Stocks to watch: Salesforce, WellPoint

The cloud computing site will acquire Buddy Media, and the health benefits company is buying 1-800 Contacts.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 4, 2012 9:09AM
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet.com

Salesforce.com (CRM) is acquiring social enterprise technology company Buddy Media. The deal is for about $689 million in cash and Salesforce.com stock and is anticipated to close by the end of Salesforce.com's third quarter.

WellPoint (WLP) will buy contact-lens maker 1-800 Contacts. A purchase price wasn't disclosed, but a person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal it is close to $900 million. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Insurer WellPoint said the acquisition will be accretive to per-share earnings in 2014.

Ford
(F) is in talks with partners to introduce indigenous, or China-only, brands in China, Reuters reported. "We always are in discussions with our joint venture partners. All I can tell you is we are studying indigenous brands, but our total focus in terms of brand enhancement is really on the Ford brand," said David Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford's China operations, Reuters reported.

Results from an early-stage study showed a Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) experimental drug can reduce the size of tumors in patients that have melanoma and non-small-cell lung cancers.

Johnson & Johnson's
(JNJ) Zytiga was shown in a phase 2 study, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, to have increased survival rates by 33% in "pre-chemo" prostate cancer patients.

Facebook
(FB) is developing technology that would allow children under 13 to use the site under parental supervision. Facebook is testing mechanisms that include connecting children's accounts to their parents' and controls that would allow parents to decide whom their kids can "friend," people who have spoken with Facebook executives about the technology told the Journal. Facebook currently bans users under 13.

Conn's (CONN) -- a specialty retailer of home appliances, furniture, mattresses and consumer electronics -- is expected to post first-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share on sales of $166.9 million.
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