Markets & Finance

Movers: Wrigley, US Airways, Ford, RadioShack, Sohu.com


Monday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchWrigley (WWY) agrees to be acquried by Mars for $80 per share, or $23 billion. Financing of the deal will be provided by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan (JPM). At the closing, BRK.A will make a minority equity investment in Wrigley unit.

US Airways Group (LCC) was up 1.46 to 8.62 after AP reports that the carrier and UAL Corp. (UAUA) are in very advanced talks with the expectation of announcing within two weeks that they are combining. Earlier Credit Suisse upgraded LCC to outperform from neutral, downgraded UAUA to neutral.

RadioShack (RSH) posts $0.30, vs. $0.31 a year ago, first quarter EPS on 4% lower same-store sales, 4.4% lower total sales.

Tracinda Corp. says it intends to make a cash tender offer for up to 20 million Ford Motor (F) shares at a price of $8.50 per share. Upon completion of bid, Tracinda would beneficially own 120 million Ford shares, or about 5.6% of the outstanding shares.

Over the weekend, Microsoft's (MSFT) $42.7 billion acquisition offer for Yahoo (YHOO) expired, with Yahoo declining to agree to a deal. Now, the WSJ reports that Microsoft's chief Steve Ballmer is facing one of the biggest decisions of his career: Walk away from the proposed acquisition or launch the largest hostile takeover battle in tech-industry history. Ending its pursuit of Yahoo seems less likely following Ballmer's promise to go directly to shareholders after the deadline.

Tyson Foods (TSN) posts March-quarter loss per share of $0.02, vs. EPS of $0.19 a year ago -- $0.03 below S&P's estimate.

Merck & Co. (MRK) and Schering-Plough (SGP) confirm that they received a not-approvable letter from the FDA for a proposed fixed combination of loratadine and montelukast for the treatment of allergic rhinitis symptoms in patients who want relief from nasal congestion.

In a message to employees, Larry Kellner, Continental Airlines (CAL) chairman and chief executive officer, and Jeff Smisek, president, said that CAL's board of directors met and has unanimously supported management's recommendation that, in the current industry environment, the best course for Continental is to not merge with another airline at this time. Late Friday, it was announced that CAL was in advanced merger talks with United Airlines, a unit of UAL Corp. (UAUA).

Verizon Communications (VZ) posts $0.61, vs. $0.54 a year ago, first quarter non-GAAP EPS on 5.5% revenue rise.

Sohu.com (SOHU) posts $0.55, vs. $0.12 a year ago, first quarter GAAP EPS on sharp revenue rise. Says $0.64 non-GAAP EPS exceeded high end of company guidance by $0.19. Sees second quarter total revenue of $93-$96 million, with advertising revenues of $40-$41 million, non-advertising revenues of $53-$55 million; estimates brand advertising revenues of $38.5-$39.5 million, online game revenues of $43-$45 million. Expects second quarter non-GAAP EPS of $0.72-$0.75.

Medarex (MEDX) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) announce that, after meeting with FDA, the companies will delay the Biologics License Application (BLA) submission for ipilimumab, an investigational immunotherapy for patients with advanced metastatic melanoma. FDA has requested additional overall survival data to further demonstrate the benefit of ipilimumab. Revised timelines are under development, but a BLA for ipilimumab will not be submitted to the FDA in 2008.

Kaydon (KDN) posts $0.53, vs. $0.57 a year ago, first quarter EPS as certain costs associated with its growth initiatives offset 15% revenue rise. Expects 2008 EPS to exceed its historical long-term target of 10%-12%.

BE Aerospace (BEAV) posts $0.53, vs. $0.40, first quarter EPS on 22% revenue rise. Raises 2008 EPS guidance by $0.06 to about $2.35. On a comparable basis using expected 35% 2008 effective tax rate in both periods, 2008 EPS are expected to increase by about 50% versus 2007.

E*Trade Financial (ETFC) announces the departures of two executive officers: CFO Robert J. Simmons will resign from his position effective on or before May 9, 2008, and General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Arlen W. Gelbard resigned from his position effective Apr. 22, 2008.


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