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Build-A-Bear a Buyout Target?

Editor's Note: In this feature from Stockpickr, we highlight lists of stocks that have been upgraded by analysts, are experiencing activist situations or some other market moving events.

Rumors of the Day: Shares of Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW) were up 7.4% Thursday on buyout chatter. According to Bloomberg, a Buckingham Research analyst confirmed the company's cancellation of a conference appearance and said that "something may be brewing." Shares gained $1.53 at $18.57.

The New York Post reports that Liz Claiborne (LIZ) is "close" to selling its Emma Jones, JH Collectibles, Tapemeasure and Intuitions brands. While no deal has been reached, Li & Fung USA -- which bought Regatta Pacific Alliance (which makes Daisy Fuentes and Simply Vera) last month -- is the prime suitor, the article says. Liz Claiborne earlier had indicated it would consolidate operations and focus on larger labels, which could mean the sale of approx. 16 of 36 brands, the Post says. The stock increased 79 cents, or 2.5%, to $32.54.

Today's Hot List: Chipmaker Diodes (DIOD) offered a more optimistic third-quarter outlook. The company now expects sequential revenue growth of 8% to 10%, an increase from the 6% to 9% range it offered earlier. The company also reaffirmed its expectation of slightly improved gross profit margins for the quarter. Diodes jumped $2.56, or 8.8%, to $31.70.

Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) said it was working with Ortho-McNeil, a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) company, to research, develop and sell drugs to treat metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Isis will receive a $45 million licensing fee upfront and research and development funding over the period of the collaboration. Isis could receive more than $230 million in milestone payments on top of those payments, if the drugs are approved, as well as royalties on sales. Isis jumped 72 cents to $13.48, while Johnson & Johnson increased 67 cents at $63.18.

Analyst Downgrades: UBS downgraded biotech company Biogen Idec (BIIB) to sell from neutral. The firm gave the stock a $58 2008 price target and expects earnings of $3.55 a share. Biogen dropped 45 cents at $64.26.

Analyst Upgrades: Credit Suisse said it is upgrading paper product maker MeadWestvaco (MWV) to outperform from neutral. The firm upped its price target to $38 from $30. Shares increased $1.08 at $31.22.

Latest Activist Situations: Coghill Capital's activist target, Authentidate Holding (ADAT), announced after Wednesday's close that it is in merger talks with a private company. Coghill owns a 9.9% stake in the secure messaging company. The stock is down 3 cents at $1.27.

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