Markets & Finance

National Semi Warns of Lower Earnings


National Semiconductor (NSM

) forecasted lower than expected $0.20-$0.22 Q3 EPS on $475 million-$480 million in revenue. Robertson Stephens and S&P cut thier earnings estimates on the chipmaker.

Walgreen (WAG

) posted a 16% January same store sales rise and a 22% total sales rise.

Copper Mountain (CMTN

) posted breakeven Q4 EPS vs. $0.12 EPS despite a 5.5% revenue decline, and expects substantial sequential Q1 revenue decline. S&P maintained its avoid ranking on the shares.

Starbucks (SBUX

) posted 6% higher January same store sales and 26% higher total sales. The coffee franchiser says it's on pace to achieve $0.91-$0.93 fiscal 2001 EPS.

APW Ltd. (APW

) sees Q2 revenues 7%-9% lower than previous guidance, along with 2%-3% 2Q EBITDA decline and $1.63 billion-$1.65 billion fiscal 2001 revenues. APW cites slowing demand, program slowdowns and new program start-up delays.

IMC Global (IGL

) posted $0.15 vs. $0.24 Q4 EPS from operations as higher costs offset a 6% sales rise. IMC sees $0.28 Q1 EPS from continuing operations, citing phosphate plant costs, lower phosphate volumes and higher energy costs.

UnitedHealth (UNH

) posted $0.58 vs. $0.44 Q4 EPS (adjusted) on a 8.8% revenue rise.

Atmel (ATML

) says it won a major patent infringement dispute against Silicon Storage Technology, Winbond Electronics, Sanyo Electric Co. and Macronix International.

Computer Network Technology (CMNT

) sees about $0.17 Q4 EPS from continuing operations vs. previous guidance of $0.20 on about $47 million in revenues. The firm also sees $0.65-$0.75 2001 EPS, citing a general economic slowdown. Wit SoundView cut its estimates on the company's earnings.

Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI

) posted $0.54 vs. $0.41 Q4 after-tax cash flow per share on a 5.7% revenue rise. Morgan Stanley DW and Merrill Lynch downgraded their ratings on the shares.

Activision (ATVI

) posted better than expected $0.70 vs. $0.75 3Q EPS on a slight revenue decline. The firm raised its fiscal 2001 EPS estimate by $0.11, and raised its net revenue estimate by $48 million. Wedbush maintained its strong buy rating on the shares.

Terra Lycos (TRLY

) posted a $0.17 Q4 EBITDA loss (pro forma) vs. a $0.09 loss as higher costs offset a 78% revenue rise. Goldman Sachs cut its estimates, and Dain Rauscher reportedly downgraded its rating on the shares.

First Boston downgraded Verizon Communications (VZ

) to buy from strong buy.

S&P downgraded Circuit City (CC

) and Best Buy (BBY

) to sell from hold. CIBC World says Circuit City, among retailers, is trading down on profit taking.

Merrill Lynch reduced Fox Entertainment's (FOX

) fiscal 2001 revenue and EBITDA estimates.

Banc of America upgraded Tommy Hilfiger (TOM

) to buy from market outperform. On Thursday the clothing company posted $0.47 vs. $0.62 Q3 EPS.

Morgan Stanley DW downgraded Acme Communications (ACME

) to neutral from strong buy.

Robertson Stephens downgraded Four Seasons (FS

) to long-term market performer from attractive. The company noted Robertson Stephens' comments.


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