Lam Research ( LRCX) agreed to acquire Novellus Systems ( NVLS) for $3.3 billion in stock. The deal values Novellus at $44.42 a share, a premium of nearly 30% to Wednesday's close at $34.70. The merger of Lam and Novellus is the fourth biggest semiconductor tie-up in 2011, according to Bloomberg. The move will allow Lam to supplement its etch and single-wafer semiconductor systems with Novellus's thin-film design capabilities to better compete in the consolidating semiconductor industry. Shares of Novellus were surging 24.4% to $43.15 in premarket trading Thursday. Lam Research shares were down 0.6% to $39.25.
FedEx ( FDX) beat estimates and said it has signed a deal with Boeing to buy 27 new 767 jets. It is also delaying delivery of 11 Boeing 777s. The company earned $1.57 a share in the fiscal second quarter ended Nov. 30. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated $1.52 a share. Shares were gaining 3% to $79.60.
VeriFone Systems ( PAY), the electronic payments technology company, gave a below-consensus profit outlook for its fiscal first quarter. The company said it expects non-GAAP earnings of 50 cents to 52 cents a share in the three months ending in January on revenue of between $415 million to $420 million. That view is below analysts' expectations of a profit of 53 cents a share in the January quarter on revenue of $408 million. For the whole of fiscal 2012, VeriFone forecast an adjusted profit of $2.53 to $2.60 a share on revenue of $1.9 billion to $1.92 billion. Wall Street's current consensus estimate is for full-year earnings of $2.49 a share on revenue of $1.73 billion. Shares were down 0.5% to $40.33.
Rite Aid ( RAD), the drugstore chain, reported a third-quarter loss of 6 cents a share on revenue of $6.3 billion. Analysts, on average, expected the company to post a loss of 11 cents a share on revenue of $6.29 billion. Same-store sales increased 2% over the prior quarter. Rite Aid now expects fiscal 2012 sales between $25.85 billion and $26 billion, compared with the previous guidance of $25.8 billion and $26.1 billion. Same-store sales are expected to range from an increase of 1.15% to an increase of 1.75%, compared with the previous outlook of an increase of 0.75% to an increase of 2%. The fiscal 2012 net loss is now expected to be between 37 cents to 50 cents a share, an improvement from the previous guidance of a loss of 40 cents to 56 cents a share.
Research In Motion ( RIMM), the BlackBerry maker, reports third-quarter earnings after the closing bell Thursday. The company has said it expects profit at the "low to mid point" of the $1.20 to $1.40 per share it previously forecast. Analysts expect earnings of $1.20 a share. RIM said it expects third-quarter revenue slightly below its previous forecast of $5.3 billion to $5.6 billion; analysts see revenue of $5.23 billion. Earlier this month, RIM also said it no longer expects to meet its full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share guidance of $5.25 to $6.
Discover Financial Services ( DFS), the credit card company, is expected to earn 89 cents a share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $1.8 billion. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel and Andrea Tse >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.