SAN FRANCISCO – Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trading in Friday's session are General Electric Co., Alcoa Inc., and Electro Scientific Industries Inc.
General Electric (GE) is expected to report second-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Financial.
After Thursday's closing bell, Alcoa (AA) said it has withdrawn its $27 billion offer for Alcan Inc. after Rio Tinto came forward with a higher bid, dashing speculation the metals giants could get into a bidding war over the world's third-largest aluminum producer.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) said they have completed multiple agreements, including a joint venture involving Chesapeake and Anadarko assets in the Deep Haley area of the Delaware Basin in West Texas. The companies said they will jointly evaluate and explore more than 1 million acres in the Deep Haley area. Under the agreement, Anadarko received $310 million in cash and other consideration, including reimbursement of capital expenditures, and 50 percent of certain Chesapeake non-producing leasehold interests in Loving County, Texas. In addition, Chesapeake received, among other items, 25 percent of Anadarko's existing Deep Haley area production; 25 percent of Anadarko's leasehold in the central and eastern portions of the Deep Haley area; 50 percent of Anadarko's leasehold and contractual rights in the western portion of the Deep Haley area; and Oklahoma City real estate assets acquired by Anadarko last year as part of its acquisition of Kerr-McGee.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. (CME) and CBOT Holdings Inc. (BOT) said they have completed the merger of their companies. The combined company, CME Group Inc., a CME/Chicago Board of Trade Co., will trade on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "CME," the companies said. CME agreed to acquire CBOT in a deal valued at almost $12 billion in cash and stock. The companies' shareholders approved the deal on Monday.
Electro Scientific Industries (ESIO) fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose 33 percent to $7.9 million, or 27 cents a share, from $5.93 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier. The Portland, Ore., maker of laser systems said revenue for the quarter ended June 2 grew 24 percent to $71.7 million from $57.9 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected, on average, earnings of 25 cents a share and revenue of $66 million. For the upcoming four-month reporting period, the company expects shipments and revenue of about $85 million to $95 million, excluding the impact from the acquisition of New Wave Research Inc.
Fremont General Corp. (FMT) said it has named Ronald Nicolas Jr. as treasurer, chief financial officer and chief accounting officer, succeeding Patrick Lamb, who resigned July 9. Santa Monica, Calif.-based Fremont General is a financial services holding company.
IHOP Corp.'s (IHP) second-quarter same-store sales rose 2.5 percent despite a declining number of customers because of price increases in 2006. The Glendale, Calif., restaurant chain said it is on track to meet its goal of 2 percent to 4 percent same-store sales growth for the year. IHOP's shares closed Thursday up $1.16, or 2.1 percent, at $56.22.
Macrovision Corp. (MVSN) said it now expects second-quarter net earnings of 6 cents to 9 cents a share, or 19 cents to 22 cents a share excluding amortization of intangibles from acquisitions, equity-based compensation charges and restructuring charges. The company had previously forecast earnings excluding items of 24 cents to 27 cents a share. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company also said it now expects second-quarter revenue of $57 million and $59 million, down from its previous forecast of $65 million and $68 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial are expecting, on average, a per-share profit of 27 cents on revenue of $67 million. Macrovision maintained its full-year forecast for earnings of $1.33 to $1.43 a share on revenue of $280 million to $290 million.
Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) is near a deal to sell its Faconnable apparel and retail line to M1 Group for slightly more than $200 million, according to a media report late Thursday. The terms of the transaction aren't final and the deal could still fall apart, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site, citing a person familiar with the negotiations. Nordstrom paid $350 million for the company in 2000. Nordstrom operates four Faconnable stores in the U.S. and 36 in Europe, the report said, and sells Faconnable clothing in most of its 98 U.S. department stores.
Paychex Inc. (PAYX) boosted its quarterly dividend 43 percent to 30 cents from 21 cents. The Rochester, N.Y., provider of payroll and human resources services said the dividend is payable August 15 to shareholders of record August 1. Separately, Paychex intends to repurchase up to $1 billion of its stock, the company said.
Saba Software Inc. (SABA) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $3.14 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $3.5 million, or 12 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company said revenue for the three months ended May 31 rose to $25.6 million from $23 million. The pro forma loss was $1.4 million, or 5 cents a share. A year ago, pro forma earnings were $1.1 million, or 4 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast, on average, a per-share loss of 4 cents on revenue of $26 million for the quarter. Separately, Saba said it has named Mike Martini as chief financial officer, succeeding Pete Williams. Martini most recently served as senior vice president and CFO of @Road, a provider of on-demand software solutions. Williams will transition to executive vice president, corporate development, the company said.
Semitool Inc. (SMTL) said it now expects to report a third-quarter loss of between a penny and three cents a share, excluding restructuring costs of a penny a share. The Kalispell, Mont.-based maker of wafer processing equipment for the semiconductor industry had previously forecast third-quarter earnings in a range of breakeven to 2 cents a share, excluding restructuring costs. Semitool also cuts its revenue outlook to a range of $45 million to $46 million from a range of $50 million to $53 million. The company said the revenue shortfall was caused by customer acceptance delays on two tools that had been expected occur during the third quarter. Bookings for the third quarter came in at $50.6 million, the company added.
Spectrum Brands Inc. (SPC) said it now expects full-year 2007 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $260 million to $264 million, down from its previous EBITDA forecast of $282 million. The Atlanta-based consumer products company also said it sees 2007 net sales of $2.63 billion, down from its prior view of $2.65 billion. The company said it lowered projections due to unfavorable weather conditions in the fiscal third quarter, particularly the impact of drought conditions across much of the country, as well as lower-than-expected European battery sales and a cautious outlook on the part of U.S. retailers regarding inventory levels. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial are currently forecasting, on average, 2007 per-share earnings of 5 cents a share on revenue of $2.04 billion.
Ventana Medical Systems Inc. (VMSI) named Hany Massarany as chief operating officer. Massarany, who has been with the Tucson, Ariz.-based maker of medical and scientific equipment since 1999, most recently served as the company's executive vice president of worldwide operations.
Vimicro International Corp. (VIMC) reported results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, and first quarter ended March 31, 2007. The release had been postponed as the company changed auditors. The Beijing-based semiconductor company said fourth-quarter net earnings were $1.6 million, or 4 cents per American Depositary Share, compared with $5.7 million, or 17 cents per ADS, during the year-ago period. Excluding share-based compensation expense, earnings were $2.9 million, or 8 cents per ADS, vs. $6 million, or 18 cents per ADS, last year. Net revenue for the fourth quarter rose to $34.2 million from $27.5 million. For the first quarter, Vimicro posted a net loss of $3.8 million, or 11 cents per ADS. During the same period a year ago, the company reported net earnings of $3.8 million, or 10 cents per ADS. On a pro forma basis, the loss was $2.5 million, or 7 cents per ADS, compared with a pro forma profit of $4.5 million, or 12 cents per ADS, last year. Net revenue fell to $16.9 million from $26.4 million, the company said.
Standard & Poor's said that Warnaco Group Inc. (WRNC) will replace Lear Corp. (LEA) in the S&P MidCap 400 index after the close of trading on a date to be announced. Lear is being acquired by American Real Estate Partners L.P. (ACP) in a deal still pending final approvals. New York-based Warnaco is a designer, manufacturer and distributor of apparel, sportswear and swimwear.
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