Deere Misses Estimates; Genentech Rejects Roche Bid; Crude Rises on Inventory Report; China Fire & Security an Earnings Inferno; Joining Forces to Battle Insider Trading; Best Buy's Coup; Merrill Slashes Wall St. Ratings; Ford's European Makeover
- Deere & Co. (DE), the world's largest maker of farm equipment, dropped the most in 20 years after reporting earnings that missed analyst estimates yesterday (Wednesday). The company reported third-quarter profit rose 7% to $575.2 million, but $140 million increase in raw materials and freight costs pushed profit below estimates. Deere stock fell as low as $61 a share before closing at $67.10.
- Genentech Inc. (DNA) yesterday (Wednesday) rejected a $43.7 billion buyout offer from Roche Holding Ltd. (OTC: RHHBY) but said it is open to a higher takeover bid. Roche, which already owns about 55.9% of Genentech, offered $89 a share last month for the California-based company. , The Associated Press reported.
- U.S. crude settled up $2.99 at $116 a barrel after a government report showed declines in fuel and crude inventories. U.S. crude stocks fell by 400,000 barrels in the week ended August 8, and gasoline stocks dropped by 6.4 million barrels.
- China Fire & Security Group Inc. (CFSG) said yesterday (Tuesday) that income rose 57% to $6.7 million in the second quarter. Revenue jumped 44%, from $11.5 million a year ago to $16.7 million. China Fire & Security, which makes industrial fire protection products, .
- Ten exchanges yesterday (Wednesday) agreed to consolidate insider-trading surveillance and investigation efforts, turning over the responsibility to the regulation arms of the New York Stock Exchange and to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in an effort to cut down on overlap between individually run programs, The Washington Post reported. "I think we all recognize that in a world of electronic trading, where there are more venues and more opportunities where people may be able to hide their activity, consolidating the review of insider-trading activity was critical," said Richard Ketchum, chief executive officer of NYSE Regulation and chairman of Washington-based FINRA.
- Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) will begin selling the Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone, previously only available at Apple and AT&T Inc. (T) retail locations. While Best Buy is not likely to make much on the sale of the phone itself, the electronics retailer should profit from the sale of higher margin accessories, The New York Times reported.
- Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. (MER) analyst Guy Moszkowski downgraded four Wall Street investment banks in a research report yesterday (Wednesday), Reuters reported. Citing continued fallout from the credit crisis, Moszkowski cut the ratings of Citigroup Inc. (C), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) and Morgan Stanley (MS).
- Ford Motor Co. (F) announced yesterday (Wednesday) that it expects sales of small cars to increase as it tailors its North American offerings to follow its European models. "Ford already delivers the best small cars in Europe," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, in a speech at a conference in Traverse City, Michigan, Reuters reported. "Now it's North America's turn, and we intend to deliver these small cars profitably."