Stocks in the news: Dell, Perot Systems, Lennar, Potash Corp.

Some of the companies making headlines today:

Dell (DELL) said it is acquiring information technology services company Perot Systems (PER) for $3.9 billion, offering $30 per share in cash, a 68 percent premium over Perot's closing share price Friday. PER shares shot up 65 percent in pre-market trading, Dell's fell about 5 percent.

Lennar Corp. (LEN) reported a wider loss in its fiscal third quarter, mostly due to its writedowns of the value of its land and unsold homes. While orders were still down year-over-year, sequentially, they've been on the rise the past few months. Not including the writedowns, the company earned 21 cents per share, handily beating expectations.
Potash Corp. (POT) shares were down over 4 percent ahead of the bell after the company slashed its earnings forecast late Friday amid stagnant demand.

PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) said on Saturday that Michael White, vice chairman and PepsiCo International chief executive, would retire later this year after nearly 20 years with the company. Shares were down 1.4 percent in pre-market trade.

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) was told by a House of Representatives panel that it cannot use attorney-client privilege to withhold from Congress details on its purchase of Merrill Lynch, The New York Times reported. The Wall Street Journal said the bank will likely add DuPont Co. (DD) Chairman Charles Holliday to its board of directors at a meeting on Monday.

Intel Corp. (INTC) -- After being hit by a record $1.45 billion fine last May, the European Union on Monday published e-mail excerpts from computer makers and Intel to show that Intel pressured chip buyers into choosing Intel over rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD).

Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) published Phase III clinical trial results of its lung cancer drug Alimta that showed a significant survival benefit in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Amgen Inc. (AMGN) reported results from a Phase III trial of denosumab administered under the skin against Novartis AG's (NVS) Zometa intravenous infusion to treat bone metastases in advanced-cancer patients. Denosumab delayed skeletal-related events 20.6 months versus 16.3 months for Zometa. Shares were 2.2 percent higher ahead of the bell.

AstraZeneca (AZN) said it will pay Nektar Therapuetics (NKTR) $125 million upfront to license two compounds. In addition, Nektar is eligible to receive about $1 billion in aggregate payments for certain regulatory, development and commercial milestones in both programs. NKTR shares jumped over 15 percent in pre-market trading.

Wells Fargo cut Starwood Hotels & Resorts Inc. (HOT), Gaylord Entertainment Co. (GET) and Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (HST) to Underperform from Market perform on valuation. It also upgraded Marriott International Inc. (MAR) and Sunshine Hotel Investors Inc. (SHO) to Outperform from Market Perform.

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