Yahoo! ( YHOO) is again being discussed as a potential acquisition target. Reuters reported on Wednesday that China's Alibaba Group has hired U.S. lobbyist firm Duberstein Group in a sign that it could pursue a deal to acquire all of Yahoo! if efforts to buy back some of its assets fail. Yahoo! shares closed Wednesday at $15.78, down 2% for the session and around 5% for the year.
After Wednesday's closing bell, Alexion Pharmaceuticals ( ALXN) said it's agreed to acquire privately held Enobia Pharma for a total of $1.08 billion. Alexion is paying $610 million in cash upfront for Enobia, whose lead product candidate is a proposed treatment for hypophosphatasia, a rare metabolic disease. The deal includes the potential for additional considerations of up to $470 million based on the achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. Shares of Alexion finished Wednesday at $70.92, down 63 cents. Year-to-date the stock has gained more than 75%, hitting a 52-week high of $72.18 on Dec. 27.
Leggett & Platt ( LEG) said it expects to record a pre-tax charge of $36 million in its fiscal fourth quarter related to restructuring activities, including the closing of certain facilities. The Carthage, Mo.-based manufacturer said it expects the charge to reduce earnings by 16 cents a share. Excluding items, its previous forecast for a profit of $1.15 to $1.20 a share for fiscal 2011 remains intact. Including the charge, the company anticipates earnings of 99 cents to $1.04 a share for the full year.
Mosaic Corp. ( MOS) said after Wednesday's closing bell that it plans to reduce its production of finished phosphate by up to 250,000 tons through the end of March. ""Isolated phosphate market spot prices have become disconnected with the underlying agricultural fundamentals," said Jim Prokopanko, the company's president and CEO, in a press release. "As dealers and distributors focus on the macroeconomic uncertainty and delay purchases for the North American Spring Season, near term supply of phosphate barges on the Mississippi River has exceeded near-term demand. The current spot prices in this market do not reflect our outlook for the business, nor do we think they are sustainable." The company also said it plans to release its fiscal second-quarter results on Jan. 4, adding that: "Volumes and pricing for the second fiscal quarter were within prior guidance ranges, for both phosphate and potash." The stock closed Wednesday at $50.29, down more than 30% in 2011. -- Written by Michael Baron in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.