Markets & Finance

Target Tops the Street


Target Corp. (TGT) posted $0.61 vs. $0.56 Q4 EPS from operations on slightly higher same store sales and 13% higher total sales. S&P maintains hold.

HealthSouth (HRC) posted $0.19 vs. $0.16 Q4 EPS from operations on a 7.6% revenue rise. S&P maintains buy, and notes the firm sees flat 2001 pricing overall.

Fluor (FLR) confirmed its $0.35-$0.40 Q1 EPS from operations forecast, but says earnings over the short term could be influenced by a rapid movement in its stock price.

Henry Schein (HSIC) posted $0.52 vs. $0.38 Q4 EPS (adjusted) on a 7.5% sales rise. The firm sees 10%-12% Q1 EPS growth and mid-teens 2001 EPS growth. RW Baird upgraded to market outperform.

Circuit City (CC) sees $0.47 Q4 EPS and $0.70 fiscal 2001 on lower than expected sales. The consumer-electronics retailer expects the sales slowdown to continue into the first half of fiscal 2002 and sees comparable-store sales declines of about 20% during Q1 and Q2 of fiscal 2002.

Veritas (VRTS), Oracle and Sun announced the availability of first two Reference Configurations, associated Design Guides from VOS initiative. Lehman maintains its strong buy on Veritas (See Word on the Street ).

Consolidated Edison informed Northeast Utilities (BU) that it won't close their pending merger.

Descartes Systems (DSGX) posted $0.08 Q4 EPS (from operations) vs. an $0.08 loss on 73% revenue rise. The e-commerce provider sees $0.08 Q1 EPS (from operations), and sees $0.39 fiscal 2002 (Jan.) EPS on $115M-$120M revenues.

Goldman Sachs transferred coverage of Homestore.com (HOMS) and added the firm to its recommended list. The home-improvement website was rated market outperform.

Convergys (CVG) will acquire Geneva Technology Ltd. of Cambridge, U.K. for 17.6M Convergys shares.

Staples (SPLS) posted $0.21 vs. $0.26 Q4 EPS from operations as the deterioration of economy and aggressive growth initiatives offset a 3% same store sales rise. The company sees $0.09 Q1 EPS.

New Focus (NUFO) lowered its Q1 revenue guidance to $38M-$41M and lowered 2001 revenue to $170M-$190M. The firm cites softening in the U.S. economy and telecom industry. USB Piper downgrades to buy.

H.J. Heinz (HNZ) sees $0.65 Q3 EPS from operations and sees $2.54-$2.56 fiscal 2001 EPS from operations. Heinz notes weakness in tuna pricing. Prudential says the news is disturbing.

Siebel Systems (IBM) announced the resignation of senior vice president of sales, Tom Hogan. Merrill downgraded and CS First Boston cut estimates.

Banc America downgraded Cisco (CSCO) to buy from strong buy (See Word on the Street ).

Applied Industries (AIT) sees $0.30-$0.35 Q3 EPS and $0.33-$0.40 Q4 EPS. The firm expects sales for each of the quarters to be in the $415M-$420M range, citing a sharp decline in the industrial economy.

Vignette (VIGN) named Thomas Hogan as COO. Mr. Hogan was formerly the senior vice president at Seibel Systems.

Xilinx (XLNX) sees Q4 revenues declining by up to 15% sequentially. Both S&P and Robertson Stephens cut estimates and recommended 'buy.'

Goldman Sachs removed Yahoo (YHOO) from its recommended list and now rates market outperform.

Lehman expects McDonalds' (IBM) management to guide Q1 consensus estimates lower. Lehman cut its conservative EPS estimates.

Triquint Semi (TQNT) says Q1 EPS could decline to $0.14, on revenues that could be $80M -- below Q4's $90.3M.

Varian Semi (VSEA) expects Q2 revenues to be below previous guidance and now sees growth of no more than 10% over year ago. Varian cited delayed deliveries and cancelled orders.

Millennium (MLNM) and Immunogen entered a pact that will provide Millenium access for five years to Immunogen's Tumor-Activated Prodrug technology for use with Millenium's proprietary antibodies.

Xerox (XRX) confirmed it will sell half its stake in Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. to Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. for about $1.3B.


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