Stocks to Watch Friday: priceline.com, General Electric, Marathon Oil, Bear Stearns - TheStreet

priceline.com

(PCLN)

, one of the many poster children for beaten-down Internet stocks, announced tonight that vice chairman and founder Jay Walker has stepped down from the company's board of directors.

In a press release, the company said that Walker, 45, is leaving the board in order to allow him to focus on

Walker Digital

, a Connecticut-based intellectual property developer.

"As priceline.com's founder, Jay made significant contributions to our business," said chairman Richard S. Braddock in the release. "He gave us the intellectual foundation on which we have built and expect to continue to grow priceline.com. We thank Jay for those contributions and we understand his decision to concentrate his time at Walker Digital."

priceline.com has had an exceptionally rocky ride. Today, the stock's miseries continued, falling 9 cents, or 6.7%, to $1.31. For the last 52 weeks, the stock has traded in a range of $104.25 to $1.06.

Earlier this month, the company announced it was cutting 11% of its workforce while also holding off on launching several new projects.

General Electric's

(GE) - Get Report

financial arm,

GE Capital

, said it does not foresee any negative earnings hit fro the announced bankruptcy filing from department store chain

Montgomery Ward

.

Montgomery Ward, the 128-year-old, wholly-owned subsidiary of GE Capital announced tonight that it would cease operations and was filing for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11. The store blamed the weak climate for retailers and a particularly bad holiday season for its decision to shut its doors.

The 11 analysts who cover General Electric expect the company to earn 36 cents in the fourth quarter.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Information Holdings

(IHI) - Get Report

said its fourth-quarter earnings should better Wall Street's estimates. The company, which provides database and IT services, expects to report earnings of 10 cents to 12 cents a share. First Call/Thomson Financial said that analysts were calling for the company to report earnings of 6 cents in the quarter.

Marathon Oil

(MRO) - Get Report

said it will take a $930 million charge during the fourth quarter after agreeing to form a joint partnership with

Kinder Morgan Energy

(KMP)

in the Permian Basin in Texas.

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Offerings/stock actions

Bear Stearns

(BSC)

filed a shelf registration with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

to sell up to $8 billion in debt, warrants, preferred stock and depository shares.

The investment bank said it will use the proceeds from the sale for general corporate expenses.

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Miscellany

Providian

(PVN)

announced it has settled several class-action suits and will take a fourth-quarter charge of $22 million. However, Providian, which is the sixth-largest issuer of credit cards in the country, said it will still report earnings of 71 cents to 73 cents a share, in line with estimates.

In a statement, Providian said the suits dealt with marketing and sales of its products, but did not provide any more specifics.

The total of the settlement was $105 million, with the $22 million representing the balance of the payout minus what it had already set aside.

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