Under The Radar News

by: SA Eli Hoffmann
  1. AT&T (NYSE:T) may be more inclined to deal for EchoStar's (NASDAQ:DISH) after yesterday's spin-off, because a pre-spinoff deal would have triggered a hefty tax payment. [The new company, EchoStar Holding (NASDAQ:SATS), holds the technology and satellite-infrastructure assets. Shares soared 73% Wednesday.]
  2. Shares of Jackson Hewitt Tax Services (JTX) dropped 14.4% after the IRS said it may ban tax preparers from offering customers refund loans and audit insurance, which may ecourage tax fraud. H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) is off 3.7%.
  3. VMWare (NYSE:VMW) jumped suddenly at 1:00 PM on rumors of a large contract win.
  4. Slowing earnings growth in important sectors, high valuation and weak performance may derail a Chinese stock market boom in which companies earn a significant portion of their profits from stock market gains.
  5. Despite a Bear Stearns note to the contrary, Rupert Murdoch's (NASDAQ:NWS) plan to free up the Wall Street journal adds up.
  6. Midway Games (MWY) is considering a merger with with SCi/Eidos. Midway's brands include Mortal Kombat, Unreal Tournament and Stranglehold. SCi owns Hitman and Tomb Raider.
  7. After a recent price drop, NAND flash memory prices appear to be settling. January demand seems solid.
  8. Evergreen Solar (ESLR) is up 4% on rumors of a GE (NYSE:GE) takeover. This has been rumored in the past.
  9. GM (NYSE:GM) will not be able to build enough new Chevrolet Malibus to meet demand before the spring. Analysts say this is a good problem for GM, which looks to draw customers from Toyota's (NYSE:TM) Camry and Honda's (NYSE:HMC) Accord.
  10. Specialty stores such as True Religion (NASDAQ:TRLG) saw no evidence of a consumer slowdown this holiday season.
  11. Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) shares are up 2% on chatter Warren Buffett has taken a stake in the company.
  12. Plaxo, an early social networking site with per-visit numbers comparable to Facebook, is for sale. Some say it could fetch upwards of $100M, which has others wondering why it's using relative unknown Revolution Partners as an advisor, and not one of the big boys.
  13. Countrywide (CFC) is cutting 127 jobs in Illinois. The company is under investigation by the Illinois AG for predatory and possibly fraudulent lending practices.
  14. There are rumors Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE) won a Turkish government contract. Yesterday, YGE was named Collins Stewart's top pick for 2008, which says YGE trades at a significant discount to peers despite competitive advantages.
  15. The next buyout to fall through could be Reddy Ice (FRZ), due to the deal's low $21M reverse termination fee.
  16. AIG (NYSE:AIG) is in the lead to acquire National Grid's (NYSE:NGG) £700M mixed use and residential portfolio, a move that would increase AIG's UK property and infrastructure holdings significantly.
  17. Rapper Jay-Z may launch a record label with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).