Shares of Mirant (MIR) rose 2% after the energy company said that it would buy back up to $1.25 billion in stock through a "Dutch Auction" tender offer and laid out plans to sell its Philippines and Caribbean businesses. Mirant plans to buy up to 43 million shares of stock at prices ranging from $25.75 to $29 a share. The tender offer will be funded with cash on hand and through a term loan.
Mirant said the sales of the operations in the Philippines and the Caribbean are expected to close by the middle of 2007. In the meantime, the businesses will be reported as discontinued operations beginning in the third quarter of this year. "As Mirant generates cash from these sales, it plans to continue returning cash to its shareholders while maximizing the value of its net operating loss carryforwards," the company said. Shares were trading up 48 cents to $27.28.
ChoicePoint (CPS) shares fell 9% after the company announced plans to sell three businesses. The company, which collects consumer information, plans to sell its direct marketing, forensic DNA and shareholder services businesses. "These changes will focus our resources and energies on those businesses that we believe have the greatest growth potential and leverage our core competencies," ChoicePoint said. "We also believe this sharper focus will allow us to strengthen our relationships with customers and enhance shareholder value." Shares were trading down $3.67 to $36.91.
NYSE volume leaders included Lucent Technologies (LU), down 10 cents to $2.24; EMC (EMC), up 3 cents to $10.44; Pfizer (PFE), down 43 cents to $23.44; Alcoa (AA), down $1.58 to $31.83; Time Warner (TWX), down 35 cents to $16.32; Nortel Networks (NT), down 2 cents to $2.22; AT&T (T), down 9 cents to $27.29.Nasdaq volume leaders included JDSU (JDSU), down 9 cents to $2.07; Microsoft (MSFT), down 37 cents to $23.13; Cisco Systems (CSCO), down 57 cents to $18.40; Intel (INTC), down 8 cents to $18.10; Sun Microsystems (SUNW), up 7 cents to $3.89; Oracle (ORCL), down 21 cents to $14.38; and Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI), up 3 cents to $4.31.