Markets & Finance

Movers: Alcoa, Dow Chemical, Apple, Logitech, Lab Corp.


Stocks in the news Tuesday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchAlcoa (AA) said it will curtail aluminum production and cut about 13,500 jobs, or 13% of its global work force, to save cash and reduce costs in the current economic downturn, reports the AP.

Dow Chemical (DOW) announces wide range of legal, operating and financial actions that will keep it on track to fulfill transformational corporate strategy it has pursued since 2005. Chairman & CEO Andrew Liveris said recent decision by DOW's partners in Kuwait to abandon terms of its Joint Venture Formation Agreement will not deter the company from pursuing transformational strategy that has been DOW's roadmap for future growth, profitability. He says DOW will pursue legal, other options to fulfill rights under Kuwait agreement.

Apple (AAPL) trades higher after Oppenheimer reportedly upgrades AAPL to outperform. Yesterday's AAPL's CEO Steve Jobs, commenting on his weight loss, said the doctors think they found the reason for his weight loss: a hormone imbalance that has been "robbing" Jobs of the proteins his body needs to be healthy. Jobs has already begun treatment. Investors had been concerned that the reason for Jobs' weight loss was due to a return of a serious illness Jobs suffered from a few years ago.

Logitech International (LOGI) announces that it has withdrawn its fiscal year 2009 growth targets for sales and operating income due to the deepening global recession. Plans to update investors on business conditions, performance during its briefing on third quarter results on Jan. 20, 2009. In addition to ongoing actions aimed at reducing operating expenses, plans to reduce its salaried workforce globally by approximately 15%; associated restructuring charge will be announced with third quarter results, booked in fourth quarter. S&P cuts target price, reiterates hold.

Amedisys (AMED) sees 2009 net service revenue of $1.425-$1.475 billion and EPS of $4.10-$4.30 (both exclude effects of future acquisitions, if they are made). Says guidance driven by expected improvements in contributions from past acquisitions, efficiency initiatives, organic revenue growth, incl. further contributions from its Specialty Division.

InterContinentalExchange (ICE) reports volume for all ICE futures contracts in 2008 rose 21%; total futures volume for month of December increased 36%, ADC in ICE's OTC energy biz increased 32%. UBS Financial downgrades to neutral from buy.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH) lowers 2009 EPS guidance to $4.75-$4.95, vs. prior guidance of $5.00-$5.25, excluding impact of any share repurchase activity after Sept. 30, 2008. Now sees 2%-4% 2009 revenue growth, vs. prior 3.5%-5.5% revenue growth guidance. S&P lowers estimate, target, keeps buy.

Micrel (MCRL) expects fourth quarter revenues to be down about 18%-20% vs. previous guidance of down 7%-13%. It cites lower-than-anticipated OEM turns-fill orders and distribution resales occurring in late November and December. Now sees fourth quarter EPS of $0.06-$0.08 vs. previous guidance of $0.08-$0.11. In effort to control expenses and protect MCRL's earnings, has instituted a companywide 6% reduction in workforce.

Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) - Goldman reportedly downgrades GRMN to sell from neutral.

Cigna (CI) announces that it plans to reduce its global workforce by approximately 1,100 positions, around 4% of its employees, and also plans to consolidate certain real estate locations. As a result of these actions, CI expects to incur approximately $30-$40 million, after tax, in cost reduction charges in the fourth quarter of 2008. Deutsche Bank reportedly downgrades to hold from buy.

Rogers Communications (RCI) announces preliminary fourth quarter subscriber results: Net additions of cable revenue generating units were 124,000 vs. 192,000 in fourth quarter 2007, total wireless retail net subscriber additions were 199,000 vs. 183,000.

Vignette (VIGN) sees fourth quarter non-GAAP net income of between $0.05 loss and $0.05 EPS on revenue of $35-$37 million. Expects license revenue to be 17%-19% of total revenue. VIGN says it is unable to update GAAP net income guidance at this time due to its evaluation of various year-end, GAAP-related accounting charges.

Mosaic Company (MOS) posts $2.15, vs. $0.89, second quarter EPS on 37% sales rise. Second quarter fiscal year 2009 EPS includes writedown of $0.41, gain on sale of $1.03. Gross margin narrowed. Expects to reduce phosphate and potash production significantly during rest of fiscal year 2009. Expects results to be weak at least through third quarter fiscal year 2009. Also expects operating cash flow to be negative at least through third quarter as result of weak near-term outlook.

Macrovision Solutions (MVSN) and Lionsgate (LGF) announce that LGF will buy the TV Guide Network and TV Guide Online properties from MVSN for $255 million. MVSN says it has terminated previous agreement to sell such properties announced on Dec. 18, 2008. The LGF-MVSN deal is expected to close by 2/28/09, subject to certain indemnifications and customary closing conditions.

Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) agrees to acquire Indevus Pharma (IDEV) for approximately $370 million, or $4.50 per IDEV share, in cash, and up to an additional approximately $267 million, or $3.00 per share, in cash payable in future upon achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. Caris downgrades ENDP to average from above average.

LDK Solar (LDK) sees fourth quarter revenue of $425-$435 million, wafer shipments between 245-255 MW, gross margin between 10%-13%, worse than previous guidance of $555-$565 million revenue, 260-279 MW wafer shipments, 18%-21% gross margin. Now sees 2009 revenue of $2.3-$2.5 billion, wafer shipments of 1.57 GW-1.67 GW, gross margin of 22%-27%.

Imation (IMN) sees lower-than-expected fourth quarter revenue of $530-$540 million. Says it could report a fourth quarter operating loss of up to $7 million before restructuring and other charges. Also reports that it is finalizing its impairment testing on intangible assets including goodwill and it is likely that substantial impairments will be identified and recorded in fourth quarter.

Vasco Data Security International (VDSI) expects 2008 revenue growth to be in the range of 9%-12%, cites deterioration of the economy in the U.S. and a number of delayed orders in other geographic markets in fourth quarter.

Measurement Specialties (MEAS) forecasts consolidated net sales of about $43 million for third quarter and $205-$215 million for fiscal year 2009 (March). Notes third quarter sales were down significantly, driven largely by sharp reductions in sales to passenger and non-passenger vehicle customers in U.S., Europe and Asia. Needham cuts estimates, target; keeps buy.

Super Micro Computer (SMCI) cuts second quarter non-GAAP EPS guidance to $0.15-$0.16 from $0.18-$0.22, revenue view to $127-$129 million from $140-$150 million. Says severe general economic conditions experienced during the quarter have delayed buying decisions of customers as they seek better visibility into IT spending trends for servers and storage. Merriman Curhan downgrades to neutral from buy.


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