Movers & Shakers

July 28, 2008, 4:35 p.m. EDT

Cal-Maine, H-P, Mattel, Sirius, Taro, Vanda, Xantrex

By MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Shares of the following companies are among those making notable moves on the U.S. stock market Monday.


Moody's Investors Service on Monday placed AK Steel Corp.'s corporate family rating Ba3 under review for possible upgrade. The ratings agency cited the company's improved operating and financial profile driven by strong steel fundamentals and the company's reduction in debt for the move.

Alberto-Culver Co. (NYS:ACV) shares jumped 9.3%. Third-quarter net income fell to $21.1 million, or 21 cents a share, from $25.1 million, or 25 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose 12% to $364.9 million. Excluding a loss from a discontinued operation and other special items, profit rose to 31 cents a share.

Amgen (NAS:AMGN) shares jumped 12% Monday as it said said a three-year international Phase III study of denosumab, a treatment for osteoporosis, significantly reduced the incidence of new vertebral fractures compared with placebo. Among women receiving denosumab, the study showed significantly fewer new non-vertebral and hip fractures. See full story.

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners second-quarter profit rose 83% from a year earlier to $64.7 million. Revenue rose 26% to $190.3 million. The group said the result reflected higher gas- transportation revenue from expansion projects and higher rates on existing capacity. This was partly offset by lower parking and lending revenues and higher depreciation and property taxes.

EADS (OTC:EADSY) Emirates Air signed a letter of intent to buy 30 Airbus A350XWB and 30 A330-300 jets. Last year Emirates signed an agreement for 70 A350XWB planes and took an option for 50 more. The agreement on Monday firms up to 30 of those options.

EnergySouth Inc. shares soared 19%. Sempra Energy (NYS:SRE) agreed to pay $61.50 a share, or $510 million, for the Mobile, Ala., natural gas service and pipeline firm. That's a premium of 23% over ENSI's closing price of $50.16 a share on Friday. Sempra sees the deal adding to its earnings in 2009 and adding 30 cents a share to 2012 earnings.

Ilog: IBM agreed to acquire the software company for 215 million euros ($340 million), or 10 euros a share, representing a 37% premium to the closing price on Friday. IBM (NYS:IBM) said it will combine its business-process-management and business-optimization technologies with Ilog's software.

Kraft Foods Inc. second-quarter earnings were $732 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with $707 million, or 44 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 21% to $11.2 billion. Excluding items, earnings were 58 cents against 50 cents. Analysts polled by FactSet Research estimated 50 cents a share on sales of $10.6 billion. See full story.

Lorillard Inc. second-quarter net income fell to $217 million, or $1.25 a share, from $239 million, or $1.37 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose $1.07 billion from $1.06 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet Research estimated $1.38 on sales of $992.6 million.

Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the Haifa, Israel, drugmaker, estimated that second-quarter net income rose 73% on 13% higher revenue, and it reiterated its rejection of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s $7.75-a-share tender offer for the company. The estimates are based on the best currently available data, Taro said, since it's still working with its auditors to complete its financial statements for 2006 and 2007.

Transocean (NYS:RIG) will sell two North Sea oil rigs for $750 million to Norway's Northern Offshore Ltd. The semisubmersible drilling rigs are currently operating in the U.K. North Sea.

Unilever Plc (NYS:UL) (LON:UK:ULVR) definitively agreed to sell its North American laundry business to private-equity firm Vestar Capital Partners. Unilever said it will receive $1.08 billion cash together with $375 million of preferred shares in a new business -- Sun Products Corp. -- to be formed by the merger of its laundry business with Huish Detergents. It will also receive warrants to acquire 2.5% of Sun Products.

Xantrex Technology Inc. shares gained 6.5%. It agreed to be bought by Schneider Electric (OTC:SBGSF) for C$15 a share, or C$500 million (US$492 million). The price represents a 55% premium to the average closing price for the 30 days to July 21, when the company disclosed it was in talks over a deal. Xantrex, which makes power systems, said a condition of the deal is that it divests its programmable power business. (NYS:AME)


W.R. Hambrecht analyst Matthew Kather on Monday raised his price target on Apple Inc.'s (NAS:AAPL) stock to $257 a share from $238. In a research note, Kather said that despite challenges in consumer spending, he expects Apple's stock to outperform the broader tech market due to the the outlook for Macintosh PC and iPhone sales.

Cal-Maine Foods (NAS:CALM) fourth-quarter net income doubled to $36.6 million, or $1.54 a share as sales climbed to $235.6 million from $169.9 million. The company reported strong egg prices and good demand for eggs. It sees continued strong demand for eggs, a slightly higher but manageable egg supply, and further volatility with respect to corn and soybean meal prices.

Cameron agreed to supply subsea production systems to a development program offshore Angola. The Houston oil-service firm estimated the value of the first phase of the order at $800 million and expects to begin deliveries in second-half 2009.

Grainger (NYS:GWW) agreed to pay $6 million, or 5 cents a share, to resolve a Trade Agreements Act and Sourcing complaint with the Department of Justice. It had previously set aside a reserve to fund the settlement.

General Electric Co. (NYS:GE) plans to fold six business segments into four. The new units are GE Technology Infrastructure, GE Energy Infrastructure, GE Capital and NBC Universal. Further, GE named its new vice chairman, John Krenicki, to head GE Energy. Krenicki, 46, was previously chief executive of the former GE Energy division. See full story.

General Motors Corp. (NYS:GM) shares fell 7.6%. It will eliminate shifts at truck plans in Moraine, Ohio, and Shreveport, La., as part of the auto maker's efforts to pare production of large pickups and sport-utility vehicles. See full story.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYS:HPQ) said the European Commission approved the company's $13.9 billion acquisition of Electronic Data Systems . H-P also said EDS had settled five lawsuits that arose after the deal was announced. As part of that settlement, H-P and EDS said the acquisition won't close before Aug. 18 and EDS will pay its third-quarter dividend of 5 cents a share on Sept. 10.

Lehman Brothers shares tumbled 10%. The Securities and Exchange Commission is focusing on four rumors about the investment bank as part of a probe into potential market manipulation. In subpoenas sent to dozens of hedge funds and others, the SEC is asking for transcripts of calls, messages and payroll documents that mention the Federal Reserve's lending facility, Barclays, (NYS:BCS) (LON:UK:BARC) hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors and bond-fund house Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper. The SEC is trying to trace the rumors to their source, the report added.

Mattel Inc.: (NAS:MAT) The Wall Street Journal reported that a federal judge dismissed a juror from a trial pitting against MGA Entertainment Inc. against Mattel over intellectual-property rights involving the Bratz doll. The juror was dismissed for making an inappropriate ethnic comment against MGA Chief Executive Isaac Larian during deliberations, the newspaper said. Larian is Jewish and an Iranian immigrant. Following the dismissal, MGA asked the judge for a mistrial. The motion is scheduled to be heard on Aug. 4, the Journal reported.

Fresh criticism of Mechel (NYS:MTL) by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Monday sent the U.S.-listed shares of the coal and steel producer tumbling 26%. Putin said Monday that Mechel avoided taxes by selling products internationally through foreign subsidiaries, Dow Jones Newswires reported citing the Interfax news agency.

Motorola Inc. said it won a decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirming that the company did not infringe a patent owned by the University of Texas System related to text-messaging software used in mobile phones. Motorola said the University System had sued the company and more than 30 other handset manufacturers.

Ryanair (NAS:RYAAY) shares slumped 25%. The Irish airline warned that it may post its first-ever annual loss and that the outlook on fares and fuel prices remains poor. See full story.

Sirius Satellite Radio (NAS:SIRI) shares fell 16%. It expects to report that its second-quarter adjusted loss narrowed to $24 million from $79 million as revenue rose 25% to $283 million. As of June 30, it had 8.9 million customers, up 25% from the year-earlier period. Sirius said it's planning to sell $375 million of stock and as much as $65 million more from time to time. The offering is being conducted concurrently with a private offering by XM Satellite Radio Inc. of $550 million of notes convertible into Sirius stock.

Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. (NYS:TSN) fell 7%. It reported Monday that the soaring price of feed continued to hurt business in the latest quarter. Tyson posted a fiscal third-quarter profit of $9 million, or 3 cents a share, down sharply from $111 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose 3.5% to $6.85 billion. See full story.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals (NAS:VNDA) shares plunged 73%. It received a not-approvable letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding its new-drug application for iloperidone, a treatment for schizophrenia. A not-approvable letter describes deficiencies that prevent approval unless they are corrected.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYS:VZ) second-quarter net income rose 12% to $1.88 billion, or 66 cents a share, from $1.68 billion, or 58 cents, in the year-ago period. Adjusted net in the latest period was 67 cents a share. Revenue rose to $24.1 billion from $23.3 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast earnings of 65 cents a share on revenue of $24.2 billion. See full story.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYS:TM) on Monday warned that its full-year sales results are on pace to fall short of previous targets as a brutal industry slump in the key U.S. market has more than offset gains around the world. See full story.

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