Markets & Finance

Movers: Citigroup, Lowe's, Xerox, Pharmion, EchoStar


Monday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchCitigroup (C) move lower after Goldman Sachs reportedly downgrades the stock to sell, and said Citigroup may have to write-off $15 billion for debt losses over the next two quarters.

Lowe's Companies (LOW) posts $0.43, vs. $0.46 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 4.3% lower same-store sales, 3.2% higher total sales. For the fourth quarter, it sees $0.25-$0.29 EPS on 3%-5% lower same-store sales, about 3% higher total sales. For fiscal year 2008, it sees $1.83-$1.87 EPS on about 4% lower same-store sales, 3%-4% higher total sales.

Xerox (XRX) declares quarterly cash dividend of $0.0425 per common share, which is the first in more than six years.

Pharmion (PHRM) agrees to be acquired by Celegene (CELG) in a $2.9 billion deal. Terms: Each PHRM share will be exchanged for $25.00 in cash and shares of CELG in an amount to be determined by an exchange ratio.

EchoStar Communications (DISH) rises after Barron's reports that AT&T (T) is trying to put together a bid for DISH before yearend that will entice DISH's CEO, Charles Ergen. Citigroup upgrades to buy from hold based on valuation and M&A speculation.

Quanex (NX) plans to spin off its Building Products business to shareholders as a stand-alone company called Quanex Building Products (QBP) in a taxable distribution, whereby NX shareholders would receive one share of QBP for each share held. Immediately subsequent to completion of the spin-off, NX, consisting principally of Vehicular Products business, would merge with a wholly-owned unit of Gerdau S.A. for $39.20 per share in cash.

Fannie Mae (FNM) falls after Friedman Billings downgrades to market perform from outperform.

Tween Brands (TWB) posts third quarter EPS of $0.46, vs. $0.58 a year ago, as higher costs offset 13% higher total sales. It cuts fourth quarter EPS to range of $0.98-$1.03, 4%-5% below previous guidance.

Lululemon Athletica (LULU) says it will comply with a Canadian government agency order to remove clothing labels that claim therapeutic benefits from fabrics said to contain seaweed.

Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) sets 1 million share buyback.

Amtech Systems (ASYS) says it will sell 2.5 million common shares at $14.41 per share, roughly a 4% discount to the stock's closing price on Friday.


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