Capital Automotive REIT ( CARS) was climbing 4% to $24.21 on news that it will replace HNC Software ( HNCS) in the S&P SmallCap 600 Index. HNC is being removed due to its acquisition by Fair Issac ( FIC). The switch will take place at the close of trading Monday. Shares of Concord EFS ( CEFT) and Energizer Holdings ( ENR) were both gaining ground after announcing stock repurchase programs. Concord, which handles electronic fund transfers and services, was up about 4% on news that the company's board has authorized up to $250 million for its stock buyback. Energizer added 2% after the battery maker announced a Dutch auction for up to 6 million shares. Gilead Sciences ( GILD) added about 7% to $30.82 a day before the Food and Drug Administration is expected to review the company's new drug application for its hepatitis B treatment. The FDA has posted two brief reviews on its Web site, which are being viewed favorably by investors. The agency noted that the drug has a low risk of kidney toxicity, but warned that "existing evidence raises some caution regarding the use of adefovir in patients with significant pre-existing renal function impairment." Science and healthcare staffing agency On Assignment ( ASGN) tacked on 4% to $7.52 after the company was upgraded to buy from outperform by Salomon Smith Barney. The firm noted that On Assignment's recently acquired nursing business is worth about $7.50 a share, higher than the entire company's Friday close. Barney added that the company has little debt and good growth opportunities, setting a price target of $12.
The Day's Losers
Paychex ( PAYX) fell 5% to $22.58 after a downgrade to market perform from the recommended list by Goldman Sachs. The firm said a decline in interest rates could lower the payroll company's earnings. Goldman cut its 2003 estimates to 75 cents from 78 cents, below the consensus of 79 cents. Shares of soft drink and snack maker PepsiCo ( PEP) dropped 4% to $41.19 dafter a downgrade by Thomas Weisel. The brokerage firm lowered its rating on Pepsi to market perform from buy on valuation concerns. Weisel said the company's Frito-Lay snack business may see challenging conditions continue through the third quarter and possibly until sometime in 2003. Additionally, the firm lowered its EPS growth rate to 10% to 13% from 13% to 14%. PolyMedica ( PLMD) was falling 21% to $23.78 after the company, currently under investigation by the Department of Justice, said its CEO and co-founder Steven Lee will retire, effective immediately. A company statement said the resignation has no connection to the ongoing Justice Department probe, believed to center on allegations of Medicare fraud. PolyMedica said Lee will be replaced by Samuel Shanaman, who will function as acting CEO until a permanent replacement can be found. The company added that it is cooperating with the Justice Department investigation. Engineering and pipe fabrication company Shaw Group ( SGR) plunged 25% to $16.27 after the company said one of its customers, NRG Energy ( NRZ), won't be able to pay for a project currently in development. The companies have reached an agreement whereby Shaw will acquire the assets of the project in development in exchange for forgiveness of the debt and a payment to NRG of $43 million. The company also cautioned that, if the deal doesn't work, it will have trouble meeting current fourth-quarter earnings expectations.