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by 1/8/2001 9:38 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Shares of medical device maker Boston Scientific (BSX - 15-9/16) finished last week in strong fashion as rumors hit the Street that BSX would be acquired by Medtronic (MDT - 53-11/16). BSX rose over 15 percent during Thursday's and Friday's trading. Call options on BSX were notably active on Friday as traders scurried to enter new positions. The August 20 call saw over 3,700 contracts change hands with virtually all of the volume translating into new open interest. Open interest on the February 15 call and August 17-1/2 call also rose by approximately 2,100 contracts and 2,000 contracts, respectively.
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by 1/8/2001 9:37 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Late Friday, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KREM – 76-7/16) filed to sell two million shares, mostly by executives, shop owners and other shareholders. In what was the second-most successful initial public offering of 2000, the shares look to open lower today on the news. The company went public in April, bringing three million shares to market at $21. Currently, there are almost 13 million shares outstanding.

The stock is not widely covered by the Street, as just seven analysts currently rate the company. Four of these brokerage houses name KREM a "buy" or better, while one lists KREM as a "hold" and two maintain an outright "sell" rating on the stock.

Also on the sentiment front, short interest has steadily grown on the stock and currently the short interest ratio stands at 12.1. This means it would take over 12 trading days for these bearish speculators to cover their shorted positions, should it become necessary. <
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by 1/8/2001 9:35 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
In an apparent effort to give a boost to it sagging share price, German software maker SAP AG (SAP -29-1/4) issued a surprise early announcement of its fourth-quarter earnings. SAP said earlier today that preliminary analysis shows fourth-quarter total revenues of EUR2.1 billion, 27 percent higher than the same period last year. Sales growth in the quarter was partly due to strong software license sales, which were up 25 percent, to just over EUR1 billion. Operating income, not including charges for the employee stock option program, was up more than 40 percent to EUR600 million. The actual report should be released around January 23.

The report has apparently been well received, as SAP shares have risen as much as 15 percent in early trading (bucking the rest of the DAX). Six analysts have already come forward with upgrades on the shares, today. Currently the Street still maintains a less than jubilant view of SAP, with 27 analysts giving it a "buy" or better, while 29 rate it a "hold," and two actually see it as an outright "sell."

The short interest ratio (S.I.R.) for SAP is currently at 13.1. This means that it would take 13.1 trading days, at the current average trading volume, to liquidate all of the short positions if the shares rallied and forced the short sellers to become buyers. A ratio this high could add substantial fuel to a near-term rally. This is the highest S.I.R. SAP has seen since August 1999. <
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by 1/8/2001 9:34 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
VerticalNet (VERT – 4-1/8) opened more than 20 percent lower this morning, following the resignation of its CEO. Joseph Galli is leaving, after less than six months at VERT's helm, to assume the top job at Newell Rubbermaid (NWL –23-7/8). His duties will be assumed by VERT's co-founder, Michael Hagan.
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by 1/8/2001 9:15 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
OSI Pharmaceuticals (OSIP – 63-11/16) may be active in today's trading. They just announced that Genentech (DNA – 66-5/8) and Roche will develop and commercialize their anti-cancer drug that is presently in Phase II clinical trials. The deal is worth $187 million in up-front fees, equity investment, and ongoing payments. The drug is hoped to aid in the treatment of certain ovarian, head, neck and lung cancers. Options are available for OSIP.<
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