Big Movers in the Stock Market
NEW YORK (AP) _ Some of the stocks that are moving substantially or trading heavily today on the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market, and American Stock Exchange.
Philip Morris Companies, up 4 1/4 at 43 1/4
RJR Nabisco, up 3 1/4 at 33 1/2
Officials in Florida and Minnesota confirmed a report in The Wall Street Journal report that the nation’s two biggest cigarette makers are holding preliminary talks over a settlement that would absolve the industry of liability for smoking-related health problems. The sweeping settlement could cost as much as $300 billion over 25 years, the Journal said.
Ford Motor, up 1 1/2 at 34 3/4
The automaker’s first-quarter profit more than doubled to $1.5 billion, beating analysts forecasts by a wide margin. Ford credited its improved performance to sales of higher-profit vehicles and a cost-cutting program.
Compaq Computer, down 1 1/4 at 73 3/8
The world’s largest maker of personal computers said its first-quarter profits jumped a better-than-expected 66 percent, strengthened by 14 percent growth in sales.
Time Warner, up 3 1/8 at 43 7/8
The media conglomerate reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit, benefiting from the addition of Turner Broadcasting and higher profits from its cable television systems. Time Warner’s cash flow, which some view as a more accurate gauge of its performance, rose 27 percent.
Merck, up 1 1/8 at 85 5/8
The drugmaker’s first-quarter earnings rose 18 percent, exceeding forecasts by a slim margin. Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., said its sales growth was paced by established products such as cholesterol-lowering drugs Zocor and Mevacor.
National Education, up 4 3/8 at 19 3/8
Harcourt General, starting a potential takeover battle with Sylvan Learning Systems, offered about $740 million, or $19.50 a share, in cash to acquire the publisher, which also owns the country’s largest correspondence school and a large computer-training program. Last month, Sylvan agreed to buy National Education for stock initially valued at $641 million.
Briggs & Stratton, up 5 1/4 at 48
The producer of air-cooled gasoline engines plans to buy back up to 5.8 million of its common shares in a Dutch auction. Briggs & Stratton, based in Milwaukee, said shares can be offered at prices between $43 and $51 apiece in the auction beginning April 22 and expiring May 20.
Sun Microsystems, down 1 15/16 at 27 7/16
The maker of computer workstations and servers reported a 56 percent jump in profit for its fiscal third quarter ended March 30. The results exceeded forecasts, but Hambrecht & Quist lowered its investment rating on Sun, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., the Dow Jones News Service reported.
Physician Corp. of America, up 5/16 at 4 3/4
The troubled managed care provider said it is in discussions to sell the company or to receive a capital infusion from a venture partner. Bear Stearns, the company’s investment banker, is assisting Miami-based Physician Corp. in reviewing its alternatives.
Clarify, down 9 3/4 at 7
The provider of software for support management systems reported first-quarter results that met expectations but cautioned that it expects little, if any, revenue growth for the second quarter compared with the first quarter. Clarify is based in San Jose, Calif.
Capstone Pharmacy Services, down 1 13/16 at 9 15/16
Beverly Enterprises agreed to sell its Pharmacy Corp. of America unit to Irving, Texas-based Capstone for about $475 million in stock. Beverly, of Fort Smith, Ark., is an operator of medical centers and nursing homes.
Brooktrout Technology, down 2 7/8 at 10
The fax software and hardware company posted a 34 percent increase in first-quarter earnings, but failed to meet analyst expectations. Brooktrout is based in Needham, Mass.
Total Petroleum (North America), down 1 7/8 at 9 5/8
Ultramar Diamond Shamrock agreed to buy the partial subsidiary of France’s Total SA in a deal valued at $811 million. Ultramar Diamond, based in San Antonio, said Tuesday it plans to issue 0.322 shares for each share of Total Petroleum, worth about $10, and assume $414 million in debt.