Markets & Finance

Movers: NDS Group, H&R Block, France Telecom, Mesa Air, Del Monte


Monday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchNDS Group PLC (NNDS) confirms that it has received a takeover proposal from News Corp. (NWS) and two newly incorporated companies formed by funds advised by Permira Advisers for $60 per share per ADS. S&P downgrades to hold from strong buy. RBC Capital reiterates outperform.

H&R Block (HRB) posts $2.11, vs. $1.81 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations on 11% revenue rise. It sees fiscal year 2009 EPS from continuing operations of $1.60-$1.70. The company raises annual dividend 5.3%, and sets $2 billion stock buyback for fiscal years 2009-2012.

France Telecom (FTE) announces it has decided not to submit a firm offer to TeliaSonera's shareholders. The parties were unable to agree financial conditions. Cheuvreux upgrades to Selected List from outperform following the TeliaSonera announcement.

MBIA Inc. (MBI) is down 0.46 to 3.71 after WSJ reports MBI is selling municipal bonds to raise cash as it moves to make billions of dollars in payments that were triggered by its recent rating downgrade by Moody's Investors Services.

Campbell Soup (CPB) sets $1.2 billion stock buyback. Also says it now expects adjusted fiscal year 2008 EPS to be at the upper end of a 5%-7% growth range from fiscal year 2007's adjusted EPS of $1.95.

Red Lion Hotels (RLH) receives non-binding and conditional preliminary indication of interest to acquire the company from Columbia Pacific Opportunity fund. Terms were not disclosed.

Usana Health Sciences (USNA) announces that Gull Holdings and Unity Acquisition Corp. amended their offer to buy all outstanding shares of the company to $28.00 per share cash from their previous offer of $26.00.

Petrohawk Energy (HK) is up 3.24 to 46.20 after the company announces that it has completed its initial horizontal well in the Haynesville Shale. On June 29, 2008, the well produced at an average rate of about 16.8 million cubic feet of natural gas per day with 5,600 pounds flowing casing pressure on a 26/64" choke. Goodrich Petroleum (GDP) was also higher on the news, as the company, along with Penn Virginia (PVA) and Questar (STR) have wells in the shale.

Sprint Nextel (S) is up 0.49 to 9.40. According to the Wall Street Journal, struggling wireless carrier Sprint is showing some signs of life. Not only are investors expecting the company to show improvements in customer retention in the second quarter, but Sprint also is selling out of a new high-end handset in some retail stores, the newspaper said.

Mesa Air (MESA) reports second quarter loss of $0.15 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.10 worse than the First Call consensus of ($0.05); revenues rose 8.1% from a year ago to $320.3 million vs. the $325.9 million consensus.

Del Monte Foods (DLM) agrees to sell its seafood business, including StarKist, to Dongwon Enterprise for $363 million, subject to a working capital adjustment.

Avocent (AVCT) raises $150-$154 million second quarter revenue guidance to $155-$158 million. To sell portion of its entrepreneurial Connectivity and Controls business unit dedicated to its Professional Audio Video, Equinox serial products. To decrease its global workforce by about 110 positions, or about 5% of total workforce. Estimates it will record pre-tax restructuring charges, excluding stock-based compensation, of about $2.5 million in second quarter and $5 million in the second half of 2008.

Myriad Genetics (MYGN) reports of the Act-Earli-AD trial, an 18-month Phase 3 study of Flurizan in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease. The study did not achieve statistical significance on either of its primary endpoints.


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