Stocks in the News: Oracle, RadioShack, Accenture

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The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:

Oracle (ORCL) reported quarterly results that met Wall Street expectations late Thursday but failed to wow investors concerned about spending on business technology. Excluding one-time items, profit was 38 cents, meeting analyst expectations as surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales rose 17% to $6.4 billion, buoyed by increased business spending on software and contributions from recently acquired Sun Microsystems. Shares were weaker in premarket.

Toyota (TM) said Friday it is stopping production at its factories in France and Britain for a total of nine days because of weak demand following the recent massive recalls.

RadioShack Corp. (RSH) is exploring strategic alternatives including a possible sale of the company that could fetch more than $3 billion, the New York Postreported, citing sources. J.P. Morgan (JPM) appears to be leading the "very, very early" sale process, the Post said, with one possibility being a merger with Best Buy Co. (BBY). Shares rose 1.8% before the bell.

Accenture (ACN) also reported late Thursday, posting a lower fiscal second quarter net income of $462 million, or 60 cents a share as revenue fell 2% to $5.18 billion. Shares fell 1.5% ahead of the bell.

Siemens AG (SI) said Friday in a presentation to investors it expects an increase in fiscal second-quarter profit, but also noted that new orders will continue to decline. Shares advanced 1.2% in premarket trading.

UBS (UBS) is cutting about 200 jobs from its U.S. brokerage unit, 1.2% of the unit's workforce, the Wall Street Journal reported. Shares jumped 2.5% ahead of the bell.

American Apparel Inc (APP) said on Thursday the forced layoffs in 2009's second half of about 1,500 employees because of invalid working papers hurt its manufacturing capabilities. Shares tumbled some 13.5% in premarket trading.

Finish Line shares (FINL) said late Thursday it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter of $30.6 million, or 55 cents per share, as it lowered inventory levels and improved sales with revenue growing 9% to $374.5 million. Results beat estimates. Shares rallied 6.8% before the bell.

News Corp. (NWSA) said it will begin charging for online content of British newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times, starting in June. Both sites will be available for £1 ($1.48) a day, or £2 a week.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) violated anti-racketeering laws in promoting its epilepsy drug Neurontin for unapproved uses such as migraines and bipolar disorder among others and must pay at least $142 million in damages, a federal jury found. Pfizer said it will try to overturn the verdict.

Tibco (TIBX) said late Thursday its first-quarter net income doubled to $10.4 million, or 6 cents a share. On an adjusted basis, it earned 12 cents a share. Revenue rose 16% to $155 million. While the top line beat analyst estimates, earnings per share missed by a penny. Shares traded 3.7% higher ahead of the bell.
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