SAN FRANCISCO – Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trade in Friday's session are General Electric Co., UnitedHealth Group Inc., Boston Scientific Corp. and Knight-Ridder Inc.
BB&T Corp. (BBT) is expected to report third-quarter earnings of 77 cents a share, according to analysts polled by Thomson First Call.
Boston Scientific Corp.'s (BSX) third-quarter is expected to show a per-share profit of 44 cents.
First Data Corp. (FDC) is seen posting a profit of 61 cents a share in its third quarter
General Electric Co. (GE) is expected to report per-share earnings of 44 cents a share in its third quarter.
Marshall & Illsley Corp.'s (MI) third quarter results are expected to show earnings of 76 cents a share.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) is seen posting a per-share profit of 63 cents in its third quarter.
Knight-Ridder Inc. (KRI) is expected to report earnings of 66 cents a share in its third quarter.
After Thursday's closing bell, regional air carrier Mesaba Aviation, a unit of Mair Holdings Inc. (MAIR) , filed for Chapter 11 protection, in part because of the financial hardship caused by the Northwest Airlines (NWACQ) bankruptcy filing.
Bank of America (BAC) said it has agreed to sell its asset management business in Mexico to Grupo Financiero Santander Serfin for an undisclosed amount. The former unit of FleetBoston Financial "did not have sufficient synergies" with the company's corporate and investment banking and cash management businesses in Mexico, Bank of America said in a statement. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter 2006.
Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX) said a Dutch appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling and reinstated an injunction against the manufacture, use or sale in the Netherlands of six Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) products that were found to infringe a Boston Scientific balloon catheter patent. The products are manufactured by Johnson & Johnson's Cordis subsidiary in the Netherlands. Boston Scientific said damages will be determined at a later date, and that Cordis' appeal of the validity and infringement ruling remains pending.
Horace Mann Educators Corp. (HMN) lowered its 2005 forecast for net earnings before realized investment gains and losses to between $1.70 and $1.80 a share. Its previous forecast had been $1.80 to $1.90 a share. The Springfield, Ill.-based insurance company estimated the financial impact from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita at $29 million to $33 million pretax, net of expected reinsurance recoveries. In addition, Horace Mann estimated third-quarter losses of $10 million to $12 million from other storms.
RF Monolithics Inc. (RFMI) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $202,000, or 3 cents a share. In the same period last year, the company reported net earnings of $559,000, or 7 cents a share. Revenue at the Dallas-based wireless solutions provider fell to $11.5 million from $12.5 million last year. The company sees first-quarter revenue up slightly on a sequential basis.
SM&A (WINS) reported third-quarter net earnings of $2.6 million, or 12 cents a share, up 53% from $1.7 million, or 8 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the Newport Beach, Calif.-based business strategy consulting firm rose to $19.7 million from $16.1 million. The company sees 2005 earnings of 45 cents to 47 cents a share on revenue of $80 million.
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom Inc. (VIA) (VIAB) , said it has acquired Ifilm Corp. for $49 million. Ifilm is an aggregator and distributor of video destinations on the Web featuring programming from Hollywood studios, amateur filmmakers and user-generated content. Ifilm will continue to be run by Chief Executive Blair Harrison.
Popular Inc. (BPOP) reported third-quarter net earnings of $115.2 million, or 42 cents a share, down from $115.4 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call estimated earnings at 43 cents a share. Interest income in the quarter totaled $666.1 million vs. $563.8 million last year.
Vintage Petroleum Inc. (VPI) said it has agreed to be acquired by Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) for $20 cash per Vintage share, plus 0.42 of an Occidental share for each Vintage share. The total purchase, including debt assumption net of cash, is valued at $3.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.
Waters Corp. (WAT) said it now expects third-quarter earnings of 43 cents a share on sales growth of 3%. The company had previously forecast third-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share on sales growth of 8%, compared with last year. Waters said its new earnings outlook excludes a tax provision to be recorded in the third quarter of $24 million related to a qualified dividends distribution under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. The effects of this tax provision will result in a decline in reported EPS of about 21 cents, the company said. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast third-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share on revenue of $287 million.