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Stocks to Watch: Accenture, UTStarcom, Constellation

Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trade in Friday's session are Accenture Ltd., UTStarcom Inc., Constellation Brands Inc. and CalAmp Corp.

After Thursday's closing bell, Accenture Ltd. (ACN) reported a 25% jump in quarterly profit, as the company benefited from strong U.S. demand for its consulting and outsourcing services.

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Video-rental giant Blockbuster Inc. (BBI) said that it would reach its goal of 2 million online subscribers later in 2006 than it had anticipated.

Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp. (BCF) reported a first-quarter net loss of $15.9 million, or 36 cents a share, vs. a net loss of $18.7 million, or 42 cents a share, during the same period a year ago. The Burlington, N.J.-based retailer posted revenue of $658.2 million vs. $580.6 million. Two analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast a net loss of 30 cents a share in the first quarter.

CalAmp Corp. (CAMP) reported second-quarter net earnings of $3.7 million, or 16 cents a share, vs. $1.7 million, or 8 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the Oxnard, Calif.-based wireless equipment and engineering company rose to $57.7 million from $50.8 million last year. Two analysts polled by Thomson First Call had estimated earnings of 13 cents a share on revenue of $58 million. CalAmp forecast third-quarter earnings of 17 cents to 21 cents a share on revenue of $60 million to $68 million. The company expects 2006 revenue growth of 10%.

CarMax Inc. (KMX) said its co-founder, president, and chief executive, plans to retire in 2006. CarMax said its board has formed a search committee to seek a new CEO.

CDP Capital Financing Inc., a Canadian fund manager, said it has agreed to buy mortgage real-estate investment trust Criimi Mae (CMM) for $328 million in cash.

Chubb Corp. (CB) said Hurricane Katrina and other third-quarter catastrophes will cost it about $600 million, after reinsurance. The Warren, N.J.-based property and casualty insurer said that after taxes, the loss will be about $390 million. The estimate also includes the cost of reinsurance reinstatement premiums and Chubb's share of losses attributable to its minority interest in Allied World Assurance Co.

Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) pushed its fiscal second-quarter top-line up 15%, although profit edged a more modest 2.2% higher.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) said same-store sales at its Olive Garden restaurants increased 4% to 5% in September, while same-store sales at its Red Lobster restaurants rose 2% to 3% in the month. The Orlando, Fla.-based restaurant operator also estimated the total sales impact due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita at $3.5 million to $4.0 million.

Dollar Tree Stores Inc. (DLTR) reaffirmed its third-quarter sales forecast of $775 million to $800 million. The Chesapeake, Va.-based retailer also estimated its loss due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita at $4.5 million to $5.5 million, or 3 cents a share, most of which it expects to record in the third quarter.

J. Jill Group Inc. (JILL) said it expects to report a third-quarter loss of 12 cents to 14 cents a share, compared to a loss of 13 cents a share a year ago. The women's clothing retailer also said it expects third-quarter sales of $103 million vs. $94.9 million last year. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call estimate a third-quarter loss of 2 cents a share on sales of $102 million. J. Jill also said it expects to report a same-store sales increase of 4.7% in the third quarter for stores open at least one full fiscal year.

Meritage Homes Corp. (MTH) said new home-orders rose 33% in the third quarter to 2,929 units versus 2,203 in the year-ago period. The home-building company said the value of its backlog jumped 85% from last year to $2.5 billion for the period ended Sept. 30.

Net2Phone (NTOP) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $9.63 million, or 13 cents a share, vs. a net loss of $6.28 million, or 8 cents a share, during the same period a year ago. The Newark, N.J.-based provider of Internet protocol communications services posted revenue of $20.8 million vs. $21.1 million. Two analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call forecast a fourth-quarter loss of 12 cents a share on revenue of $21 million.

Noble Corp. (NE) estimated the direct impact from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita at 13 cents to 15 cents a share in the third quarter, and 5 cents to 7 cents a share in the fourth quarter. Noble is a diversified oil and gas company based in Sugar Land, Texas.

Odyssey Re Holdings Corp. (ORH) said it now expects a pre-tax third-quarter loss of $225 million, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, due to Hurricane Katrina. The amount represents an after-tax net loss of $146 million. The New York-based insurance company had estimated losses from Katrina of $80 million to $100 million, before taxes. Odyssey Re also forecast a third-quarter loss of $50 million before taxes, or a net of $33 million, due to Hurricane Rita.

Perini Building Co., a unit of Perini Corp. (PCR) , said it has been awarded a $370 million construction contract to build Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas. The company said the tower will stand 640 feet tall with 64 stories, making it the highest structure in the city.

Praxair Electronics, a division of Praxair Inc. (PX) , said it has submitted an offer to Alcan Inc. (AL) to purchase its high-purity aluminum refining and casting operation in Mercus, France. Terms of the offer weren't disclosed. Praxair said it expects the companies to enter into a definitive agreement following Alcan's consultation with workers' councils. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2006.

UTStarcom Inc. (UTSI) said it has been notified of a formal inquiry by the Securities & Exchange Commission into its financial disclosures during previous reporting periods. The company said it is cooperating with the inquiry. UTStarcom also revised its third-quarter revenue forecast to a range of $620 million to $640 million, compared with its previous forecast of $660 million to $680 million.

Wyeth (WYE) said it expects third-quarter pro forma earnings in the mid-to-upper 70 cent range. The Madison, N.J.-based pharmaceutical company also reaffirmed its 2005 pro forma earnings forecast of $2.80 to $2.90 a share. Wyeth forecast 2006 earnings growth in the high single-digit range on a pro forma basis.