Monday, July 23, 2007

Paperstand (URI, DISH, DNA)

According to the WSJ, Barclays (BCS) will use cash infusions from China Development Bank and Temasek Holdings to increase its offer for ABN (ABN) and offer more cash. Barclays is increasing its offer for ABN to €67.5bn ($93.34bn), an increase of €2.9bn. Additionally, Barclays, which had made an all-stock offer, is changing its offer to 37% cash. In total, Barclays is offering €42.7bn in Barclays shares and €24.8bn in cash.

The WSJ reports that Cerberus Capital Mgmt was near a $4bn deal for United Rentals (URI) late yesterday. A deal has been widely anticipated, given that United said in April it was seeking a buyer. Cerberus will pay $34.50 per share for United.

According to the WSJ, today, Microsoft (MSFT) will announce new policies and technologies to protect the privacy of users of its Live Search services, say execs. The co, along with IAC/InterActiveCorp's (IACI), will also announce plans to try to kick-start an industrywide initiative to establish standard practices for retaining users' search histories. Meanwhile, Yahoo (YHOO) this week will begin detailing its plans for a policy to make all of a user's search data anonymous within 13mo’s of receiving it, except where users request otherwise or where the co is required to retain the information for law-enforcement or legal processes.

According to the WSJ, EchoStar (DISH), estimating that its signals are pirated at 2m residences across N-America, has gone on the offensive by filing suit against a Southern California distributor of set-top boxes and others it accuses of masterminding such schemes. The suit accuses the defendants of selling equipment and software designed to circumvent the co's security systems. Industry analysts est, that stolen programs may result in lost rev of more than $1bn annually for EchoStar.

“Heard on the Street” column discusses Genentech (DNA), saying that the stock of the co could languish for mo’s as sales growth slows for Avastin. And new rev opportunities for its existing stable of medicines likely won't materialize until at least the end of the year. What investors once viewed as a potential catalyst, Genentech's first acquisition, also has turned out to be more of a pain than a salve. Stumbles over regulatory issues have delayed the closing of the agreement to buy Tanox. And some bearish investors have speculated that the transaction might never get done. While Genentech is inexpensive on a historical basis, "a cheap-looking valuation can be a trap before new growth drivers emerge," warns Jim Reddoch, of FBR. High biotech-stock valuations are "like a fire that needs more wood to keep it going," says Tom Vandeventer, of Tocqueville Asset Mgmt. "A lot of the catalysts that might move the stock higher are visible but aren't close at hand before year's end."

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