Markets & Finance

Movers: EDS, HP, AIG, FedEx, Cablevision, AnnTaylor


Monday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchElectronic Data Systems (EDS) shares are up 5.27 to 24.13 on word that Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) was close to a deal to acquire EDS for between $12 billion and $13 billion, according to the WSJr. The terms of the deal were not immediately clear but an announcement was expected as early as Tuesday, the newspaper said.

American International Group's (AIG) is down 1.48 to 38.80 aftef former AIG CEO Maurice Greenberg reportedly sent letter to AIG board outlining the company's problems, and urging postponement of this week's annual meeting. Newswires report Greenberg saying AIG in "crisis" and that he's concerned over deterioration of a great company. Earlier today, WSJ reported one of AIG's most-profitable units, an airplane-leasing giant run by one of the insurer's largest shareholders, is considering a split from the company as concerns mount that it will be weakened by its parent's financial woes. S&P maintained hold.

Clear Channel Communications (CCU) is up 2.80 to 32.80 after WSJ.com reports Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital are "finally, imminently" nearing an agreement with six lenders over the buyout of CCU. The report says Thomas H. Lee and Bain are discussing a roughly $36 a share price with CCU's banks and, in return for the lower price, the sponsors agreed to take a higher interest rate, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Alcoa (AA) is up 2.22 to 41.26 after Citigroup raises estimates, maintains buy, and 50 price target.

FedEx (FDX) cuts $1.60-$1.80 fourth quarter EPS guidance to $1.45-$1.50. It cites fuel costs and a weak economy.

Cablevision Systems (CVC) and Tribune (TXA) agree to form a new partnership through which CVC will buy about 97% of Newsday Media Group in deal valued at $632 million.

Sprint Nextel (S) posts $0.18 first quarter loss per share, vs. $0.07 loss a year ago, on 7.5% revenue drop. It notes revenue and EPS drop due to lower contribution from Wireless. Sees continued downward pressure on adjusted OIBDA, post-paid gross additions, post-paid ARPU over next few quarters. S&P maintains hold.

AnnTaylor Stores (ANN) sees $0.45-$0.47 first quarter EPS, excluding previously announced restructure charge, vs. previous guidance range of $0.35-$0.40. Cites stronger results at AnnTaylor Loft stores, better overall expense, inventory management. Says based upon preliminary figures, net sales in first quarter increased 2%, comp sales declined 4.3%.

One of American International Group's (AIG) most-profitable units, an airplane-leasing giant run by one of the insurer's largest shareholders, is considering a split from the company as concerns mount that it will be weakened by its parent's financial woes: WSJ.

MBIA (MBI) posts $13.03 first quarter loss per share, vs. $1.46 EPS, on 43% drop in net premiums written. Notes $3.6 billion in unrealized losses on insured derivatives. Says it received subpoenas or informal inquiries from variety of regulators on variety of subjects, including disclosures made by the company to underwriters, issuers of certain bonds.

Hecla Mining (HL) posts $0.10, vs. $0.07, first quarter EPS on 16% sales drop. Current quarter EPS is below estimates.

Calpine (CPN) posts 18% higher first quarter adjusted EBITDA on 17% higher operating revenue.

Tetra Technologies (TTI) posts $0.10, vs. $0.27, first quarter EPS on 7.6% lower revenue.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG) posts $0.77 first quarter non-GAAP loss, vs. $0.40 EPS, on flat revenues. Says weakness in demand, pricing in Jan coupled with increase in fleet costs, adversely affected first quarter results. Maintains 2008 non-GAAP EPS guidance of $1.00-$1.50.

4Kids Entertainment (KDE) posts $0.48 first quarter loss, vs. $0.02 loss, as higher operating costs offset slight revenue rise.

Cogent (COGT) sees first quarter revenue of $24.6 million (up 13% sequentially) and GAAP EPS of $0.09. Results benefited from increasing demand by core customers, good contribution from its smaller customers across all of its business areas both domestically, internationally. Raises 2008 revenue guidance to $125 million to incorporate anticipated incremental revenue from SSD acquisition.

Sovereign Bancorp (SOV) announces public offering of $1.0 billion in stock. Says underwriter will have an option to purchase up to $150 million of additional shares. Also, its Sovereign Bank unit intends to offer, subject to market conditions and approval by the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), approximately $500 million of fixed rate subordinated notes due 2018.

Research in Motion (RIMM), Thomson Reuters, and Royal Bank of Canada plan to launch BlackBerry Partners Fund, a $150 million venture capital fund, to invest in mobile applications, services for the BlackBerry platform, other mobile platforms. Also Introduces Blackberry Bold Smartphone. Inks deal with Microsoft (MSFT) whereby BlackBerry Smartphone customers will have easy mobile access to Windows Live Messenger, enhanced level of integration between Windows Live Hotmail, the BlackBerry platform.

Encana (ECA) says its board approves proposal to split ECA into a natural gas company with a portfolio of early-life North American, natural gas resource plays; and a fully integrated oil company with in-situ oilsands properties, refineries, underlying foundation of oil and gas resource plays. Terms: one share of each new company for each ECA share held. S&P reiterates hold.

A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts (ACMR) posts $0.09 first quarter loss per share, vs. $0.02 EPS, on 12% lower same-store sales, 6.5% lower total sales.


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