Monday, March 21, 2011

Stocks In Focus: OXPS, T, AIG, CRIS, XNPT

optionsXpress Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: OXPS) on Monday announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Charles Schwab Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHW). Under the terms of the agreement, optionsXpress stockholders will receive 1.02 shares of Schwab stock for each share of optionsXpress stock. Based on Schwab's closing stock price as of March 18, 2011, the transaction values each optionsXpress share at $17.91, resulting in a total transaction value of approximately $1.0 billion. Both companies will initially retain their separate brand identities, while benefitting from significant synergies and capabilities across their complementary business lines. 

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) on Sunday announced that it has agreed to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at about $39 billion, creating America’s largest mobile-phone operator. AT&T shares surged more than 5% in Monday's pre-market trading.

After Friday's closing bell, American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) released a preliminary pre-tax insurance loss estimate for Chartis, its property casualty insurance unit, of $1.0 billion, or $0.9 billion after tax -- 1.1 percent of total AIG shareholders' equity as of December 31, 2010 -- net of all reinsurance recoverables for the first quarter of 2011, related to various catastrophes, including a pre-tax insurance loss of $0.7 billion related to the recent earthquake in Japan, consequent tsunami, and related exposures. This preliminary estimate excludes losses arising from AIG's general insurance operations in Japan that participate in the Japanese Earthquake Reinsurance Company (JERC) as explained below. AIG's preliminary estimate also includes catastrophe losses related to the New Zealand earthquake, U.S. winter storms, northeast Australian floods, Cyclone Yasi, and the Brazil floods that have occurred in the first quarter to date.

Shares of Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRIS) surged more than 18% in Monday's pre-market trading after the company announced a positive outcome from a pivotal Phase II clinical trial conducted by Roche and Genentech, Curis' collaborator and a wholly owned member of the Roche Group, of GDC-0449, a first-in-class hedgehog pathway inhibitor, in patients with advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

Shares of XenoPort Inc. (NASDAQ: XNPT) sank more than 12% in Monday's pre-market trading after the company said  it won't develop arbaclofen placarbil as a treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease because the drug didn't significantly improve heartburn in a clinical trial.

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