Stocks to Watch, Aug. 14: Apple and Coke

Apple, Coke, Gannett, Heinz, Inco, Image Entertainment, Sonic Corp. and St. Joe are among the shares investors will focus on when trading opens Monday.

Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) said late Friday that it had been notified by Nasdaq that it was out of compliance with the exchange's listing rules. That's because the iPod and Macintosh-computer maker had delayed filing its Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-Q for the third quarter ended July 1. Apple said it requested a hearing on the matter and its shares would continue trading. The delay stems from certain stock-option accounting issues and the company's plan to restate results.

Canada Southern Petroleum Ltd.'s (CSPLF) (CSW) board late Friday recommended that holders reject Canadian Superior Energy Inc.'s (SNG) acquisition offer and accept a $13.10-a-share bid from Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. (COSUN) Canada Southern, of Calgary, Alberta, said Canadian Superior's current offer is valued around $8.60 a share.

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Coca-Cola Co. (KO) said tests from the Central Science Laboratories in the U.K. confirm that there are no safety problems with soft drinks the company makes in India. The company said lab tests conducted in 2006 showed less than 0.1 part per billion of any pesticide in the soft drinks. Coca-Cola added that testing is continuing, with additional results expected next week. Last week, the Center for Science and Environment in New Delhi said tests conducted on Coca-Cola soft drinks contained high levels of pesticide residues.

Copper Mining: Management of the world's largest copper mine and the the mine's striking workers are in talks on social issues but haven't begun discussing dollars and cents, union officials said, quoted by Reuters. The Escondida copper mine in Chile is majority-owned by BHP Billiton, (BHP) the Melbourne, Australia, resources company, and partly owned by Rio Tinto, (RTP) the London mining group. The previous contract expired Aug. 2. Workers are asking for a 13 percent raise and a $30,000 per-worker bonus linked to high copper prices. The company's latest offer: a 3 percent raise, a $15,000 bonus, and certain loans.

Gannett Co. (GCI) said pro forma operating revenue in July rose 1.2 percent to $663 million from $655.4 million in the year-earlier period. Total pro forma advertising revenue rose 0.5 percent to $443 million, while classified ad revenue fell 1.1 percent to $191.6 million. Net paid daily circulation in July for the McLean, Va., media company's 90 daily newspapers fell 2.2 percent to 7.58 million.

Harvey Electronics Ltd., (HRVE) the Lyndhurst, N.J., retailer, expects to report a wider third-quarter loss. Third-quarter sales dropped 16 percent to $7.6 million while comparable- store sales fell 19 percent.

H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) said that PNC Financial Services Group Inc. informed the company that it will vote around 1.4 million, or 0.45 percent, of Heinz's shares to reelect all 12 Heinz directors. Heinz is locked in a proxy fight with the takeover investor Nelson Peltz and his Trian Group hedge fund, which holds a 5.5 percent stake of the Pittsburgh foods giant Heinz. Peltz is seeking to place five directors on Heinz's board.

Image Entertainment Inc. (DISK) reported its first-quarter net loss widened to 11 cents a share from 8 cents in the year-earlier period as gross-profit margins shrank. The Chatsworth, Calif., DVD-distribution company's revenue rose 20 percent to $22.3 million. Image Entertainment expects second-quarter revenue of $23 million to $26 million. For fiscal 2007, the company estimates revenues of $112 million to $120 million.

Inco Ltd.: Brazil's CVRD (RIO) became the third suitor for the Canadian nickel miner, (N) saying it was interested in taking over Inco. Inco currently backs an offer from Phelps Dodge. (PD) See story.

Inter-Tel Inc. (INTL) said it rejected as inadequate an offer from its founder, former chairman and chief executive, and largest holder. Steven Mihaylo and Vector Capital offered to purchase all shares of Inter-Tel, other than those held by Mihaylo, for $22.50 each. Inter-Tel is the Tempe, Ariz., maker of communications products. Mihaylo and Vector Capital first made the offer for Inter-Tel in June.

J2 Global Communications Inc. (JCOM) said it will delay the filing of its Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-Q due to a review of its stock-option-grant practices. The Los Angeles provider of messaging services said it may have to restate its financial results to record non-cash charges for compensation expense, although it has not made a final determination.

Laidlaw International Inc. (LI) accepted for purchase 15.6 million of its shares at $26.90 each in a modified Dutch auction tender offer. The Naperville, Ill., transportation company said it paid $419 million for the shares accepted for purchase.

St. Joe Co. (JOE) said it is merging three units, St. Joe Towns & Resorts, St. Joe Commercial and St. Joe Land, into one organization. The Jacksonville, Fla., real estate company said the reorganization eliminated jobs but did not specify the number.

Sonic Corp. (SONC) said its board approved a modified Dutch auction tender offer to purchase as many as 25.5 million shares for a maximum of $560 million, or $19.50 to $22 a share.

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