Markets & Finance

Hewlett Family Won't Vote for H-P-Compaq Deal


Shares of Hewlett-Packard (HWP) were higher after the Hewlett family, which holds a 5% stake in the technology concern, said it will vote against the proposed merger of H-P and Compaq Computer (CPQ). The family says H-P will create more value as a stand-alone entity. Compaq shares moved lower on the news.

Drive-in restaurant operator Sonic Corp (SONC) said it sees first quarter earnings per share toward the lower end of current $0.33-$0.36 range of analyst estimates. Roberston Stephens recommends purchasing the stock on weakness.

Self-storage operator Storage USA (SUS) agreed to be acquired by Security Capital Group for $42 cash per share.

Wireless data services provider Aether Systems (AETH) and Internet service provider America Online, a unit of AOL Time Warner, announced a strategic alliance to develop and market wireless solutions to small, medium-sized businesses.

Global search firm TMP Worldwide (TMPW) posted third quarter earnings per share of $0.35 versus $0.26 despite 5% lower total commissions/fees.

AdvancePCS (ADVP), a health services company, posted second quarter earnings per share of $0.30 versus $0.12 (excluding charges) on a sharp revenue rise. The company reaffirmed fiscal year 2002 guidance and raises fiscal year 2003 earnings per share estimate to $1.52 from $1.45. Morgan Stanley raised its earnings estimates on the company.

StarTek Inc. (SRT), an Internet services company, posted third quarter earnings per share of $0.19 versus $0.35 on 17% lower revenue. The company does not consider third quarter results indicative of trends in the fourth quarter since current activity seems to be returning to patterns seen in the second quarter.

Cisco Systems (CSCO), the networking gear maker, posted better than expect first quarter earnings per share of $0.04 versus $0.18 on 32% lower sales. The company noted that its sales increased 3% sequentially. Standard and Poor's maintained its hold rating on the stock while ABN Amro and Lehman upgraded.

MetLife (MET), the insurance company, posted third quarter earnings per share of $0.21 versus $0.31. The current quarter includes after-tax insurance loss from the terrorist attacks and investment losses. The company currently expects fourth quarter earnings per share from operations of $0.58-$0.60 excluding a $356 charge.

Walt Disney (DIS), the entertainment and media giant, saw its investment lowered by Goldman Sachs to market perform from market outperform.


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