Markets & Finance

Merrill Cuts Estimates for Retailers


Merrill Lynch believes March sales trends at Ann Taylor (ANN) have continued to disappoint, and adjusted estimates. Merrill also cut estimates for Children's Place (PLCE), Gymboree (GYMB), Intimate Brands (IBI), Limited Inc. (LTD), Tiffany & Co. (TIF) and TJX Cos. (TJX).

CIBC World cut estimates and the price target on

Research In Motion (RIMM).

Interactive Commerce (IACT) agreed to be acquired by Sage Group PLC for $12 per share cash.

CIBC World downgraded C-Mac Indus (EMS) to buy from strong buy, and cut the target. National Bank cut the estimates and target, and maintains focus buy.

Robertson Stephens believes Cisco's (CSCO) stock has significant downside potential based on

valuation, and cut the $0.59 fiscal 2001 EPS estimate to $0.50 and the $0.55

fiscal 2002 estimate to $0.27. Robertson Stephens maintains its market

perform rating.

Palm (PALM) posted $0.02 vs. $0.03

3Q EPS (pro forma) as higher expenses offset a 73% revenue rise. The company

sees a $0.08 Q4 loss on $300M-$315M in revenues. Robertson Stephens, Merrill

Lynch and S&P downgraded.

Handspring (HAND) sees continued

sales growth in business at this time. CS First Boston trimmed estimates.

Merrill Lynch downgraded to near-term neutral from accumulate.

Nortel Networks (NT) says Q1

results will be below previous expectations. Nortel now sees a $0.10-$0.12

1Q loss on $6.1B-$6.2B in revenues. S&P maintains hold, but Merrill Lynch

downgraded. CS First Boston cut its estimates and target price.

Walt Disney (JDSU) will reportedly

cut 4,000 jobs from its global workforce.

Netscout Systems (NTCT) sees

$0.01-$0.03 Q4 EPS on $20M- $22M in revenues, citing constraints in IT

purchasing. Dain Rauscher downgraded the rating to neutral from buy.

Teco Energy (TE) now expects Q1 EPS

to exceed $0.50, more than 15% higher than in the same period last year.

Teco says 2001 EPS growth is now expected to exceed the 10% previously

forecast.

Arch Coal (ACI) sees $0.10-$0.15 Q1

EPS vs. consensus' $0.04 estimate, citing high profit margins on coal sold

in the spot market, and depletion-related income tax benefits.

Microsoft selected Conexant Systems' (CNXT) CX25871 video encoder solution to connect its Xbox video

game system to digital and analog televisions worldwide.

Merrill Lynch downgraded JDS Uniphase (JDSU) to near term neutral from accumulate. CS First Boston cut

its estimates and target price.

Coca-Cola (KO) expects its worldwide

unit case volume to grow in a range of 4%-5% during Q1.

ADC Telecomm (ADCT) further lowered

Q2 guidance to $0.10-$0.15 loss (pro forma) on $650M-$700M sales. The

company cited the slowing economy and further slowdown in capital spending

by communication service providers.

Public Service NM (PNM) sees

$1.45-$1.65 vs. $0.45 Q1 EPS, citing continuing high prices in the wholesale

power market.

Newark Resources (NR) sees better

than expected $0.10 Q1 EPS on revenues approaching $100M, citing increased

sales of its new composite mat system.

Biogen (BGEN) confirmed guidance for

Q1 EPS of $0.45-$0.46, and 2001 EPS in the low $1.90s. The firm sees

$85M-$95M 2001 royalty revenue as a result of patent expirations and its

dispute with Schering-Plough on its royalty obligations.

MDC Holdings (MDC) says Q1 EPS should

exceed high end $1.01 estimates. The company cited record Q1 home closings,

continued higher home selling prices and increased options sold by design

centers.

SES Global will acquire General Electric's (GE) GE American Communications unit for $5 billion, consisting

of $2.7B cash and 15.4M SES Global shares.


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