• bebe stores ( BEBE) said it expects first-quarter earnings to be at or below the consensus due to lower-than-expected August and September same-store sales.

    The company cited overall poor sales performance due in part to 20% lower inventory levels. bebe expects August same-store sales to be in the negative high-to-mid teens and September's to be in the negative mid-to-high single digits. The company previously forecast a rise in the low single digits. Separately, the company named Jamel Bennoui, former director of production and sourcing for Victoria's Secret.

  • Morgan Stanley lowered its investment rating on United Parcel Service ( UPS) to equal-weight from overweight, citing valuation concerns and a belief that the company has less upside potential than railroad and trucking companies. The shares were recently falling 91 cents, or 1.4%, to $64.37 and are trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of about 31.

  • Swiss food giant Nestle reportedly is offering $11.5 billion to purchase Hershey Foods ( HSY).

    Nestle made a preliminary bid of $82 to $85 a share for the nation's No. 1 candy company after touring the company's factories and reviewing its finances, according to USA Today. The bid would represent a sweet premium on Hershey's Friday closing price of $75.03, which has since traded up 2.2% to $76.65.

    The trust that controls 77% of Hershey's shares put the company up for sale a few weeks ago and is likely to attract additional offers from Philip Morris' ( MO) subsidiary Kraft Foods and Britain's Cadbury Schweppes before a final decision is made. Hershey would qualify as Nestle's biggest acquisition to date, exceeding its $10 billion purchase of pet food manufacturer Ralston-Purina.

  • Accredo Health's ( ACDO) fourth-quarter earnings rose sharply from a year ago despite a big restructuring charge, easily beating First Call/Thomson Financial estimates. The addition of new products contributed to the company's increased earnings. Looking ahead, Accredo confirmed that it expects to have $1.45 billion to $1.5 billion in revenue for the year and an EPS of $1.87 to $1.97 a share.

  • Terayon's ( TERN) shares rose 27% Monday after Cox Communications ( COX) said it would use its TJ715 cable modem on its network and make Terayon its primary broadband vendor.

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