Markets & Finance

Prudential Shares Climb in Trading Debut


Prudential Financial (PRU) climbed more than $2 after its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Underwriters offered 110 million shares at $27.50 each.

Jack Henry (JKHY) sees $0.14-$0.15 Q2 EPS, below Street estimates, and says software and hardware revenues from in-house core system installations were lower than expected. Pacific Crest downgraded to market perform.

Superconductor Technology (SCON) received a follow-on purchase order for at least 1,000 of its SuperFiler systems from a major North American wireless carrier.

Bear Stearns says Ericsson's (ERICY) near-term visibility remains limited.

Sotheby's (BID) board reportedly will discuss the possible sale of the company with the Taubman family.

Ford placed a blanket purchase order with ID Systems (IDSY) for its IVEC system for powered material handling vehicles.

Identix (IDNX) is among the security equipment companies enjoying a run-up amidst expected increased demand for their products.

MFS, the manager MFS Special Value Trust (MFV), will review the investment objectives of the fund; could lead to fund's liquidation.

Isis Pharmaceutical (ISIP) and Amgen (AMGN) entered a three-year collaboration to discover new antisense drugs.

Aetna (AET) will cut its workforce by about 6,000, and take a 4Q after-tax charge of about $125M.

Macromedia (MACR) lowered 3Q revenue guidance to $70M-$75M, citing tough economic conditions, and does not expect to return to profitability by end of fiscal 2002. Robertson Stephens, CS First Boston cut estimates.

Boeing (NA) says based on current information and assessements, it expects to take a $700M non-recurring, after-tax 4Q charge for September 11 related events, minor charges at unit. Boeing will continue production of the 717 with a lower production rate.

Stanley Furniture (STLY) lowered 4Q EPS from operations gudiance to $0.26-$0.31 on 15%-19% lower sales, and will close and consolidate certain facilities; cut 13% of workforce, take a $3M-$4M 4Q charge, and take the remainder of the cost in 2002.

United Technologies (UTX) sees $3.81 2001 EPS, consistent with estimates, $4.32 for 2002, including a gain of $0.42 for FAS 142. The company does not anticipate improvements in its markets until the second half of the year.

QRS Corp. (QRSI) says due to challenging economic conditions, it is lowering 4Q revenue guidance to $35M-$38M, and lowering 2001 guidance to $143M-$146M. QRS will also phase out certain products.

Charles Schwab (SCH) reported total client daily average trades were 197,000 in Nov. 2001, down 18% from year ago, up 5% from Oct. 2001.

Tricon Global (YUM) reaffirmed $3.18 2001 EPS guidance and sees $3.53-$3.63 2002 EPS from ongoing operationg, including a $0.13 benefit from FAS141/142.

E*Trade (ET) agreed to acquire customer accounts from 2Cube, a joint ventue between JP Morgan, Pacific Century Cyberworks Ltd., in Hong Kong.) The deal is immediately accretive to both revenue and EPS.

Ashland (ASH) says the energy outlook in 2002 is uncertain.

AOL Time Warner (AOL) is in alliance with Univision Communications, for its content to be easily accessible across several AOL properties, and for Univision.com to feature AOL's email and instant messaging.

HJ Heinz (HNZ) posted $0.59 vs. $0.69 2Q EPS from operations despite 11.7% sales rise. Heinz sees 3Q results slightly less than 2Q, and sees improved 4Q. S&P keeps hold.

Ciena (CIEN) posted $0.05 vs. $0.09 4Q EPS from operation despite a 28% revenue rise, and says for short-term, given uncertainty in the market and the unpredictability of revenues, its sustained investment means it will incur operating losses.

Applied Materials (AMAT) set a workforce reduction of about 10%, and will record a restructuring charge in 1Q. Lehman says shares are fully valued, and he remains cautious. S&P keeps hold.

Lucent Technologies (LU) sees a $0.23-$0.26 1Q loss (pro forma, continuing operations) on $3.1M-$3.4M revenues. Lucent thinks 1Q will represent a low point in current downturn, and sees a sequential improvement in 2Q.

Hotjobs.com (HOTJ) confirmed it has received a letter from Yahoo! proposing acquisition of all shares at $10.50 per share in cash and stock. HotJobs is currently in party to merge with TMP Worldwide.

CostCo Wholesale (COST) posted $0.28 vs. $0.28 1Q EPS on a 5% same store sales rise, 11% total sales rise. CostCo noted 1Q fiscal 2002 EPS wasimpacted by $0.01 provision for closing costs.

El Paso Energy (EPN) reaffirmed $12M-$17M 4Q earnings expectation, sees 2002 net income of about $70M.


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