Markets & Finance

Movers: SanDisk, Campbell Soup, Microsoft, Yahoo, Lowe's, BCE


Stocks in the news on Monday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchSanDisk (SNDK) is down 2.42 to 30.02 after newswires reported that CEO Eli Harari told analysts at a conference sponsored by JPMorgan that rising oil prices have prompted consumers to tighten their budgets, and that sales to makers of consumer products were "soft" last month.

Campbell Soup (CPB) is d down 1.52 to 34.43 after posting $0.43, vs. $0.45 a year ago, third quarter non-GAAP EPS despite 7.4% revenue rise. Notes third quarter non-GAAP EPS excludes a $467 million gain from the sale of Godiva, and $100 million in restructuring charges. On GAAP basis, posts $1.40, vs. $0.55, third quarter EPS. Still sees adjusted EPS growth of 5%-7% in fiscal year 2008 from fiscal year 2007's adjusted base of $1.95.

Amazon.com (AMZN) is up 5.83 to 82.29 after Goldman adds to Americas Conviction Buy List.

SLM Corp. (SLM) is down 1.24 to 19.76. Keefe, Bruyette says SLM shares appear to have sold off today on concerns that a decision on financing terms from the Dept. of Education could be less favorable than investors expected; it rates the stock outperform.

Devry (DV) is down 2.47 to 54.20 after it says earlier this month the Dept. of Justice, Civil Division, requested it voluntarily furnish documents and other information regarding its policies and practices with respect to recruiter compensation and performance evaluation.

Microsoft (MSFT) says it is continuing to explore and pursue its alternatives to improve and expand its online services, advertising business. Microsoft is considering, and has raised with Yahoo (YHOO), an alternative that would involve a transaction with YHOO, but would not be an acquisition of all of YHOO. S&P maintains strong buy on Microsoft, and hold on Yahoo.

Lowe's Companies (LOW) posts $0.41, vs. $0.48, first quarterr EPS on 8.4% lower same-store sales, 1.3% lower total sales. Cites poor economic outlook, incl. housing pressures, higher food and fuel costs, more negative employment picture. Sees second quarter same-store sales drop of 6%-8% and EPS of $0.54-$0.59; fiscal year 2009 same-store sales decline of 6%-7% and EPS of $1.45-$1.55.

S&P Equity Research cuts target price and reiterates hold following an unconfirmed NYT report that says the $34.8 billion buyout of BCE (BCE) is in trouble as investment banks financing the deal sought to renegotiate lending terms. Separately, BCE says it has received written confirmation from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that conditions set forth in the CRTC's decision of March 27 to its approval of the proposed acquisition of BCE by an investor group have been fulfilled with two minor exceptions.

Pinnacle Gas Resources (PINN) says Quest Resource has terminated its offer to acquire the company. It notes, pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement, either party had the right to terminate the merger agreement if terms and conditions of the proposed merger were not agreed to and completed by May 16, 2008.

Dell (DELL) says Brian Gladden will succeed Don Carty, vice chairman and chief financial officer, as senior vice president and CFO effective June 13. Notes Mr. Carty has resigned, effective June 13. He will remain a member of the board, which he joined in 1992.

Focus Media Holding (FMCN) says it regained compliance with the independent director requirements for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Market set forth in Marketplace Rule 4350. The action followed, among other things, the resignation of a non-independent director from FMCN's audit, compensation and nominating committees, and the appointment of new independent directors to those committees.

Electronic Arts (ERTS) extends its tender offer for all of the currently outstanding shares of common stock (including the associated preferred stock purchase rights) of Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) to 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on Monday, June 16, 2008, unless further extended. The tender offer was previously set to expire at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on May 16, 2008.

IXYS Corp. (IXYS) makes a bid to acquire Zilog (ZILG) for $4.50 per share, to be paid in cash and stock.


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