- Dell, H-P up the ante in 3Par bidding war. Dell (DELL) submitted a sweetened offer for 3Par (PAR) yesterday morning, offering $24.30/share and topping H-P's (HPQ) rival offer, only to find itself in second place again as H-P countered with a new, higher offer of $27/share just hours later, valuing the company at $1.8B. H-P's latest bid is nearly three times the price that 3Par shares traded at two weeks ago, before takeover talks became public, but sources say H-P, which is sitting on a cash pile of nearly $15B, doesn't feel "any constraints;" in fact, the company expects Dell to try to top its latest offer and could decide to raise its bid once again. In after-hours trading, 3Par rose 6.8% to $27.80. Update: As of 7:00 ET this morning, 3Par said it will accept a newly revised bid from Dell, which is now offering to match H-P's $27/share offer. More details to follow...
- ArcSight looks for buyers. Cybersecurity firm ArcSight (ARST) has reportedly put itself up for sale, and has been quietly shopping itself to such tech heavyweights as Oracle (ORCL), H-P (HP), IBM (IBM) and EMC Corp. (EMC). A deal could be worth $40/share or more, valuing the company at $1.4B or higher, and sources say ArcSight is aiming to ink a deal before its Sept. 2 quarterly earnings report. Talk of a possible sale sent shares of ArcSight up 30% to $36.70 in yesterday's trading.
- Boeing delays Dreamliner, again. Boeing (BA) has once again delayed delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner, and expects the first plane to be handed over in the middle of Q1 2011 instead of by a few weeks into January 2011. The Dreamliner model is already years behind schedule, and the latest setback comes after the forced shutdown of a test facility delayed engine development. Boeing said the later delivery will not affect its financial guidance.
- All eyes on Bernanke. Analysts and economists will be watching closely as Bernanke delivers his outlook for the U.S. economy this morning at a symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Bernanke faces pressure to both send a reassuring message to markets and to provide clarification for what further steps could be taken should a second round of quantitative easing become necessary. His comments will come as even some of the most optimistic forecasters are scaling back their projections for U.S. growth.
- More recalls from Toyota. Toyota (TM) recalled another 1.13M vehicles, this time because of a flaw that regulators said could cause stalling "at any speed without warning." The voluntary recall, which affects Corolla and Matrix models from 2005-2008, follows at least three reported accidents linked to the defect. Toyota has already recalled more than 8M vehicles in the past year.
- More recalls from J&J. In the latest in a string of embarrassing recalls, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) said it's voluntarily recalling two hip-repair implants because too many patients needed surgeries to replace the devices. J&J had sold around 93,000 of the implants before phasing out production last year, and said it will withdraw the "very few" left on the market. J&J has had to issue several recalls in the past year, and this latest addition is sure to deepen concerns about possible quality control issues at the company.
- Berkshire buys rest of Wesco Financial. In a regulatory filing, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) disclosed plans to buy the 19.9% of Wesco Financial (WSC) that it doesn't already own in a transaction valued at around $514M. The news sent shares of Wesco up 11.8% in yesterday's trading. Wesco is run by Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger.
- Icahn ups Motorola stake. Carl Icahn raised his Motorola (MOT) stake to around 10.4%, buying 11.5M shares for $7.50 each this week, according to an SEC filing. Icahn has more than doubled his Motorola stake since the beginning of the year, and now holds 247.1M shares. Shares of Motorola climbed 2.3% in after-hours trading.
- Manulife, Ace eye NY Life's Asia unit. Manulife Financial (MFC) and Ace Ltd. (ACE) are among the bidders for New York Life Insurance's Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korean assets, sources said. NY Life, which is unlisted, has reportedly hired Deutsche Bank (DB) to handle the sale of the three units, which could bring in $800M-$1B.
- Bain Capital buys Air Medical. Private equity firm Bain Capital agreed to buy Air Medical Group Holdings, the largest independent U.S. provider of emergency air medical services; the deal is said to be valued at around $1B. Air Medical is owned by private equity firms Brockway Moran and MVP Capital Partners. The deal is the latest in a string of secondary buyouts as private equity firms face pressure to utilize their available capital and to provide returns to investors such as pension funds whose portfolios may be partly underwater.
- AIG execs settle investor suits. AIG (AIG) officials, including former CEO Hank Greenberg, have agreed to pay $90M to settle lawsuits claiming they allowed investors to be deceived about problems at the company. The executives will pay the money directly to AIG, rather than to the investors, to resolve the derivative litigation.
Earnings: Thursday After Close
- Aruba Networks (ARUN): FQ4 EPS of $0.10 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $77.3M (+45%) vs. $73.5M. Shares +1.1% AH. (PR, earnings call transcript)
- J Crew Group (JCG): Q2 EPS of $0.53 beats by $0.07. Revenue of $408M (+14%) vs. $403M. Shares -6.5% AH. (PR, earnings call transcript)
- Novell (NOVL): FQ3 EPS of $0.06 misses by $0.01. Revenue of $199M (-7.9%) vs. $202.3M. Shares -0.2% AH. (PR, earnings call transcript)
- OmniVision Technologies (OVTI): FQ1 EPS of $0.39 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $193M (+83%) vs. $203M. Shares -4.1% AH. (PR, earnings call transcript)
- In Asia, Japan +0.9% to 8991. Hong Kong -0.1% to 20597. China +0.3% to 2611. India -1.3% to 17998.
- In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris flat. Frankfurt -0.1%.
- Futures: Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.4%. Crude +0.1% to $73.42. Gold +0.1% to $1238.50.
Friday's Economic Calendar
- 8:30 GDP Q2
8:30 Corporate Profits
9:55 Reuters/UofM Consumer Sentiment
10:00 Fed's Bernanke: Economic Outlook
- Notable earnings before Friday's open: FRO, TIF
Seeking Alpha's Market Currents team contributed to this post.
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