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STOCKS TO WATCH: Solectron, HP, Iomega and IBM

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Stocks to watch Monday:

  • Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA), Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC)
  • B2B players may be on the move after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is expected approve the Covisint business-to-business Internet exchange formed by the three largest U.S. automakers, the Wall Street Journal reported in its electronic version on Monday.

    The FTC opened an investigation in March to determine whether or not the online venture formed by General Motors, Ford Motor and DaimlerChrysler was anti-competitive.

    As consortium exchanges launch companies such as Ariba, Commerce One and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) stand to benefit -- that trio has been supplying the software for manyexchanges.

  • Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP)
  • HP confirmed that it is in talks to buy global accountancy and consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) management consultancy, according to published reports.

    The deal would be valued between $17 billion and $18 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    PwC has been seeking to sell its consulting business since a run-in with U.S. regulators last year.

  • Solectron (NYSE: SLR)
  • The contract electronics manufacturer is scheduled to report fiscal fourth quarter results after the closing bell. First Call's latest survey of 23 analysts predicts earnings of 26 cents per share for the quarter ended Aug. 25.

    That analyst survey soon will be increased by one. Goldman Sachs on Friday started coverage of Solectron with a "market outperform" rating.

  • Iomega (NYSE: IOM)
  • The maker of Zip and Jaz removable storage drives on Friday night announced a plan to buy back $150 million of stock. Iomega, which had 270.6 million shares outstanding as of June 25, closed last week with a market cap of $1.184 billion.

    Also Friday, the company said it would redeem all of its outstanding 6 3/4 percent convertible notes, worth a total of $45.5 million.

    Iomega had about $354 million in cash, cash equivalents and temporary investments as of June 25.

  • The technology giant has launched its latest offerings for laptops and e-commerce servers.

    A new line of ThinkPads features notebook computers that are less than 1 inch thick and weigh as little as 3.1 pounds, geared toward mobile professionals.

    The "Blue Hammer" system for clustering Internet servers combines IBM's top two UNIX technologies -- its RS/6000 S80 enterprise server and its Parallel System Support Programs, or PSSP, software.>