesterday the compan said it expects restated first quarter loss to be $0.30 per share, vs. previously reported $0.26 loss; forecast second quarter loss of $0.93 per share, and $0.30-$0.35 third quarter EPS.

Macrovision (MVSN) sees $0.06-$0.09 second quarter GAAP EPS, $0.19-$0.22 non-GAAP, on $57-$59 million in revenue. It notes there were two signficant business arrangements that it expected to close in the quarter.

Semitool (SMTL) lowers $50-$53 million third-quarter revenue guidance to $45-$46 million, and breakeven to $0.02 EPS to $0.01-$0.03 loss per share. It says the revenue shortfall was caused by customer acceptance delays on two tools that had been expected to occur during the quarter.

Spectrum Brands (SPC) sees lower-than-expected $260-$264 million fiscal year 2007 EBITDA and $2.634 million revenue. It cites unfavorable weather conditions during its third quarter.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) says after talks with the FDA, the development program of its valopicitabine for treatment of hepatitis C has been placed on clinical hold in the U.S. based on overall risk/benefit profile observed to date in clinical testing.

Amgen (AMGN) sets a $5 billion stock buyback.

Nextest Systems (NEXT) sees lower-than-expected $13-$14 million in revenue, $0.05-$0.08 loss per share. It cites lower-than-expected equipment orders from the company's key customers in the NAND flash semiconductor market.

Lufkin Industries (LUFK) sees $1.13-$1.15 second quarter EPS, within its $1.00-$1.20 guidance. But based on continued softness in the North American oil field markets, it cuts top end of its $4.60-$5.40 2007 EPS guidance to $4.60-$5.00.

W&T Offshore (WTI) says despite cutting its production forecasts for second quarter, its realized oil and gas prices were higher than expected in second quarter, so it will exceed $0.44 EPS consensus estimate.

Exactech (EXAC) rceives FDA premarket approval for its Novation Ceramic Articulation Hip systems. It raises 2007 sales targets from $112-$118 million to $115-$120 million.


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