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Thursday's stocks in the news
From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchCountrywide Financial (CFC) said it had to tap an $11.5 billion credit line to shore up its available cash amid disruptions in mortgage-backed securities and constrained liquidity in the mortgage industry. Moody's and Fitch Ratings cut credit ratings for Countrywide. The stock fell another 13% and hit a new 52-week low.
Amgen (AMGN) said late Wednesday it plans to reduce its work force by 12-14%, or between 2,200 and 2,600 positions, and take restructuring charges of $600 million to $700 million in 2007 and 2008. Amgen also reduced its adjusted earnings per share guidance for the full year to between $4.13 and $4.23 per share from prior estimates of $4.28 per share. The biotech company cited lower-than-expected sales of anemia drug Aranesp, since the FDA brought up safety concerns and label changes for it back in March.
Charter Communications (CHTR) announces that Paul Allen is mulling strategic options, given the company's high debt and the tight credit markets. S&P maintains sell on the stock.
Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) said it may be sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over its backdating of stock options.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) is waiting to hear whether Peru's largest quake in more than 30 years hit its Antamina copper and zinc mine. BHP Billiton owns 33.75% of Antamina, Peru's largest copper mine.
Network Appliance (NTAP) said revenue for the fiscal second quarter will be between $752 million and $768 million. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated $745 million, on average. The software products maker sees $0.24-$0.26 second quarter non-GAAP EPS. It adds $1 billion to its stock buyback program. AG Edwards upgrades to buy.
Diebold (DBD) lowers 2007 revenue outlook for elections business by about $120 million, estimates this adjustment will impact 2007 EPS by about $0.27. It says several anticipated orders for electronic voting systems have moved from 2007 into 2008 and beyond.
Estee Lauder (EL) posts $0.45, vs. $0.23 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations on 9.8% revenue rise. It sees lower-than-expected $0.05-$0.11 first quarter EPS on net sales up 5%-7% in constant currency. S&P maintains buy.
Cognex Corp. (CGNX) said third-quarter sales would be $50 million to $55 million, falling short of the $58 million average estimate of analysts.
Compuware Corp. (CPWR) said it abandoned plans to borrow money for stock repurchases, citing "unfavorable conditions" in the credit market.
Lamson & Sessions (LMS) agreed to be acquired by Thomas & Betts Corp. (TNB) for $27 a share. The company's board also approved a special dividend of 30 cents a share that would be payable when the deal closes.
PetSmart (PETM) reported second-quarter profit that topped analysts' estimates, benefiting from the sale of a stake in an investment and revenue from higher-priced pet food and services. The company boosted its full-year profit forecast to $2.08 to $2.10 a share.
Salesforce.com (CRM) reported second-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates after adding a record 3,000 clients. The company increased its full-year earnings forecast to 8 cents to 10 cents share.