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Stocks to Watch: Opnext, Ista (Update 1)

Stocks in this article: WAG APOL UTX JEF LEN ISTA OCLR OPXT

NEW YORK -- Optical network components company Oclaro (OCLR) agreed to acquire peer Opnext (OPXT) for stock.

The deal calls for Oclaro to swap 0.42 of a share for each Opnext share.

Opnext shares were soaring 54% to $1.74 in premarket trading Tuesday.

Eye care company Bausch & Lomb agreed to acquire Ista Pharmaceuticals (ISTA) for roughly $500 million in cash to expand its eye health portfolio.

The acquisition price of $9.10 a share represents a 9% premium to Ista's closing price on Monday.

Ista shares were surging 8.4% to $9.08.

Apollo Group (APOL), the for-profit education company, trounced Wall Street's fiscal second-quarter expectations.

Apollo reported earnings from continuing operations excluding items of $73.8 million, or 58 cents a share, for the three months ended Feb. 29 on revenue of $969.6 million. Analysts expected profit of 37 cents a share on revenue of $933.3 million.

Apollo, the operator of the University of Phoenix, said new degreed enrollment rose 1% in the quarter from a year earlier.

Apollo shares were losing 6% to $40.60.

Homebuilder Lennar (LEN) reported first-quarter earnings of $15 million, or 8 cents a share, down from $27.4 million, or 14 cents a share. a year earlier.

Still, the company's per-share earnings beat the average estimate of 4 cents a share, according to a Thomson Reuters survey of analysts.

Shares were gaining 2.7% to $27.10.

Walgreen (WAG) reported fiscal second-quarter earnings Tuesday of 78 cents a share on sales of $18.7 billion.

Analysts were expecting profit of 77 cents a share on sales of $18.58 billion.

The company said the effect of no longer being part of the Express Scripts (ESRX) pharmacy provider network as of Jan. 1, 2012, impacted earnings by 7 cents a share.

"We invested in store-level staffing in the second quarter to help our pharmacy customers under Express Scripts plans sign up for our Prescription Savings Club, change to a different Medicare prescription drug plan that includes Walgreens in the network or find other ways to continue using our pharmacies," the company said in a press release.

Shares were up 0.4% to $34.51.

United Technologies' (UTX) proposed $18.4 billion acquisition of Goodrich (GR) is receiving an in-depth investigation from the European Commission because of competition concerns.

Both companies make aviation equipment.

"The Commission's preliminary investigation indicated potential competition concerns regarding the markets for engine controls and AC power generators, where the parties would have very high combined market shares," said the European commission, in a statement.

Jefferies (JEF) is looking to set up a corporate lending business in Europe to expand its fast-growing operations in the region, The Financial Times reported.

The mid-size U.S. investment bank seeks to grab market share from retrenching rivals, the newspaper said.

"We are working actively to develop corporate lending capacity in Europe and have underwritings in process," Brian Friedman, chairman of Jefferies' executive committee, told The Financial Times.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel and Andrea Tse

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

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