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Monday, August 21, 2006

Weekend Media Round-Up August 19 and 20, 2006

Stocks: (TWX)(F)(EBAY)(LLY)(VZ)(RRD)

According to the Wall Street Journal, Pilgrim’s Pride launched an unsolicited takeover bid for rival chicken processor Gold Kist for $20 a share, valuing the company at $1 billion.

The WSJ says that Verizon is considering selling its landline in three states to FairPoint and other bidders. The company’s landline consumers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine often live in rural areas and are expensive to serve.

The WSJ writes that Ford will partially close 10 plants and cut fourth quarter vehicle production in North America by 21% due to poor demand for the company’s products, especially profitable pick-ups and SUVs.

Reuters writes that the FDA has delayed approval of a new Eli Lilly “investigational therapy” for diabetic eye disease. The drug maker’s stock fell 1.5%.

Reuters writes that Wall Street may believe that eBay has finally hit bottom. The company is up 20% over the last two weeks after hitting three-year lows. Some investors are willing to gamble that the company’s huge share of the online auction market will make the shares attractive as the holidays approach.

The New York Times reports that there are rumors that printing giant RR Donnelley may go private. In the meantime, one of the company’s largest investors, Atlantic Investment Management, is pushing for a $3 billion share buyback.

The New York Times also reports that Carl Icahn continuing “fixation” on Time Warner stock has only served to demonstrate that he has been able to pick one of the poorest performing media stocks as a key investment. Quoting the Lex column from The Economist, and the website, the NYT’s Dealbook points out that it may take evidence of success with the AOL turnaround to get shares in TWX to move back up.

Douglas A. McIntyre

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