Markets & Finance

Plantronics Gets Ahead on Cell Phone Ban


Plantronics (PLT) is seen higher on news the New York State Assembly passed a bill making it the first state to ban motorists from using handheld cell phones while driving.

Schering Plough (SGP) announced the resignation of president and COO, Raul E. Cesan.

CVS Corp. (CVS) sees $0.48 Q2 and $1.92-$1.96 2001 EPS, citing slowing same-store sales growth and increased gross margin pressure. S&P and J.P. Morgan downgraded the shares.

Xilinx Inc. (XLNX) expects revenues for Q1 to decline by about 32% sequentially, citing the decreased turns business in the first three weeks of June. Merrill lowered estimates. S&P maintains buy.

DB Alex Brown upgraded Swift Transport (SWFT) to strong buy from market perform.

Salomon SB downgraded Brunswick (BC ) to outperform from buy.

Wit Soundview reiterates strong buy, with a $45 target, on

i2 Technologies (ITWO).

Xerox (XRX) reportedly says business is improving and says it's on track to return to profitability in the second half and expects to post profit for 2001.

Raytheon (RTN) now expects eventual liability on two Massachusetts construction projects to range between $450M-$700M vs. the earlier $325M estimate. S&P maintains hold.

Pennzoil-Quaker (PZL) sees $0.13-$0.15 Q2 EPS and $0.65-$0.70 EPS for 2001, citing weak demand for automotive products. The company set a restructuring plan and reduced its quarterly dividend to 2.5 cents. JP Morgan downgraded to market perform.

Palm Inc. (PALM) reported better-than-expected $165.3M Q4 revenues, and a pro forma operating loss of $153.6M. Palm guided revenues down for the next quarter, but sees profitability in November quarter results. CS First Boston, Lehman, CIBC World, JP Morgan, and S&P raised estimates. USB Piper and ABN Amro upgraded the stock.

UBS Warburg upgraded Handspring Inc. (HAND) to buy from hold. CIBC World and CS First Boston reiterate buy.

Thomas Weisel upgraded Cirrus Logic (CRUS) to strong buy.

Supervalu (SVU) posted $0.45 vs. $0.53 Q1 EPS on slightly lower sales. The company remains comfortable with fiscal 2002 EPS range of $1.70-$1.80. S&P maintains avoid.

Thomas Weisel upgraded Elantec Semiconductor (ELNT) to strong buy from buy.

Plug Power (PLUG) expanded its distribution pacts with several concerns for the company's Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell systems.

Duck Head Apparel (DHA) agreed to be acquired by Tropical Sportswear International (TSIC) for $4.75 per share.

Lamson & Session (LMS) sees $0.03-0.08 Q2 EPS vs. $0.20-$0.25 previous guidance on 6%-7% sales growth, citing weak telecom and industrial electrical markets.

American Axle (AXL) expects Q2 EPS to be about 20% higher than current consensus estimates of $0.55, citing stronger sales and continued tight cost control measures.

Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK) sees a $0.17-$0.21 Q2 loss vs. $0.12 EPS. Pinnacle notes its Belterra and Bossier City performance are expected to be lower than the previous guidance, and sees a $0.10-$0.17 2001 loss.

CIBC World upgraded Check Point Software (CHKP) to strong buy from buy. Dain Rauscher reiterates strong buy.

Goldman removed Walt Disney (DIS) from recommended list, and now rates market outperform.

Delta and Pine Land (DLP) posted $0.56 vs. $0.89 Q3 EPS on 21% lower sales, citing declining cotton prices and adverse weather.

SpeedFam-IPEC (SFAM) posted a $0.45 Q4 loss from operations vs. $0.10 EPS on 46% lower revenues.

Dean Foods (DF) posted better-than-expected $0.43 vs. $0.83 Q4 EPS from operations as higher costs and expenses offset a 13% sales rise.

Photronics Inc. (PLAB) sees $0.01-$0.05 Q3 EPS on revenues 15%-20% below Q2 levels, citing a downturn in the global semiconductor industry. Merrill downgraded, but S&P maintains hold.

Merrill downgraded Synopsys (SNPS) to near-term neutral from accumulate, and downgraded Cadence Design (CDN) to near-term neutral from buy.

Danaher Corp. (DHR) says if revenue weakness continues through the second half, the company believes cost cuts will allow Danaher to perform at levels above a year ago's, although below analyst estimates. Danaher says it's comfortable with Q2 consensus estimates.

UBS Warburg and Bear Stearns cut estimates.

Vitesse Semiconductor (VTSS) sees a $0.06 Q3 loss (pro forma, excluding charges) on about $60M revenues, citing continued weakness

in demand and order cancellations. Robertson Stephens, Prudential and Needham maintain buy, but cut the estimates. S&P downgraded the shares.

Synplicity (SYNP) sees $0.01 Q2 EPS on about $12.4M revenues, and sees 2001 revenue growth of 43% vs. its earlier expectation for 60% growth and $0.05 2001 EPS. Robertson Stephens cut the target.

Dain Rauscher downgraded the shares.

ATI Technologies (ATYT) posted a $0.02 Q3 loss vs. a $0.11 loss (both adjusted) despite an 11% sales drop. ATI sees about breakeven Q4 (adjusted) and profitability in fiscal 2002.

Catalina Marketing (POS) announced a multi-year partnership with General Mills.

Lone Star Steakhouse (STAR) will replace in the S&P MidCap 400 Certegy Inc. (CEY), which is being spin off by Equifax, after the close of trading on July 6.


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