Markets & Finance

Movers: Merrill, Alcoa, Teva


Plus more stocks making headlines in Monday's market

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchMERRILL LYNCH & CO., INC. (MER)

Up 0.05 to 55.59

Says GE Capital (unit of General Electric (GE)) has agreed to purchase most of the company's wholly-owned middle-market commercial finance business. Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition, expected to close in Q1 2008, will add more than $10 billion in assets and $5 billion in commitments to GE Capital Commercial Finance's base of $260 billion. Separately, Merrill reaches agreements to raise up to $6.2 billion of newly issued common stock in a private placement with Temasek Holdings and Davis Selected Advisors.

ALCOA INC. (AA)

Up 0.55 to 36.90

Agrees to sell its packaging and consumer businesses to New Zealand's Rank Group Limited for $2.7 billion in cash. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2008.

TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LTD. (TEVA)

Up 1.42 to 46.59

Says it has commercially launched Pantoprazole Sodium Delayed Release Tablets, 20 mg and 40 mg, which are AB-rated to Wyeth's erosive GERD treatment Protonix DR Tablets; Teva gets 180-day period of marketing exclusivity. Based on this launch and on data available at this time, Teva raises 2007 EPS guidance to $2.34-$2.36, up from reaching the higher end of $2.20-$2.30. S&P reiterates strong buy.

MTC TECHNOLOGIES, INC. (MTCT)

Up 5.70 to 23.48

Agrees to be acquired by BAE Systems Inc. for $24.00 per share cash, or total value of about $450 million, including the assumption of debt.

WYETH (WYE)

Down 1.74 to 45.12

The company's Wyeth Pharmaceuticals division announces that the FDA has issued a second approvable letter for bazeoxifen, a selector estrogen receptor modulator, for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Separately, Wyeth says it will sue Teva for alleged patent infringement, following Teva's launch of generic Protonix (Wyeth's ulcer drug).

FIRST MARBLEHEAD CORP. (FMD)

Down 2.14 to 16.56

Shares of First Marblehead are lower as investors take profits after Friday's 66%+ jump on news that the company entered into an agreement under which GS Capital Partners would invest up to $260.5 million in the company. On Friday, S&P upgraded First Marblehead to hold from sell.

FIRST HORIZON NATIONAL CORP. (FHN)

Down 0.69 to 19.10

Says after review of its reserve for loan losses and real estate portfolios, expects to increase its reserves in the fourth quarter, with an anticipated total provision of approximately $150 million that should significantly exceed net charge-offs of roughly $50M. Janney Montgomery downgrades to neutral.

FEDEX CORP. (FDX)

Down 2.14 to 92.15

Announces that it had received a grand jury subpoena this month stemming from a Justice Department probe into possible anti-competitive practices in the international air freight forwarding industry. Separately, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reported that the IRS ordered it to pay $319 million in fines and penalties over its illegal independent contractor model.

UNITED RENTALS, INC. (URI)

Up 0.81 to 18.72

Delivers notice of termination of its July 22, 2007, merger agreement with RAM Holdings Inc. and RAM Acquisition Corp. (acquisition vehicles formed by Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.). Has requested that Cerberus Partners, L.P., pay URI $100 million termination fee required by the merger agreement.

PHARMACYCLICS, INC. (PCYC)

Down 0.55 to 1.81

Receives non-approvable letter from FDA for the company's new drug application (NDA) for Xcytrin Injection for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with brain metastases. The NDA for use of Xcytrin in combination with whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) was filed with the FDA in April 2007.

JAZZ PHARMACEUTICALS, INCORPORATED (JAZZ)

Down 1.27 to 14.21

Announces that the FDA has issued an approvable letter for Once-A-Day Luvox Extended-Release Capsules, for which Jazz and Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. are seeking marketing approval for treatment of two anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorder (SAD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

ARCELORMITTAL (MT)

Up 1.02 to 74.26

Agrees to acquire 100% of the shares of the Austrian steel distribution company Eisen Wagner GmbH from the current owners. The transaction is designed to further enhance ArcelorMittal's presence in Central Europe and is subject to the approval of the competition authorities.


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