Markets & Finance

Cigna Shares Sink as Steeper Costs Hit Profits


Cigna (CI) shares were down sharply after the company posted lower than expected $1.73 vs. $1.71 Q2 EPS from operations. CS First Boston downgraded to hold from buy.

Danaher offered to acquire Cooper Industries (CBE) through a stock-and-cash deal valued at $54-$58 per Cooper share, with a total consideration of about $6.5B-$7B, including debt assumption. S&P maintains hold.

Veritas (VTS) cut the Q4 EPS guidance to $0.05 and believes the $1.60 fiscal 2002 EPS consensus estimate is too optimistic, saying $1.00-$1.20 is more realistic. S&P downgraded to hold. DB Alex

Brown downgraded to market peform.

Wit SoundView recommended investors buy Network Appliance (NTAP), saying it is comfortable the company will meet Q1 numbers.

The FTC voted to allow PepsiCo to purchase Quaker Oats (OAT).

Regenron 's (REGN) follow-up Phase II Axokine study data showed patients treated with its drug kept weight loss for 24 weeks. Regenron posted a $0.34 Q2 loss vs. a $0.08 per-share loss. S&P keeps accumulate.

Salix Pharmaceutical (SLXP) posted a $0.22 Q2 loss vs. $0.12

loss as sharply higher total operating costs offset a revenue

rise.

Pacific Health (PHSY) posted $0.45 vs. $1.96 Q2 EPS despite a 3.3% operating revenue rise. Prudential upgraded to hold from sell.

Galileo (GLC) U.S. and European enforcers are taking a harder look at Cendant Corp's $2.9B buyout of the global reservation system: The Wall Street Journal.

Foster Wheeler (FWC) posted $0.22 vs. $0.21 Q2 EPS as lower costs offset a 18% revenue decline, and lowered the 2001 EPS guidance to $0.55-$0.65.

Bear Stearns initiated coverage of NetIQ Corp. (NTIQ) with buy.

Mentor Corp. (MNTR) posted $0.42 VS. $0.34 Q1 EPS on a 20% sales rise.

Royal Bank of Canada reportedly will acquire Tucker Anthony (TA).

A court set Avant Corp.'s (AVNT) total restitution amount to be paid to Cadence Design Systems in People vs. Avant action at $195,399,855.

Fargo Electronic (FRGO) agreed to be acquired by Zebra Technologies for $7.25 share cash, or about $86M, plus about $18M debt assumption.

Priceline.com (PCLN) posted $0.05 Q2 EPS (pro forma) on a 3.6% revenue rise. The company raised Q3 guidance, and sees $0.05-$0.07 Q3 EPS (basic and pro forma) on revenues exceeding year ago's $341M revenue. Robertson Stephens, CSFB, and S&P raised estimates.

Merrill upgraded several global chip stocks including Analog Devices (ADI),

Maxim (MXIM) and Novellus (NVLS).

Lucent Technology (LU) plans to make private offering of redeemable convertible preferred stock, subject to market and other conditions. Lucent expects to raise $1B through the transaction, and use the proceeds for general corporate purposes. S&P maintains hold.

Fluor Corp. (FLR) posted $0.45 vs. $0.12 Q2 EPS from operations despite a 11% revenue decline and sees $1.85-$1.90 2001 EPS, citing dilution, macro weakness and new investments. S&P downgraded to hold.

General Semi (SEM) agreed to be acquired by Vishsay (VSH) in a deal valed at

$539M (plus $229M assumed debt). Terms: 0.563 Vishay share per General Semi share, or $13.54 per General Semi share.

Jones Apparel (JNY) posted $0.47 vs. $0.46 Q2 EPS from operations on a 7% revenue rise and sees $2.70-$2.80 2001 EPS from operations, and $3.40-$3.45 2002 from operations. CS First Boston downgraded to hold. S&P maintains accumulate.

Fleming Cos. (FLM) posted $0.46 vs. $0.35 Q2 EPS from operations on a 5% sales rise.

Compaq will use ATI Technology's (ATYT) Mobility Radeon graphics processor for its new Evo Notebook N600c and Presario 1700 notebook PCs.

KLA-Tencor (KLAC) posted $0.29 vs. $0.47 Q4 EPS on a 4% revenue drop, reported on a historical basis. The company says its has about six months of shipment backlog. S&P maintains buy.

Merrill upgraded.

Infonet (IN) sees Q1 results below expectations, and plans to substantially revise downward its guidance for fiscal 2002, based primarily on results at European operations. S&P downgraded to hold.

Jack In The Box (JBX) posted $0.55 vs. $0.53 Q3 EPS on a 12% revenue rise. The company sees $0.53-$0.57 4Q EPS, with same-store sales slightly above Q3.

Stratos Lightwave (STLW) lowered Q1 revenue guidance to $17M-$18M and will take a $9M-$10M charge, which represents reserves for excess, obsolete inventory and other charges. CS First Boston, and CIBC World cut estimates.


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