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Wendy's M&A Menu Heats Up

A WSJ report of heavy investor interest sends shares of the burger chain higher.

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

Rumors of the Day

: Since



announced in June that the company's board decided to explore a possible sale of the company,

The Wall Street Journal

reports, "more than a dozen parties have signed confidentiality agreements and expressed interest in participating in the sale process." Wendy's shares gained $1.14, or 3.5%, to $33.70 in recent trading Tuesday.

Today's Hot List


Lehman Brothers


reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings of $1.54 a share, 7 cents higher than the average analyst estimate. Revenue rose 2% from a year earlier. "Despite challenging conditions in the markets, our results once again demonstrate the diversity and financial strength of the Lehman Brothers franchise," CEO Richard Fuld Jr. said. "In addition, more than half of our net revenues for the quarter came from outside the U.S. We remain focused on delivering significant long term value for our clients and shareholders." The stock jumped $2.10, or 3.6%, to $60.72.

Best Buy


posted second-quarter earnings of $250 million, or 55 cents a share, up from $230 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 44 cents a share. Revenue also rose, to $8.75 billion from $7.6 billion a year ago, exceeding analysts' target of $8.48 billion. The electronics retailer now expects full-year earnings to come in at the upper half of a range of $3 to $3.15 a share. The stock was up 4.9%, or $2.16, at $46.70.

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TheStreet Recommends

Analyst Downgrades

: Goldman Sachs has downgraded

General Motors


to neutral from buy because of valuation. Shares are up 21% since Sept. 7, indicating that value of a UAW concession package appears priced in, says Goldman. The longer-term fundamental outlook remains challenged, however. Goldman lowered the price target to $37. GM shares fell off 16 cents, or 0.5%, at $35.07.

Analyst Upgrades


Apollo Group


was upgraded by Stifel Nicolaus from hold to buy, citing attractive valuation. Shares of the University of Phoenix operator increased $1.96, or 3.6%, to $55.78.

Latest Activist Situations

: According to's 13D Tracker page, East Peak Partners disclosed a 7.6% stake in

GateHouse Media


. In the regulatory filing, East Peak Partners noted it has had and may have more discussions with the media company's management and may make suggestions concerning GateHouse's "operations, prospects, business and financial strategies, assets and liabilities, business and financing alternatives." GateHouse shares added 9 cents, or 0.7%, to $12.35.

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