Markets & Finance

Movers: BEA Systems, GE, McDonald's, Centex, Allegheny Technologies


Friday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchBEA Systems (BEAS) rises after Oracle (ORCL) confirms that it delivered a letter to Board of Directors of BEA Systems on Oct. 9 in which Oracle proposes to acquire BEAS for $17.00 per share in cash. S&P maintains hold on BEA Systems. S&P believes the proposed acquisition makes strategic sense for Oracle, keeps strong buy.

General Electric (GE) posts third quarter EPS of $0.54, vs. $0.47 a year ago, on 12% revenue rise.

Beazer Homes USA (BZH) falls after Fitch Ratings downgrades BZH's Issuer Default Rating to 'BB-' from 'BB'.

Children's Place Retail Stores (PLCE) has put itself up for sale, following a sharp decline in its stock price, the result of a string of bad news, according to Fortune.

Centex (CTX) plans to take impairment charge of about $850 million for neighborhood and land inventory, about $40 million impairment and option write-off for share of land holding in joint ventures, and about $40 million for goodwill.

McDonald's (MCD) sees $0.89 third quarter EPS from continuing operations, including after-tax gain of $0.06 per share from the sale of Boston Market. It posts 5.9% higher September global comp sales, 2.5% higher U.S. comp sales.

Avon Products (AVP) sets $2 billion stock buyback.

Allegheny Technologies (ATI) sees third quarter EPS of $1.85-$1.88. Compared to the third quarter, it expects the fourth quarter to be further impacted by low operating volumes in its Flat-Rolled Products segment, lower LIFO inventory reserve reversals. It sees $7.00-$7.25 2007 EPS. It cites higher inventories at certain mills and depots and volatile raw material costs. S&P keeps hold, cuts estimates.

Deutsche Bank reportedly downgrades Citigroup (C) to sell from buy.

Chico's FAS (CHS) posts 8.3% lower September same-store sales, 7.3% total sales rise.

Citigroup downgrades Blue Nile (NILE) to sell from hold.

Coldwater Creek (CWTR) cuts second half fiscal year 2008 guidance, now sees $260-$265 million third quarter sales, $0.11-$0.13 loss. It sees fourth quarter sales of $360-$365 million and breakeven results. It sets $75 million share buyback. S&P, CIBC World cut estimates. Lehman downgrades to equal-weight.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) posts $0.38, vs. $0.39 a year ago, third quarter EPS as higher expenses offset 3.9% revenue rise.

Rogers Corp. (ROG) raises $94-$97 million third quarter sales forecast to $109-$110 million, $0.32-$0.35 non-GAAP EPS (excluding any restructuring adjustments) to $0.44-$0.48.

Limelight Networks (LLNW) sees third quarter GAAP revenue of $28.6-$29.1 million, non-GAAP revenue of $27.5-$28.0 million, vs. earlier expectations of GAAP and non-GAAP revenue of $27.0-$28.0 million and $25.5-$26.5 million, respectively. It expects to report improved third quarter GAAP, non-GAAP net loss compared with previously issued guidance. Also, it plans to restate 2006 and first and second quarter of 2007 results to reflect higher revenue, improved net losses.

Uranium Resources (URRE) enters into a definitive agreement with BHP Billiton to acquire 100% of the ownership of Rio Algom Mining LLC. Under the agreement, URRE will pay BHP Billiton $110 million in cash and assume certain retirement benefits and reclamation liabilities of which up to $35 million will be pre-funded at closing.

W-H Energy Services (WHQ) cuts $1.23-$1.28 third quarter EPS forecast to $1.06-$1.10. It cites primarily lower revenues and profit from its coiled tubing business, slowdown in Gulf of Mexico activity that impacted the company's rental tool, directional drilling, measurement- and logging-while-drilling businesses.

Acco Brands (ABD) says third quarter sales will be $495 million, vs. $499 million last year. It expects 2007 sales volumes to be down low-single-digits as a percentage of prior year's sales; it cuts $230-$240 million adjusted supplemental annual EBITDA to $215-$225 million.


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