Markets & Finance

Movers: Dell, Verifone, Viacom, Puget Energy


Stocks in the news Wednesday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchDell (DELL) says it will organize globally around three major customer segments: large enterprise, public sector, and small- and medium-sized businesses. The PC maker announces that Mike Cannon, president of Global Operations, will retire effective Jan. 31, will be succeeded by Jeff Clarke who, in addition to being head of Dell's Business Client Product Group, will become vice chairman, Global Operations. In addition, Chief Marketing Officer Mark Jarvis will leave this quarter, will be succeeded by Erin Nelson.

National Penn Bancshares (NPBC) expects to record non-cash charges for the fourth quarter 2008 related to an other-than-temporary impairment of some pooled trust preferred investment securities of $60-$65 million. Also expects to record a provision for loan losses of $17-$20 million for the fourth quarter, up from $6.88 million in the third quarter.

Puget Energy (PSD) announces that Washington state regulators approved the sale of the company and its wholly-owned electric and natural gas utility subsidiary, Puget Sound Energy, to New York-based Puget Holdings LLC for $7.4 billion or $30 per share. Notes sale subject to 78 commitments and conditions to protect customers and the public interest.

Verifone Holdings (PAY) says it has filed a Notification of Late Filing with SEC for its Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal year 2008 (October). It also says it recorded estimated pre-tax charge for impairment of goodwill and related write-down of intangible assets in its intl segment. Due to complexity of this impairment analysis, including events and changes impacting such analysis, PAY does not expect such impairment analysis to be completed within prescribed time period for filing of its Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Viacom (VIA.B) is launching a media blitz taking aim at Time Warner (TWX) over a programming-fee dispute, reports the WSJ. According to the article, "Barring a last-minute settlement, Viacom's cable channels -- including Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central -- will disappear from Time Warner Cable at midnight Wednesday."

King Pharmaceuticals (KG) announces that the FDA is continuing its review of the New Drug Application (NDA) for EMBEDA (morphine sulfate and naltrexone hydrochloride) extended release capsules. It is likely that this review will extend into early 2009.

AGP announces that it has terminated its agreement to purchase certain assets of University Health Plan Inc., a wholly-owned unit of Centene (CNC), related to its N.J. Medicaid line of business. AGP exercised its right of termination as a result of certain events that occurred following execution of the agreement. Notes this termination has no effect on AGP's previously announced deal to sell the assets of its South Carolina health plan to CE.

Brookdale Senior Living (BKD) announces that its Board of Directors has voted to suspend the company's quarterly cash dividend indefinitely.

Labopharm (DDSS) announces that Ryzolt (tramadol HCl extended release tablets), its once-daily formulation of the analgesic tramadol, has been approved by the FDA. Says Ryzolt is indicated for the management of moderate to moderately severe chronic pain in adults who require around-the-clock treatment of their pain for an extended period of time.

Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) says that its Watson Laboratories, Inc. unit received FDA approval to market its over-the-counter Nicotine Polacrilex Gum USP, coated mint flavor, in the 2 mg and 4 mg strengths. Says Nicotine Polacrilex Gum, coated mint flavor, is the generic equivalent of GSK's Nicorette fresh mint gum, which is used as an aid to smoking cessation. Notes product will be available in early January 2009.

Green Bankshares (GRNB) expects to post fourth quarter net loss of between $14-$16 million, reflecting significant and continued weakness in residential real estate markets and its effect on the company's loan portfolio and other asset values.

GLG Partners (GLG) announces that its Board of Directors has determined not to continue paying a regular quarterly dividend on its common stock. The Board of Directors of GLG will consider re-establishing the regular quarterly dividend as well as the payment of a special dividend as and when it determines appropriate in the future.


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