WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Among the stocks that could see active trade in Friday’s session are McDonald’s Corp., Renaissance Learning Inc. and TriQuint Semiconductor Inc.
In a light Friday for quarterly earnings, investors await financial results from KB Home /zigman2/quotes/206220859/composite KBH -4.66% , China Advanced Construction Materials Group Inc. and Natuzzi SpA /zigman2/quotes/206283720/composite NTZ +4.58% .
The McDonald’s board declared a quarterly cash dividend of 70 cents a share on common stock, a 15% increase over the prior payout of 61 cents. The new dividend, continuing a yearly pattern of increases stretching back to 1976, is payable Dec. 15 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 1, the Dow Jones Industrial Average component /zigman2/quotes/203508018/composite MCD +0.52% said.
The board of Raytheon Co. authorized the additional repurchase of up to $2 billion of the company’s outstanding common stock. Buybacks may take place from time to time at the company’s discretion depending on market conditions, Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon said.
Renaissance Learning said it formally received a higher acquisition offer, valued at $15.50 a share, from Plato Learning Inc. Plato Learning previously had made an unsolicited, non-binding proposal for Renaissance Learning, which said its board will consider the formal bid “in due course.” In the meantime, the company said its board continues to recommend that shareholders vote in favor of a $14.85-a-share cash offer made by Permira Funds. Renaissance Learning’s merger agreement with affiliates of the Permira Funds is up for a vote at an Oct. 17 special meeting of shareholders.
Kapstone Paper & Packaging Corp. said it agreed to pay $330 million in cash to acquire U.S. Corrugated Inc., a company that operates a 240,000-ton mill for recycled containerboard in South Carolina as well as converting facilities in the East and Midwest. In 2010, the operations to be acquired from U.S. Corrugated generated net sales of $423 million, according to Northbrook, Ill.-based Kapstone. “The deal is accretive to our bottom-line from Day 1,” said Roger Stone, chairman and CEO.
American Medical Alert Corp has agreed to be acquired by Tunstall Healthcare Group Ltd. at a cash price of $8.55 a share, representing a premium of about 50% over the company’s closing share price on Thursday. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the fourth quarter, the company said.
The board of Covanta Holding Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206457457/composite CVA -0.37% authorized an additional $100 million for share repurchases, bringing the total authorized amount to $400 million. Between the third quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011, the Morristown, N.J.-based company said it’s spent about $219 million to buy back more than 13.5 million shares, representing some 8.8% of outstanding Covanta common stock.
The board of MedCath Corp. approved a cash distribution of $6.85 a share to be paid Oct. 13 to stockholders of record as of Oct. 6. Also Thursday, the company said stockholders approved proposals authorizing the sale of substantially all of the remaining assets of MedCath and the dissolution of the company. Since March 2010, the company has announced 10 transactions in selling off assets.
Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206471300/composite ENZN -6.68% said it will take a charge of about $3 million against results for the third quarter as the company announced plans to cut its headcount nearly in half. The number of Enzon employees will drop to 47 by next June. The move is intended to “align operations with research-and-development activities, the Piscataway, N.J.-based biotechnology company said. Enzon expects to realize about $6 million in reduced annualized operating expenses once the plan’s fully implemented by the second quarter of 2012.
Thursday earnings recap
Nike Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203439053/composite NKE -4.12% reported a profit of $645 million, or $1.36 a share, for the first quarter ended Aug. 31, up from $559 million, or $1.14 a share, earned in the same period during fiscal 2011. Quarterly revenue increased 18% to $6.08 billion. Higher product costs and discounting pressured Nike’s gross margin, which narrowed to 44.3% of sales from 47%. The maker of athletic footwear and apparel also said worldwide futures orders — those scheduled for delivery from this month through January 2012 — totaled $8.5 billion, 16% higher than orders reported for the same period last year.
Retailer Finish Line Inc. posted net income of $20.9 million, or 39 cents a share, for the second quarter ended Aug. 27, up from the prior year’s $16.8 million, or 31 cents, as quarterly sales rose 10% to $331.5 million. Comparable-store sales increased by 11% from the year-ago quarter, the company said.
Tidewater Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206335478/composite TDW -4.02% said it now anticipates a shortfall in vessel revenues for the second quarter ending Sept. 30. Management cited delays by Saudi Aramco in accepting initial vessels under a multiyear term charter agreement covering nine vessels. The New Orleans-based company said modifications may have to be made to the vessels to bring them up to the customer’s performance standards. Tidewater pegged the revenue shortfall in a range of $6 million to $8 million for the September quarter.
Plains All American Pipeline LP /zigman2/quotes/207478323/composite PAA -1.31% provided a positive update for its projected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the third quarter, with Chairman and CEO Greg Armstrong saying: “We currently expect our adjusted EBITDA will likely exceed the midpoint of our guidance range for the third quarter of 2011 by as much as 20% to 25%.” In early August, Houston-based Plains All American projected adjusted EBITDA for the quarter in a range of $310 million to $340 million.
Also late Thursday, TriQuint Semiconductor revised lower its financial forecast for the third quarter. Citing “reduced demand from the company’s largest customer, weakness in the communications infrastructure market and softening demand from the China market,” TriQuint now expects adjusted earnings of 9 cents to 11 cents a share and revenue of between $210 million and $215 million for the quarter. The company previously pegged these at 16 cents to 18 cents a share and $225 million to $235 million, respectively. In addition, TriQuint said gross margin for the third quarter is now expected to be 35% to 37%, lower than in the second quarter. However, the company also said it anticipates “a return to strong sequential revenue growth in the fourth quarter.” TriQuint plans to report third-quarter results after the close on Oct. 26.
Network-processor company Cavium Inc. said it expects third-quarter revenue to be 4% to 6% lower than second-quarter revenue of $71.6 million. Analysts polled by FactSet Research had been looking for Cavium to generate higher revenue of $73.7 million, on average. “Customer revenues have been weaker than expected this quarter, in the enterprise market as well as recognized software-services revenue,” said Chief Executive Syed Ali in a statement.