By CBS MarketWatch
This week's emphasis likely will be on earnings warnings rather than results.
A few companies will be reporting, including drugstore chain Walgreen Co. on Monday, Pepsi Bottling Group on Tuesday, spice company McCormick & Co. /zigman2/quotes/206739653/composite MKC +0.23% on Wednesday and discount retailer Family Dollar Stores on Thursday.
ACT Teleconferencing , which provides video conferencing products, said late Friday it has completed a sale of stock and warrants first announced Sept. 3. The total proceeds for the private placement were $1.85 million.
American Service Group , which provides health-care services to correctional facilities, late Friday said its board approved a 3-for-2 stock split. It said it will pay out the split as a 50 percent stock dividend on Oct. 29 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 8. Any fractional shares resulting from the split will be paid in cash based on the closing market price of the stock on the record date.
Bally Total Fitness , which runs exercise gyms, said just before Friday's close that it has received an extension to Nov. 1 from its creditors for the delivery of its second-quarter financial statements. The company said in August that it would delay the report.
Biophan Technologies /zigman2/quotes/207594318/composite BIPH +11.70% , which makes biomedical and imaging products, said late Friday that it filed for 12 patents in such areas as nanotechnology coatings, biothermal batteries and controls for implanted medical devices.
Blockbuster /zigman2/quotes/205978721/composite BBI -1.22% , the video rental chain, could win its fight to hold market share, says Barron's. An 81 percent stake in the company will be distributed next month to stockholders of Viacom, which also is a significant investor in MarketWatch, the publisher of this report. Barron's says the Blockbuster challenge is to fend off Wal-Mart and Netflix mail-in DVD rental systems while also keeping cable TV systems' video-on-demand services from capturing its customers. Blockbuster's share price has been hurt by arbitragers taking advantage of the Viacom spinoff, says Barron's, which sees shares possibly rising by one-third if the chain's strategy works. Blockbuster plans to take on the mail-in renters with its own mail service and hang on to an estimated 40 million customers by offering special movie sales and variable rental packages.
Cablevision Systems , a cable TV operator, told securities regulators in a filing late Friday that three executives left the company as of this past Wednesday, but gave no reason for their departures. See full story.
Cap Rock Energy , which provides electric distribution services, said late Friday that its transmission affiliate is in an agreement with Beal Bank to extend the due date of $14 million of debt originally due on Sept. 9. Beal Bank extended the due date of the funds through Sept. 30, Cap Rock said. The company said it could receive additional extensions if needed.
China NetTV Holdings , a mining company based in Vancouver, B.C., said late Friday it plans a placement of about 48 million units for proceeds of $2.4 million. Each unit comprises one common share and one nontransferable two-year warrant to buy a share at 8 cents in the first year and 25 cents a share in the second year.
ClearOne Communications /zigman2/quotes/200776275/composite CLRO +1.60% , which sells audio, video and Web conferencing, said late Friday it continues to reaudit its financial statements from 2001 and 2002. The Salt Lake City company said that when it's done auditing the reports with KPMG, it will file its 2003 10-K, which will include the audited statements, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ClearOne said while it's making progress, it won't be able to file the reports by the end of September, as it had previously estimated.
Continental Airlines /zigman2/quotes/206226741/composite CAL +10.85% , the Houston-based airline, said late Friday it raised prices $5 for one-way tickets and $10 for round-trip travel. Earlier in the week, American Airlines announced it was raising its fees in a move to offset higher fuel costs.
Cooper Cameron , which makes oil and gas pressure equipment, said late Friday that it agreed to buy hardware manufacturing assets from Precision Castparts for about $80 million in cash. Cooper Cameron said the annual revenue of the acquired operations was about $122 million in fiscal 2004.
Escalon Medical /zigman2/quotes/208042272/composite ESMC +15.13% , a surgical and pharmaceutical products company, said late Friday it has acceptances from about 93.7 percent of shareholders of Drew Scientific Group, which it is buying. Escalon Medical said it has or will issue about 843,000 of the 900,000 shares for the exchange offer. Escalon, based in Wayne, Pa., said it will move forward with acquiring any remaining shares in Drew.
ESS Technology , which designs and sells digital electronic products, late Friday lowered its third-quarter outlook. It sees revenue between $60 million and $62 million, down from a previous range of $68 million to $72 million. ESS said third-quarter demand for its video products has been weaker than expected. ESS said it will take a charge for obsolete inventory. The company said expenses have been higher than expected, and it also has a one-time charge for of $1 million to settle a contract dispute. See full story.
Fannie Mae , the mortgage securities giant, will be under a microscope after the previous week's regulatory shocks. See full story.
Florida Power & Light /zigman2/quotes/208247023/composite FPL +4.55% and Progress Energy's Florida utility prepared for Hurricane Jeanne to hit the state over the weekend, the fourth major hurricane to strike the Sunshine State this season.
Franklin Resources /zigman2/quotes/201997162/composite BEN +3.13% , an investment management firm, late Friday declared a quarterly cash dividend of 8.5 cents a share, payable Oct. 15 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 4. The dividend represents a 13.33-percent increase over the dividend paid for the same period last year.
G&L Realty , a real estate investment trust that specializes in health-care property, said late Friday that before the end of the year it intends to alter its corporate structure. The move will involve spinning off about $7 million of properties into a stock that will be distributed as a dividend. Another element of the move will refinance preferred shares as the company becomes a Nevada corporation called G&L MOB Properties. See full story.
Health & Nutritional Systems International said late Friday it has reached an agreement under which Chief Executive Christopher Tisi will step down as CEO to make a "stalking horse bid" to acquire the health food retailer if it decides to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Chairman James Brown will serve as CEO while the company continues to examine its options, the company said.