John J. Edwards III
The equity rally's battery ran low on juice Wednesday, but maybe it can pick up some power from one of the companies in our first post-close item:
The Wall Street Journal
changed six of the 15 stocks in the
Dow Jones Utilities Average
, saying the new companies will revitalize the index by increasing representation from the Sun Belt. Removed from the measure were
. Added were
Columbia Gas System
reported that the settlement talks between state attorneys general and tobacco companies may have hit a snag. The Connecticut attorney general told the network that the issue of limiting the tobacconists' liability is a major sticking point and "could be a deal-breaker." The parties are negotiating a $300 billion settlement of the states' reimbursement claims for smoking-related health-care costs.
agreed in principle to acquire
Reliable Life Insurance
in a stock and cash deal.
Bankrupt comic-book publisher
filed a joint plan of reorganization for Marvel with the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
in Delaware. A group of Marvel's equity holders Tuesday endorsed a rival reorganization plan by Marvel's bondholders.
reported fourth-quarter operating earnings of 22 cents per share, beating the
expectation of 21 cents. The company earned 17 cents a year ago.
(As originally published, this story incorrectly said the company's net loss of 33 cents per share, which included a charge, fell short of the First Call estimate, which excluded the charge.)
reported first-quarter earnings of 20 cents per share, 2 cents better than the First Call consensus estimate and up from the year-ago 12 cents.
Upscale fashion house
earned just 4 cents per share in the first quarter, way short of the First Call view of 23 cents and the year-ago pro-forma 29 cents. The company said it expects its bottom line to improve in the second half.
, a franchiser of
Jack in the Box
fast-food restaurants, reported second-quarter earnings of 17 cents per share, beating the First Call estimate of 14 cents and the year-ago 10 cents.
discussed Foodmaker's turnaround in a
March 24 story.