Markets & Finance

Movers: Bear Stearns, SLM Corp., GM, Fremont General


Wednesday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchBear Stearns (BSC) shares jump on word that the company is in talks with several institutions, including Warren Buffett (BRKA), about selling a 20% stake in Bear Stearns, according to the New York Times.

SLM Corp. (SLM), or Sallie Mae, says that it has been informed by a representative of the buyer group led by J. C. Flowers, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase that the buyer group does not expect to consummate the acquisition of Sallie Mae under the terms of the merger agreement. Sallie Mae says it firmly believes that the buyer group has no contractual basis to repudiate its obligations under the merger agreement and intends to pursue all remedies available to it to the fullest extent permitted by law.

General Motors (GM) and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement on a new national labor contract, covering about 74,000 employees. The agreement is subject to UAW member ratification. The parties also agree to create an independent retiree health care trust.

Ford Motor (F) rises on news that S&P Ratings Services places its long-term corporate credit ratings on Ford and related entities on CreditWatch with positive implications.

Children's Place Retail Stores (PLCE) says CEO Ezra Dabah resigned after the retailer completed an internal probe that found violations of company policies related to securities trades.

Qualcomm (QCOM) says that based on the current business outlook, it now anticipates fourth quarter pro forma revenues to be at or slightly above the high end of the prior guidance of approximately $2.15-$2.25 billion, pro forma EPS to be approximately $0.52-$0.53, compared with $0.42 in the year-ago quarter.

Fremont General (FMT) says a group that agreed in May to invest about $80 million for a minority stake may back out of the deal. Also says it expects to file 2006 Form 10-K and first and second quarter form 10-Qs in mid-October.

YRC Worldwide (YRCW) falls after Bear Stearns cuts estimates and reiterates underperform; it says the acquisition of YRCW by Deutsche Post is extremely unlikely. Shares of YRCW rose yesterday amid speculation of such an acquisition.

Under Armour (UA) retreats after UBS Financial downgrades to neutral from buy.

Xinhua Finance Media Ltd. (XFML) announces that The Yucaipa Cos signs agreement to buy a block of existing shares from certain shareholders who have come out of the IPO lockup.

Amgen (AMGN) says data from a Phase 2 study suggests extended dosing of Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) paired with chemotherapy treatment (every two or every three weeks, depending on chemotherapy regimen) appeared to be efficacious with respect to changes in hemoglobin, with no unexpected adverse events observed when compared to weekly dosing.

Red Hat (RHT) posts $0.09, vs. $0.05 a year ago, second quarter GAAP EPS on 28% revenue rise.

Chevron (CVX) sets $15 billion stock buyback.

MetLife (MET) sets additional $1 billion stock buyback.

Gencorp (GY) posts $0.24 third quarter EPS, vs. $0.24 loss per share a year ago, on a 25% sales rise. It cites improved Aerospace and ense operating performance, including favorable environmental remediation provision adjustments, and increased tax benefits.

Timberland (TBL) expects third quarter sales to decline in the low double-digit percentage range and says it will close most of its specialty retail shops. Notes the shop closures will result in a $17 million charge, $7 million of which will be incurred in the third quarter.

Bally Technologies (BYI) sees fiscal year 2007 revenue of $679-$684 million and EPS of $0.38-$0.42. It expects fiscal year 2008 revenue in excess of $830 million and EPS of $1.25-$1.55, which is consistent with its previous guidance.

Resources Connection (RECN) posts $0.23, vs. $0.22 a year ago first quarter GAAP EPS on 18% revenue rise. Baird says first quarter revenue and gross margin below expectations, downgrades to neutral from outperform.


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