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Investor Alert

Stocks to Watch

Feb. 2, 2003, 4:39 p.m. EST

Cisco, Boeing, EMC, Vivendi

By CBS.MarketWatch.com

Aerospace scrutiny in Saturday's space shuttle disaster could focus on Boeing (NYS:BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYS:LMT) , which are part of the consortium that ran the space flight program, as well as Alliant Techsystems . See full story.

Amen Properties , a Web site with Christian information, said late Friday that its shareholders approved a 1-for-4 reverse stock split and starting Monday its stock ticker symbol will change to "AMECD" . On March 4, the symbol will revert to "AMENC."

BancFirst (NAS:BANF) , Oklahoma's largest state-chartered bank, said late Friday that it bought about 4 percent of its common shares for $14.4 million from an institutional shareholder.

Standard & Poor's announced late Friday that BankUnited Financial will replace Luby's (NYS:LUB) in the S&P SmallCap 600 as a result of restaurant company Luby's low market capitalization.

BellSouth Corp. confirmed Sunday that it's suing to stop its vice chairman Gary Forsee from leaving and heading Sprint Corp . Read full story.

Oil well firefighter Boots & Coots International said after Friday's bell that its lender Checkpoint Business declared it in default on a $1 million credit agreement. Boots & Coots said it is in communication with the lender and trying to resolve objections.

Have investors outsmarted themselves by knocking down oil stocks? Barron's likes the look of much of the sector's biggest players as their stock prices have fallen ahead of an Iraq conflict. BP (NYS:BP) , ChevronTexaco (NYS:CVX) and Royal Dutch are all near their 52-week lows as markets look for the "war premium" to disappear from present crude pricing. Barron's says the three have attractive price-to-estimated earnings ratios and dividend yields around 4 percent. ExxonMobil (NYS:XOM) has a higher multiple and lower dividend. On a smaller scale, Barron's also likes ConocoPhillips (NYS:COP) and Marathon Oil (NYS:MRO) .

Cimarex Energy (NYS:XEC) receives a glowing report in Barron's Sizing Up Small Caps column. The natural gas company has a "sparkling balance sheet" and an alluring cash-flow picture, says the column, quoting analyst Tim Curro of hedge fund Value Holdings. Cimarex has strong holdings of gas properties and Barron's says the company should thrive even if prices drop to the low end of analysts' estimated range.

On Tuesday, Cisco Systems (NAS:CSCO) will report its second-quarter results, which are forecast to rise to 13 cents a share from 9 cents a share, according to a consensus of analysts surveyed by Multex Research.

Auto parts maker Decoma International said late Friday that it bid 6 million euros for factories and materials of Peguform's operations in France. Peguform, a German plastics manufacturing company with yearly sales of about 160 million euros, filed for bankruptcy last year. Decoma said it expects competing bidders for the properties.

On Tuesday, Cisco Systems (NAS:CSCO) will report its second-quarter results, which are forecast to rise to 13 cents a share from 9 cents a share, according to a consensus of analysts surveyed by Multex Research.

Storage giant EMC will move on Monday to strengthen its position in the high-end storage market with the release of the latest version of its Symmetrix storage subsystem. Read full story.

Frisby Technologies , which develops ways to enhance fabrics' heating properties, said it dismissed President and Chief Operating Officer Duncan Russell. The company, now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, said the vacant posts won't be filled.

Harken Energy said late Friday that its shareholders approved a $10 million rights offering and redemption of up to $20 million in notes due to be converted in May to common stock.

Hillenbrand Industries , which makes medical devices and sells funeral services, said late Friday that it will take a $68 million charge for its first fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, reflecting underperforming investments. Despite that charge, the company said its portfolio has an unrealized gain exceeding $125 million.

Investors Real Estate Trust said after Friday's bell that, subject to shareholder approval, it acquired privately held T.F. James Co., assuming debt of about $37.7 million. T.F. James holders will be compensated with IRET stock according to an 8-K filing, though no total value was listed in IRET's announcement of the deal, which will take the form of a merger. IRET said the acquisition adds 52 properties to its holdings, with about $6.4 million in annual revenue. The deal includes eight properties that require either a sale or further expenditures, IRET said.

Gold mining company Kinross (NYS:KGC) said after Friday's bell that shareholders of Echo Bay Mines and TVX Gold approved a consolidation that will make Kinross the seventh-largest gold producer in the world. Kinross management is due to ring the NYSE opening bell Monday as its listing moves there from the American Exchange. Newmont Mining (NYS:NEM) , which held stakes in Echo Bay and TVX, will be Kinross' largest shareholder with a 13.8 percent stake.

Lifepoint , which makes drug-testing systems, said late Friday that it will seek $7 million to $10 million in new funding after an existing lender refused to approve $7.5 million in financing under an existing $10 million credit facility. The $2.5 million debt with that lender will remain in place, Lifepoint said.

Barron's columnist Alan Abelson takes a shot at Martha Stewart and calls her Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia a "terrible investment" given the Imclone stock-trading scandal of its namesake and its marketing links with bankrupt Kmart. Abelson skewers a New Yorker magazine article about Stewart as a "puff job" and mocks writer Jeffrey Toobin's portrayal of the ex-stockbroker as being, as Abelson says, "too rich to be greedy."

Imaging manufacturer Metrologic Instruments said late Friday that it is speeding up note payments to United Technologies (NYS:UTX) at a $2.2 million discount, provided it pays $3.8 million by April 1. Metrologic CEO C. Harry Knowles is supplying the funds for the payment, via a $4.3 million note at 10 percent interest.

Energy company Oneok (NYS:OKE) said after Friday's bell that it closed the sale of natural gas and oil properties to Chesapeake Energy (NYS:CHK) for $300 million, with a pretax gain of $66 million to $70 million.

Optical Communication Products said late Friday that it bought assets and intellectual property from fiber optics company Gore Photonics. Terms were not disclosed.

Reliant Resources settled with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for $13.8 million to resolve a complaint over its energy traders' actions in the California market. In a statement, Reliant said that despite settling allegations that it withheld power in the Golden State's energy crisis, the two-day period in question had no blackouts or supply shortage.

Seismic data company Seitel said late Friday that it gained another in a series of extensions of its debt restructuring involving $255 million in notes.

Biotech company Sequenom said late Friday that it incorrectly recorded revenue related to the sale of four systems to one customer and will restate its financials for three quarters. Revenue will drop about $1.5 million for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2002.

Todd Shipyards said late Friday that a pension liability will result in a restatement of results because it comes before the ship fabricator filed its SEC form 10-Q. The change results in a $600,000 reduction in operating income for the third quarter ending Dec. 29.

Tyco International said late Friday that it gained a new one-year $1.5 billion credit facility with Banc of America Securities and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding. The conglomerate said that, combined with a new issue of $4.5 billion in convertible debentures, it has closed a "liquidity gap that the company would have faced later this year."

Moody's placed the debt ratings of Dow Chemical's (NYS:DOW) Union Carbide unit on review for possible downgrade, affecting about $9.5 billion in debt securities. Moody's said an additional charge of $828 million for possible asbestos settlements was factor in the move. The outlook for Dow was changed to negative.

URS Corp. , an engineering designer, said stockholders approved changing convertible preferred shares into about 2.1 million common shares, which will give The Carlyle Group an even bigger stake with 22 percent of URS common stock.

Vivendi Universal S.A. is considering a second offer from billionaire oilman Marvin Davis for its U.S. entertainment assets, Bloomberg and Reuters News reported Friday. Davis, who once owned 20th Century Fox, made a $20 billion bid for those same assets last year. The newer offer is basically the same as the one made late in 2002 and is being considered by Vivendi (NYS:V) , Reuters said.

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