Date : 01/23/2012 @ 9:16AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Range Resources Corp. (RRC)
Quote : 17.33  0.78 (4.71%) @ 6:01PM


Halliburton (NYSE:HAL)
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Among the companies whose shares are expected to actively trade in Monday's session are Halliburton Co. (HAL), Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) and PetMed Express Inc. (PETS).

Halliburton's fourth-quarter earnings rose 50% on strong growth in North America, as well as lighter growth internationally. The second-largest oilfield service company after Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB), Halliburton is the top seller of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, services in North America. Shares were down 1.7% to $35.60 in recent premarket trading even as overall fourth-quarter results edged analysts' expectations.

Chesapeake said it will reduce drilling activity and curtail production this year in response to low natural gas prices. The second-largest U.S. natural-gas producer after Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) has drilled more U.S. gas wells in recent years than any other company, yet it has warned it would cut spending on such wells if prices remained at current low levels. Chesapeake shares rose 5% to $22.00 in recent premarket trading.

PetMed posted a surprise fiscal third-quarter profit increase, the first bottom-line growth for the online-focused pet-medicine purveyor in more than a year, with revenue jumping 12% on a 29% surge in new orders. Shares jumped 23% to $13.82 in recent premarket trading.

Stifel Nicolaus cuts Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) to hold from buy and lowers its EPS estimate expecting the company to reduce guidance for its fiscal second half due to impact from currencies and input costs, which it says have worsened since the company reported fiscal first-quarter earnings in late October. The firm also said the company may need to boost its promotional activity as competitors didn't follow its lead in raising prices in certain areas, causing a drop in market share. Morgan Stanley cut Procter & Gamble to equal-weight Friday for similar reasons. Shares slipped 0.5% to $65.90.

U.S. regulators said doctors can now test for the risk of a potentially fatal brain infection caused by Tysabri, a multiple sclerosis treatment sold by Biogen Idec (BIIB) and Elan Corp. (ELN, ELN.DB). Shares of Elan were up 2% to $13.43 in recent premarket trading.

Netflix Inc. (NFLX) said its longtime marketing chief will leave that position and assume a spot on the board, and it appointed a temporary replacement while the online video and DVD-rental company searches for a successor. Shares declined 2.8% to $97.40 premarket.

International Rectifier Corp. (IRF) slashed its fiscal second-quarter revenue estimate as demand weakened in key markets in China and Europe. Shares of International Rectifier--which makes chips used in appliances, cars, computers and military equipment--fell 1.8% to $23.00.

Fifth Street Finance Corp. (FSC) plans to sell 10 million shares to raise funds for investments in small and midsize companies. Its the third time in roughly a year that the specialty-finance company has tapped capital markets. Shares dropped 4.3% to $10.11 in recent premarket trading.

Range Resources Corp. (RRC) said its proved reserves were 5.1 trillion cubic feet equivalent at the end of 2011, an increase of 14% from the previous year. Chief Executive Jeff L. Ventura said the independent oil and gas company has much more land to explore, making it well-positioned for increased production and reserve growth for several years. Shares were up 2.9% to $55.60 in recent premarket trading.

Vancouver-based miner Pan American Silver Corp. (PAAS) said Monday it has greed to buy fellow miner Minefinders Corp. (MFN) for cash and stock worth about C$1.5 billion (US$1.48 billion), expanding its presence in Mexico with the addition of the multi-million-ounce Dolores gold and silver mine. Shares of Minefinders Corp. (MFN) surged 30% to $14.74 premarket.

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Alliant Energy Corp. (LNT) said Chairman and Chief Executive William D. Harvey would retire at the end of March and named its operating chief as his successor.

Allied World Assurance Company (AWH) said it expects to record roughly $55 million to $65 million in catastrophe losses in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Bank of Hawaii Corp.'s (BOH) fourth-quarter earnings slipped 3.3% as non-interest income dropped from a year earlier, a decline the regional bank noted was due in part to lower debit-card revenue due to new legislation limiting the fees banks can collect on debit-card transactions.

Country Style Cooking Restaurant Chain Co. (CCSC) named Adam J. Zhao as its new chief financial officer after its previous finance chief resigned.

Entergy Corp. (ETR) forecast fourth-quarter earnings slightly above Wall Street estimates as higher earnings at its utility and wholesale commodities businesses helped offset increased income tax expense. The company last month unveiled plans to spin off its electric transmission business and merge the operation with ITC Holdings Corp. (ITC) in an effort to increase its financial flexibility and protect its credit quality.

Moody's Investors Service said it is reviewing Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s (LGF) credit rating for possible upgrade after the media company unveiled its latest acquisition.

Old Republic International Corp.'s (ORI) mortgage-guaranty business was placed under supervision of insurance regulators Friday, the latest setback for the foundering sector.

Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (RAH) said it expects its Post Foods cereal business will incur a total of $15 million to $20 million in one-time separation costs during the two years after Post is spun off. Post hopes its spinoff from food maker Ralcorp, which will retain its large private-label food business, will create a more focused company that can attack the cereal category better. Ralcorp's board expects to use proceeds of about $900 million from the spinoff to reduce debt, pursue other private-brand acquisitions, and make additional stock repurchases under its remaining buyback authorization of about 5 million shares.

Rimage Corp. (RIMG) cut its fiscal fourth-quarter guidance as revenue from a recently acquired business fell short of expectations.

Thor Industries Inc. (THO) said it repurchased 2 million shares of its stock in two private deals with different holders, which represents 3.6% of the recreational-vehicle maker's shares outstanding.

TransDigm Group Inc. (TDG) agreed to buy seatbelt-maker AmSafe Global Holdings Inc. for about $750 million in cash, continuing the aerospace supplier's recent streak of acquisitions.

VMware Inc. (VMW) shareholders had a rough ride last month, with part of the pressure coming from disappointing Oracle Corp. (ORCL) earnings raising IT spending concerns. VMware is set to report its own quarterly results after the bell, and Collins Stewart says "we believe the company closed another strong quarter" as its server virtualization and cloud computing tools remain aligned with clients' tech priorities. "With the shares trading down recently, in-line with the software group, we find them attractive," Collins Stewart says. Wunderlich is less bullish, seeing "limited upside" to Wall Street's expectations for the fourth-quarter results.

-Edited by Maya Pope-Chappell and Ian Thomson; write to and

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