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Stocks to Watch: Alcatel-Lucent, American International Group

Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trading in Friday's session are Alcatel-Lucent, Comstock Homebuilding Cos., and American International Group Inc.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) is expected to report a first-quarter loss of 2 cents a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Financial.

Comstock Homebuilding Cos. (CHCI) is expected to post a loss of 22 cents a share for the first quarter.

DRS Technologies Inc. (DRS) is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $1.01 a share.

Emmis Communications Corp. (EMMS) is expected to post a loss of 15 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

Goldcorp Inc. (GG) is expected to report first-quarter earnings of 19 cents a share.

Helen of Troy Ltd. (HELE) is expected to post earnings of 27 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

Novavax Inc. (NVAX) is expected to report a first-quarter loss of 10 cents a share.

Warner Chilcott Ltd. (WCRX) is expected to post earnings of 18 cents a share for the first quarter.

After Thursday's closing bell, American International Group Inc. (AIG) reported a 29 percent jump in first-quarter net income as the company's property and casualty insurance business avoided big losses and maintained premium growth.

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Adaptec Inc. (ADPT) reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss of $3.33 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $3.39 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding certain items, the company posted a per-share profit of 2 cents versus 3 cents last year. Revenue in the three months ended March 31 fell to $51.9 million from $81.1 million in the comparable period of 2006.

Ameren Corp. (AEE) late Thursday reported first-quarter net income of $123 million, or 59 cents a share, up 76 percent from $70 million, or 34 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The St. Louis-based electric and gas utility said revenue in three months ended March 31 rose to $1.46 billion from $1.21 billion in the comparable period last year.

Asyst Technologies Inc. (ASYT) said its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings rose 39 percent to $3.39 million, or 7 cents a share, from $2.44 million, or 5 cents a share, a year earlier. The Fremont, Calif., provider of integrated automation services said sales for the period ended March 31 rose 15 percent to $126.7 million from $110.4 million in the year-ago period.

Bausch & Lomb Inc. (BOL) late Thursday said it expects to post a rise in its first-quarter earnings, but said it would be unable to file its results for the quarter with the Securities and Exchange Commission in a timely manner.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) said it reached an agreement in principle with U.S. antitrust regulators in which it would plead guilty to criminal charges related to patent litigation for its blood thinner, Plavix.

California Pizza Kitchen Inc.'s (CPKI) first-quarter earnings fell to $3.6 million, or 18 cents a share, from $4.61 million, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier, as rising costs and expenses offset a 15% increase in revenue. The Los Angeles restaurant chain said Thursday that revenue climbed to $149.4 million from $129.7 million.

Cosi Inc. (COSI) reported a first-quarter net loss of $4.21 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $3.93 million or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The Deerfield, Ill.-based restaurant operator said revenue rose to $32.1 million from $29.6 million last year. Additionally, Cosi said it now expects a 2007 per-share loss of 18 cents to 23 cents, excluding the effect of stock-based compensation expense. In March, the company forecast 2007 earnings of 8 cents to 12 cents a share, excluding items.

Dean Foods Co. (DF) said the Securities and Exchange Commission has closed its informal inquiry on stock option granting practices without any recommended enforcement action. Dallas-based Dean Foods is a food and beverage company.

E. W. Scripps Co. (SSP) raised its quarterly dividend 17 percent to 14 cents to 12 cents a share. The dividend is payable on June 8 to shareholders of record as of May 25, the Cincinnati-based media company said.

Foot Locker Inc. (FL) cut it first-quarter earnings forecast to a range of 10 cents to 11 cents a share, down from its earlier forecast of 34 cents to 37 cents a share. "The shortfall in our expected earnings primarily reflects a first quarter comparable-store sales decline of 5.1 percent and additional markdowns taken in our U.S. stores," said Mathew Serra, chairman and chief executive, in a statement.

GeoMet Inc. (GMET) reported a first-quarter net loss of $1.03 million, or 3 cents a share. During the same period a year ago, the Houston-based energy company posted net earnings of $7.16 million, or 22 cents a share. Revenue for the three months ended March 31 rose to $20.7 million from $12.3 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $1.5 million vs. $15.5 million, last year.

Google Inc. (GOOG) executives tried to allay shareholder concerns that it has become too powerful for its own good. As put by a shareholder addressing Google's annual stockholder meeting Thursday, some Silicon Valley insiders now describe Google as "the new Microsoft, and not in a flattering way." Google co-founder Larry Page, in response to a shareholder question, said "our actions over the next 10 years will make it clear we're not the same kind of companies as you are worried about." Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt added the company has "made a commitment not to track user data."

Google (GOOG) shareholders defeated an anti-censorship proposal that the company said threatened its growing Chinese operations.

Granite Construction Inc. (GVA) said that its Granite Construction Co. subsidiary, in a joint venture with Corman Construction Inc. and G.A. & F.C. Wagman Inc., has been awarded a $464 million contract by the Maryland State Highway Administration to design and build the first phase of the Intercounty Connector Highway in Rockville, Md. Granite said its portion of the contract is 55 percent of the construction budget, or roughly $255 million. Mainline construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2007, and the project is expected to be completed by September 2010.

Greenfield Online Inc.'s (SRVY) first-quarter net income rose to $1.96 million, or 7 cents a share, from $841,000, or 3 cents a share, a year earlier. The Wilton, Conn., provider of Internet-survey software said revenue increased 28 percent to $27.5 million from $21.5 million a year ago. For 2007, Greenfield confirmed its guidance issued in February. At that time, the company said it expected revenue to rise to a range of $112 million to $122 million.

Inverness Medical Innovations Inc. has raised its $90 a share bid for Biosite Inc. (BSTE) to $92.50, thereby topping rival Beckman Coulter Inc.'s current offer of $90 a share, Biosite said. Biosite said the bid was presented in a letter which also states Inverness may withdraw the offer if Biosite's board does not declare it superior by 5:00 p.m. PDT on Thursday.

JDSU (JDSU) said it has agreed to acquire Innocor, an Ottawa, Canada-based provider of broadband test solutions for network equipment manufacturers. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Milpitas, Calif.-based JDSU said it expects to complete the acquisition in the fiscal fourth quarter ending June 30.

Mamma.com Inc. (MAMA) said it lost $1.4 million or 10 cents a share in the first quarter of 2007, which included employee-termination costs of $685,000 comprising a cash payment and a non-cash item for stock-based compensation expense.

A former chief financial officer of McAfee Inc. (MFE) has been convicted of 15 counts of securities fraud, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site, citing the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco. Ex-CFO Prabhat Goyal was indicted in June 2004 by a federal grand jury on 20 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy, the Journal reported. Some counts, including a conspiracy charge, were earlier dismissed, according to the report. Goyal was vice president and CFO at Network Associates, McAfee's predecessor, until his departure in 2000.

NovaStar Financial (NFI) said that first-quarter net income came in at $46 million, a big jump from a year earlier when the subprime mortgage originator made $24 million. Net income available to common shareholders was $1.18 a share vs. 69 cents a share a year ago, the company added. NovaStar said its board of directors has decided to end the company's status as a Real Estate Investment Trust by Jan. 1, 2008. That resulted in a one-time tax-related gain of $84.2 million. Without that, NovaStar lost $39.8 million, or $1.06 a share, in the first quarter of 2007. Loan losses and other costs related to the subprime mortgage shakeout earlier this year knocked more than $30 million off results in the quarter, NovaStar explained.

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) said its fiscal first quarter profit rose 44 percent from the same period a year ago, while revenue rose 24 percent, beating Wall Street analysts' expectations. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nvidia said net income for the quarter ended April 29 rose to $132.26 million, or 33 cents a share, from $92.1 million, or 24 cents a share in the period a year earlier. Meanwhile revenue rose to $844.28 million from $681.8 million. Excluding certain items such as stock-based compensation charges, Nvidia said earnings for the quarter were 42 cents a share.

Standard & Poor's will add Signature Bank (SBNY) to the SmallCap 600 Index, replacing Talx Corp., on a date to be determined. Talx is being acquired by Equifax Inc. (EFX).

Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) said it expects earnings growth of 15 percent for 2007. The Dallas-based carrier said it reissued the comments, which were first made at a Bear Stearns conference on Wednesday, due to inaccurate media reports. In today's statement, the airline said there's growing evidence of a slowing economy that is impacting travel demand. "So for us, that makes our earnings growth target pretty tough for this year," Chief Executive Gary Kelly said. "But we do have a target to grow earnings by 15 percent this year ... that target stands. It is certainly going to be much tougher to achieve given our results for the first quarter and our expected results in the second quarter."

Syntax-Brillian Corp. (BRLC) swung to a fiscal third-quarter profit of $5.49 million, or 9 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss of $11.4 million, or 26 cents a share. The Tempe, Ariz., high-definition television maker's sales improved to $162.9 million from $45.7 million.

THQ Inc. (THQI) said it swung to a profit for the March quarter amid strong demand for the company's video games. For the fourth fiscal quarter, the company reported earnings of $6.5 million, or 9 cents a share, compared to a loss of $8.6 million, or 14 cents a share, for the same period last year. The company said earnings for the recent quarter would have been 15 cents a share excluding charges related to stock-options expenses. Revenue grew 16 percent to $172.1 million.

World Fuel Services Corp. (INT) reported first-quarter net earnings of $14.8 million, or 51 cents a share, down slightly form $15 million, or 52 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The Miami-based company, which provides marine, aviation and land fuel products and services, posted revenue of $2.7 billion vs. $2.53 billion.

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