Stocks in the news: Hewlett-Packard, Cadbury, Ciena, LDK Solar

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) is slated to report quarterly results after the closing bell. It pre-announced its fiscal fourth-quarter results of 99 cents a share on revenue of $30.8 billion last week when it acquired 3Com. Still, the market will be watching closely for signs of improving health in the high-tech arena after techs were hit hard last week.

Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) may raise its offer for Cadbury Plc. (CBY) or offer more cash in its bid if rival takeover offers emerge, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday. Hershey Co. (HSY), Italy's Ferrero and Switzerland's Nestle are now weighing takeover bids as well. But if no rival bidders emerge, Kraft could keep its bid unchanged, a source told Reuters. With investors hoping for a bidding war, Cadbury shares rose to a new high, up 2.5% ahead of the bell.
Ciena Corp. (CIEN) will buy the optical networking and carrier ethernet business of bankrupt Nortel for $769 million, sources told Reuters, after it trumped Nokia Siemens Networks, a telecom-equipment joint venture of Nokia Corp. (NOK) and Siemens (SI), in a three-day auction. The deal will more than double Ciena's revenue as it takes on the new operations and debt load. CIEN shares fell 5.5% in pre-market trade.

Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) reported a higher than expected quarterly profit of 28 cents a share (excluding charges) on Monday, boosted by the performance of its beef, pork and prepared-foods businesses. Revenue rose slightly to $7.21 billion from $7.20 billion.

Microsoft (MSFT) has apparently had discussions with News Corp. (NWS) offering the latter to paid to "de-index" its news websites from Google (GOOG), the Financial Times reported. By allowing online newspapers to get paid for indexing, the Financial Timessays, it could offer a ray of light to the newspaper industry. And of course, Microsoft's Bing could benefit too as it's trying to gain search market share from Google. Microsoft has approached other large newspaper corporations as well.

LDK Solar Co. (LDK) said its third-quarter net income fell to 27 cents a share, which was still much better than analyst expectations of a loss of 13 cents a share. Revenue dropped to $281 million, ahead of expectations of $259 million. LDK Solar said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to be ahead of the current Wall Street estimate. Shares soared over 15% in pre-market trading.

Tech Data Corp. (TECD) said its net income rose even as its sales fell 8%, beating analyst estimates on both counts. Shares moved 5% higher in pre-market trading.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR) said Monday it's selling a 21 megawatt solar energy project it's building in Blythe, Calif., to NRG Energy Inc. (NRG) for an undisclosed sum.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) has announced it will be holding a one-day shopping event on Black Friday. It has begun emailing international customers this teaser page about the sale day.

Also reporting today: Analog Devices (ADI), Brocade Communications Systems (BRCD) and Campbell Soup Co. (CPB).

Select analyst calls:
  • Thomas Weisel upgraded AnnTaylor (ANN) from market weight to overweight and its price target from $16 to $18.
  • Citigroup upgraded D.R. Horton (DHI) from sell to hold.
  • Piper Jaffray upgraded Qwest (Q) from underweight to neutral.
  • Jefferies & Co upgraded Starbucks (SBUX) from hold to buy and raised its target price from $22 to $25.
  • WellPoint (WLP), Cigna (CI) were upgraded to overweight at J.P. Morgan.
  • J.P. Morgan also upgraded J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM) to overweight from neutral and the price target to $65 from $59.
  • Soleil Securities boosted its 2010 earnings targets for Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX), while cutting its profit outlook for ConocoPhillips (COP) and Valero (VLO).
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