WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Among the stocks that could see active trade in Tuesday’s session are NRG Energy Inc., Beam Inc. and Yum Brands Inc.
On the earnings front, fast-food giant Yum Brands /zigman2/quotes/209029767/composite YUM -4.16% is expected to earn 82 cents a share on revenue of $3.01 billion for the Louisville, Ky.-based company’s third quarter, according to the average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet Research. Same-store sales are seen rising 1.7%.
Late Monday, NRG Energy /zigman2/quotes/208308731/composite NRG -5.69% again revised its 2011 financial forecast, this time lowering its estimate for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization on an adjusted basis. As revised, the Princeton, N.J.-based power distributor sees adjusted EBITDA in a range of nearly $1.78 billion, to $1.85 billion, down from an August forecast of $1.9 billion to $2 billion. The company had updated its outlook in August to reflect better-than-expected financial performance through the end of July, but it said a heat wave that gripped Texas during August resulted in “extreme spikes in the wholesale price of electricity.” NRG also lowered annual forecasts for cash flow from operations and free cash flow before growth investments.
E.W. Scripps Co. /zigman2/quotes/203381768/composite SSP -15.21% and McGraw-Hill Cos. announced a deal covering nine television stations. Terms call for New York-based McGraw-Hill to receive $212 million in cash, pending regulatory approval, as it sheds its broadcasting group. “This divestiture will produce good value for a non-strategic asset as we work to create two focused operating companies, one centered on capital and commodities markets and the other on digital learning and education services,” said Terry McGraw, chairman, president and chief executive, in a statement. The stations, including four ABC affiliates in Denver, Indianapolis and San Diego and Bakersfield, Calif., generated 2010 revenue of $97 million, Scripps said. Citing low interest rates, the Cincinnati-based company plans to finance the transaction with new debt and has secured committed financing.
Also Monday, blue chip Hewlett-Packard Co. /zigman2/quotes/203461582/composite HPQ -6.52% said that it has acquired about 87.3% of the outstanding shares of British software maker Autonomy Corp., effectively giving it control of the company. The $10 billion acquisition, announced in August, drew much criticism from investors who said H-P and ousted CEO Leo Apotheker overpaid for Autonomy. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said Autonomy will operate as a separate business unit, with Autonomy chief Mike Lynch reporting to newly installed Chief Executive Meg Whitman.
Effective Tuesday, Fortune Brands Inc. will be known as Beam Inc. /zigman2/quotes/216229751/composite BEAM +5.57% after having completed the separation of its business units, spinning off Fortune Brands Home & Security /zigman2/quotes/202019304/composite FBHS -7.90% . Keying off the bourbon brand, the name Beam Inc. reflects its new status as a “pure play” spirits company. Terms call for Fortune Brands to receive a cash dividend of $500 million from the spun-off business, shares of which will be distributed to Beam stockholders on a one-for-one basis. Both companies’ shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange, with Fortune’s former FO stock symbol now discontinued.