Markets & Finance

Spinnaker Turns Down the Gas


Spinnaker Exploration (SKE) reduced its fourth-quarter production volume expectation to 12.9 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent from 14.0 bcfe. The company now expects 2001 production of 53.1 bcfe vs. 30.2 bcfe in 2000.

Sealed Air (SEE) says there are no changes in its business or prospects that would explain a 10% decline in the stock yesterday. Salomon says selling was way overdone and recommends buying on weakness.

F5 Networks (FFIV) signs a distribution pact with Ingram Micro for the company's suite of iTCM products to resellers, solution providers and system integrators in North America.

Miller Johnson downgrades Visionics (VSNX) to buy from strong buy after the company's shares jumped on news that it, with Raytheon, will develop and market integrated facial recognition biometrics systems.

FIAT launches a $2.2B bond offering convertible into shares of General Motors (GM) as part of a restructuring designed to cut its EUR 6 billion debt.

Vivendi Universal (V) will finalize a deal to buy USA Networks' (USAI) Entertainment Sector business for $13B-$18B before the end of this week, according to press reports.

Thirty million Class B shares of food supplier Aramark Worldwide (RMK) were offered at $23.00 per share.

Salomon Smith Barney downgrades Allmerica Financial (AFC) to outperform from buy, removes the stock from its recommended list.

S&P ties weakness in El Paso (EPG) to newswire article stating that El Paso used 3rd party financing to keep about $2B off its balance sheet (about $1B last year, $1B this year).

SoundView raises its price taget on Peoplesoft (PSFT) raises to $48, from $39.

Nokia Corp. (NOK) sees total sequential fourth-quarter net sales growth of about 20%, and pro forma earnings per share at the upper end or even above its earlier indicated range of 0.18-0.20 euro.

Xilinx (XLNX) says that its third-quarter revenue is on track to decline 5% from the previous quarter. S&P maintains its accumulate ranking on the shares.

Merrill Lynch reportedly downgraded its rating on Pacificare Health (PHSY) to near- and long-term sell from neutral.

Magellan Health Services (MGL) reported a $0.02 fourth-quarter loss per share from continuing operations vs. a $0.10 loss on flat revenue. Magellan sees earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, of $215-$220 million and EPS of $0.42-$0.50 in fiscal 2002.

Alliance Gaming (ALLY) sees $0.50 second-quarter EPS on revenues in excess of $145 million. For all of fiscal 2002 (ending June), it projects EPS of $1.79-$1.84. Also, Alliance received regulatory approval in New Jersey for its Evolution Series operating platform. The company delivered its first video wide-area progressive game based on the new platform to casinos in Atlantic City.

Intervoice-Brite (INTV) sees lower than expected third-quarter net income at around the breakeven level ($0.07 cash EPS from operations) on sales of $57.5-$58.5 million.

Triad Hospitals (TRI) sees 2001 EPS of $0.54-$0.56 on revenue of $2.67-$2.69 billion, and 2002 EPS of $1.40-$1.48 'on revenue of $3.36-$3.42 billion.

Activision (ATVI) raises 3Q, 4Q EPS guidance to $0.58, $0.10, respectively. It now sees $0.73 EPS for fiscal 2002 and $0.85 in fiscal 2003. The company cites strength of video game market and better-than-expected consumer response to holiday slate.

Due to severe nationwide impact of World Trade Center attacks, continuing impact of troubled economy and unfavorable business conditions, Morton's Restaurant (MRG) expects 4Q results to be "substantially" below year ago.

WR Hambrecht believes eBay (EBAY) is on track to exceed its 4Q EPS estimates. He reiterates a strong buy rating.

Kroger (KR) posts $0.32 vs. $0.28 3Q EPS on 3.8% sales rise. Due to softer than expected sales so far in 4Q, the company expects $0.46-$0.48 4Q EPS from operations and $1.48-$1.50 in fiscal 2002.

Safeco (SAFC) says 4Q pre-tax operating income will be reduced by about $0.10 per share due to Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Enron (ENE).

Denbury Resources (DNR) cuts its 2002 CAPEX budget by $25 million to adjust for loss in potential revenue and cash flow during 2002 from its natural gas hedges with Enron. The company will pursue legal remedies to protect itself as creditor in the Enron banckruptcy.

Interstate Bakeries (IBC) posts $0.41 vs. $0.22 2Q EPS on 1.4% higher sales.

Triad Hospitals (TRI) sees $0.54-$0.56 2001 EPS on revenue of $2.67B-$2.69B, $1.40-$1.48 2002 EPS on revenue of $3.36B-$3.42B. CIBC World raises estimates for the company.

Lehman upgrades Wendy's International (WEN) to strong buy from market perform.


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