Nokia BOOSTS Max Employee Stock Options and 4 Heavily Traded Shares to Watch

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S):  In a note issued to stockholders, investment analysts at Deutsche Bank boosted their target price on shares of Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) from $3.00 to $4.00

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Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC):  With their second quarter earnings of just under $2.5 billion, Bank of America Corp., reported one of their better quarterly performances since the economic recession of 2008. An improving credit environment, combined with the bank’s focused efforts on cutting costs, helped offset lower revenue from the overall slowdown in global markets.

The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW):  CB&I (NYSE:CBI) has made an agreement to acquire Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW), unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies,   for $46.00 per share in cash and stock.  The Shaw Group is a Fortune 500 company that is primarily focused on serving clients in the power generation and government services sector. At the closing, shareholders will receive $41.00 in cash and $5.00 in CB&I equity for each share of Shaw stock. CB&I will use cash on the balance sheets of both companies to finance the acquisition. Based on Shaw’s estimated cash position, by the end of their August 31, 2012 fiscal year, this venture will equate to an enterprise value of approximately $2 billion. Using consensus estimates, the implied transaction multiple is 7.0 times Shaw’s fiscal 2012 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Their first year earnings per share are anticipated to be a double-digit accretive before transaction related costs.  Philip K. Asherman will continue as President and CEO of the combined company under the brand name CB&I Shaw. The merger is expected to close in early 2013.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK):  In a move aimed at retaining key talent during the struggling Finnish handset maker’s turnaround effort, Nokia Corporation’s board of directors has boosted the maximum number of stock options that can be handed out to certain senior-level employees. These options will not be granted to the Leadership team or their Chief Executive Officer. This plan will increase the Nokia Equity Program’s allotment of stock options by 35%, from 8.5 million to 11.5 million.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO):  Technology stocks edged higher Monday morning as shares of Cisco Systems Inc. became the best performer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Cisco rose 1.7% to $15.96. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.3% to 2,968, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index added 0.2%. On the downside, shares of Groupon Inc. slipped more than 3%, and Zynga Inc. lost nearly 1%.

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