Markets & Finance

Movers: News Corp., Dow Jones, Coca-Cola, Merrill Lynch


Tuesday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchNews Corp. (NWS) reaches a tentative agreement to buy Dow Jones & Co. (DJ) at its original $5 billion offer price, although the Bancroft family remains divided. The deal will be put to the full Dow Jones board on Tuesday evening, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Coca-Cola (KO) posts $0.80, vs. $0.78 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 19% sales rise. The beverage maker notes second quarter 2007 EPS includes a net charge of $0.05 primarily related to restructuring charges and non-cash impairment charge at equity investee.

Merrill Lynch (MER) posts $2.24, vs. $1.63 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 19% higher net revenues.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) posts better-than-expected $1.05 (excludes $0.03 in-process R&D charge), vs. $0.95 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 13% higher sales. It confirms prior 2007 EPS guidance of $4.02-$4.07 EPS, excluding the impact of in-process R&D charges and other special items.

Lyondell Chemical (LYO) agrees to be acquired by Basell in a deal with a total enterprise value of $19 billion, including assumption of debt. Terms: $48 cash per LYO share.

Novellus Systems (NVLS) posts $0.45, vs. $0.42 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 1.5% sales rise. It says second quarter revenue, EPS came in as expected, however bookings, shipments were below the company's guidance as some absorption of excess capacity is taking place.

Stanley Furniture (STLY) posts $0.23 second quarter loss (includes charge for termination of defined benefit pension plan), vs. $0.32 EPS a year ago, on a 13% sales decline. It cuts 2007 view to sales of $280-$290 million, $0.65-$0.75 operating EPS; sees $0.16-$0.20 third quarter operating EPS.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) posts $0.45, vs. $0.36 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 2% revenue rise. It says the current second quarter includes benefit of $10.3 million, net of income taxes, resulting from a settlement of proposed tax adjustment by the IRS.

Keystone Automotive (KEYS) agrees to be acquired by LKQ Corp. in a $811 million deal. Terms: $48 cash per KEYS share.

General Motors (GM) reaches a joint venture agreement with Penske Corp. to purchase 50% equity of VM Motori S.p.A, a designer, manufacturer of diesel engines based in Cento, Italy.

QLT Inc. (QLTI) says global sales of its Visudyne were down 38% year-over-year in the second quarter, down 3.1% sequentially.

KeyCorp (KEY) posts $0.84, vs. $0.75 a year ago, second quarter EPS despite flat revenue. It says growth in noninterest income and effective expense control drove strong second quarter results.

Rohm & Haas (ROH) sets $2 billion stock buyback; $1 billion goes to an accelerated share repurchase during the third quarter (funded by issuance of new debt) and the remaining $1 billion is likely to be purchased over 2008-2010. Citigroup upgrades to buy from hold.

IPC Holdings (IPCR) says second quarter EPS will be negatively impacted by storms and flooding that affected New South Wales, Australia in early June and by flooding in parts of northern England. It now sees operating EPS of $0.20-$0.40.


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