Stocks to Watch, Sept. 14, 2007: Liz Claiborne, PPG Industries

Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trade in Friday's session are Liz Claiborne Inc., PPG Industries and KKR Financial Holdings LLC.

Watch list

Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK) said its board has approved a stock repurchase program of up to $100 million. The Seattle-based airline said it plans to finance the repurchases with cash on hand. Alaska Air shares rose 14 cents to close at $23.02 on Thursday.

Cedar Fair LP's (FUN) had combined 2007 park revenue of $828.4 million through Sept. 3, an increase of 2 percent, or $7.8 million, on a same-park basis. Total revenue for the month of August, including Labor Day weekend, fell 1 percent, or $2.6 million, from a year ago. The Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park company said it was "somewhat disappointed" with the month's results at its newly acquired Paramount parks. Cedar Fair expects full-year revenue to be at the lower end of the $950 million to $980 million range and full-year adjusted EBITDA at the lower end of the $320 million to $340 million range.

Fairchild Corp. (FA) reported preliminary third-quarter revenue of $118.1 million, up 11.7 percent from last year. The company's preliminary estimated operating income was roughly $3.1 million for the quarter ended June 30, as compared to $2.4 million a year ago. Fairchild also said it has dismissed KPMG LLP as its principal accountants and hired BDO Seidman LLP as its new principal accountants for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

KKR Financial Holdings LLC (KFN) said it has agreed to sell seven of its private equity investments to two institutional investors for $191 million in cash. San Francisco-based KKR said it will record a net gain on the sales of roughly $51 million. The company, an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., estimates that it will earn a net internal rate of return of roughly 19.3 percent on the sales.

Knoll Inc. (KNL) agreed to acquire leather manufacturer Teddy & Arthur Edelman Ltd. for $67 million, plus up to $3.7 million in assumed debt. Knoll, an East Greenville, Pa., branded office furniture products provider, expects the transaction to add to 2008 earnings.

Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (LSCC) said it now expects third-quarter revenue to be flat to down 2 percent sequentially. The Hillsboro, Ore.-based company also said it will record a one-time restructuring charge in the third quarter of $1.4 million to $1.7 million related to the headcount reduction it announced on Sept. 4.

Liz Claiborne Inc. (LIZ) confirmed plans to sell assets of four of its midprice apparel brands to Li & Fung USA. Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed. The New York-based apparel company expects the transaction to close during the fourth quarter. The sale of Emma James, Intuitions, JH Collectibles and Tapemeasure includes trademarks and inventory, the company said. Liz Claiborne also intends to discontinue its First Issue business by the end of the year.

Oneok Inc. (OKE) reaffirmed its 2007 earnings forecast of $2.50 to $2.70 a share. The Tulsa, Okla.-based energy company also said it now expects third-quarter earnings to come in at the low end of its forecast of 9 cents to 19 cents a share. The company said the third-quarter performance of its distribution and Oneok Partners segments is consistent with its expectations included in its earnings guidance issued in August, but that its energy services segment is now expected to be near break-even for the quarter. "Energy services' performance is being affected by lower average temperatures, resulting in lower natural gas power-generation demand, and by lower natural gas price volatility than in previous third quarters," said John Gibson, chief executive, in a statement.

PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) said it has agreed to sell its automotive original equipment manufacture glass and automotive replacement glass and services businesses to Platinum Equity for roughly $500 million. Pittsburgh-based PPG expects the deal to result in a slight book gain and charges to totaling 20 cents to 25 cents a share to be recorded over the next few quarters. Combined, the businesses being sold employ roughly 4,400 people, PPG said.

Retail Ventures Inc. (RVI) reported that it swung to a second-quarter net profit of $106.2, or $1.81 a share, from a year-ago net loss of $16 million, or 36 cents a share. Excluding a non-cash accounting charge associated with the change in fair value of derivative instruments, the company posted a loss of 38 cents a share versus 2 cents a share. Revenue for the three months ended Aug. 4 increased 7 percent to $732.7 million from $684.5 million, as same-store sales rose 0.3 percent.

St. Mary Land & Exploration Co. (SM) hired Albrecht & Associates Inc. to market the company's nonstrategic oil and gas properties. Albrecht & Associates estimates that the properties represent 74 billion cubic feet equivalent of proven oil and gas reserves. The Denver oil and gas company also repurchased a total of 790,816 shares at $32.82 a share in August. The company, which has 63.5 million outstanding shares, is authorized to buy back an additional 5.21 million shares.

Trex Co. (TWP) said it will suspend operations at its Olive Branch, Miss., facility for an indeterminate period and will consolidate all manufacturing operations into its Winchester, Va., and Fernley, Nev., plants. The Winchester, Va., maker of a wood/plastic alternative for decks ceased production at the Olive Branch plant, which ran 10 percent of its total manufacturing, Thursday. The company cited the downturn in the homebuilding industry and the recent upgrading of the other two plants as reasons for the closure.