Markets & Finance

Newell Rubbermaid Shares Upgraded


Newell Rubbermaid (NWL): Upgrade to 3 STARS (hold) from 2 STARS (avoid)

Analyst: Howard Choe

Upgrade due to management changes. Believe shares will receive support from today's appointment of Joseph Galli, former CEO of VerticalNet and Amazon, to President and CEO. Galli has extensive experience in consumer durables as head of Black Decker's Power Tools division and was considered the co.'s heir apparent prior to joining Amazon. While we expect Galli to take swift, corrective measures, further enthusiasm is restrained by NWL's considerable challenges related to the Rubbermaid acquisition and slowing economy.

COR Therapeutics (CORR): Reiterate 5 STARS (buy)

Analyst: Frank DiLorenzo

COR announced positive 6 month data for Integrilin in patients undergoing stent angioplasty procedures; should support increased medical acceptance. COR also gave guidance of $172 million in Integrilin sales for 00, and $250-$270 million for 01 - close to our $174M 00 and $261M estimates. COR guidance of $0.40 EPS for 01 is in line with our projection. COR announced deal with Genentech and Schering-Plough to co-promote Integrilin, TNKase, and Activase. Stock cheap based on prospects and leading position of Integrilin.

SAP AG (SAP): Reiterate 3 STARS (hold)

Analyst: Jonathan Rudy

Co. announces better than expected results for Q4. SAP announces preliminary results for Q4 two weeks ahead of schedule. Total revenues increased approximately 27%, to 2.1 billion euros, above expectations. Operating income before charges increased more than 40%, to 600 million euros. Co. will release specifics on Jan. 23. Despite positive news, we remain concerned over product positioning in increasingly competitive environment. Placing '01 estimates under review for upward revision. However, would not add to positions at this time.

Salton Inc. (SFP): Reiterate 4 STARS (accumulate)

Analyst: Markos Kaminis

Co. lowers guidance. National television campaign not enough to overcome general retail weakness in calendar Q4. co. seeing decreased re-orders, & expects 10%-12% lower net sales in Q2 FY (Jun.), vs. tough comps. However, we expect SFP to outperform peers, as offers large product range, meeting requirements of cost conscious mega-retailers. In addition, Consumer Staples have typically outperformed all sectors during the first 6 mos. following an initial Fed rate cut since 1971, rising 16.2%, vs. 12.3% for S&P 500. Estimates under review.

ADVANTA Corp (ADVNA

): Reiterate 4 STARS (accumulate)

Analyst: R. Tortoriello

Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ADVNA's mortgage portfolio (approximately 33% of assets). ADVNA expects to receive a price in excess of book value, with proceeds used to pay down $350 million of debt, and expected surplus of $250 million in cash. Cash will enable company to focus on growth of its profitable small business credit card unit. At 5X our `01 EPS estimate of $2.25, this speculative stock attractive for risk-tolerant investors.

eBay Inc. (EBAY): Reiterate 4 STARS (accumulate)

Analyst: Scott Kessler

Moves into world's sixth largest e-commerce Market. EBAY acquiring majority stake in Internet Auction Co. Ltd., Korea's largest online auction concern, for about $120 million cash.. Internet Auction has 2.8 million users, averages 450,000 item listings. See little overlap, added $20 million in 2001 revenue, $0.01 EPS dilution with deal.. EBAY to use Internet Auction as beachhead to move into non- Japan Southeast Asia, as pursues its goal of presence in 10 international markets by end of this year. Recent decline, expected strong 1/18 earnings offer opportunity.

AMR Corp. (AMR): Reiterate 4 STARS (accumulate)

Analyst: Richard Stice

Company rumored to be in talks to buy struggling Trans World Airlines (TWA 1-3/8***) and about 20% of US Airways (U 43*). transactions would give AMR 25% of U.S. market. combined deals allow company to gain major hub, half of U's shuttle service, greater east coast presence and a 49% stake in new carrier DC Air. If AMR gets US Airways stake, will aid United (UAL 44***)/U merger approval. With potential market share gains and low P/E relative to peers, we believe shares will outperform broader market over next 6 to 12 months.

Alcoa (AA): Reiterate 3 STARS (hold)

Analyst: Leo Larkin

Posts Q4 EPS of $0.45 vs. $0.44 on 54% sales gain, beats $0.43 consensus. Full year $1.80 vs. $1.41. Higher sales, EPS reflects increased aluminum price, acquisitions. Q4 impressive given weakness in durable goods, higher energy costs.. Project $2.25 EPS for '01 on continued cost cutting, 2nd half economic recovery. Like long-term outlook for AA, aluminum on industry consolidation, shrinking London Metal Exchange inventories, gains in auto applications, likely peaking of Russian exports. But, with some slowing of world economic growth, hold.

ICOS Corp. (ICOS): Initiating coverage with 4 STARS (accumulate)

Analyst: Frank DiLorenzo

ICOS is well-positioned to become a profitable biotech concern with deep pipeline. Co. should file FDA application for approval of Cialis (treatment for male erectile dysfunction) by 2nd half '01. Cialis has significant potential and we feel could be strong competitor to Pfizer's Viagra. Pafase (treatment for sepsis) should begin Phase III trials in early '01. Sitaxsentan should also start Phase IIb/IIIa trial in early 01. Seven compounds in pipeline by mid-01. Valuation attractive vs. market and biotech sector. Extended selection of S&P Stock Picks and Pans is available for free for a limited time only


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