Markets & Finance

Kmart Files for Bankruptcy


Thirty-seven of Kmart Corp.'s (KM) U.S. units file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This move indicates that the retailer will reorganize, and it targets an emergence from Chapter 11 in 2003. Banc of America says Kmart will not disappear.

Moody's reportedy places rating on Eott Energy (EOT) under review for downgrade after the company said 2001 earnings will be comparable to year ago and it will pay a fourth quarter dividend of $0.25 per unit. Salomon Smith Barney cuts its estimates.

Cyberonics Inc. (CYBX) says acute results in a pivotal depression study assessing the efficacy of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy showed no statistically significant differences between control and placebo.

On Monday, Morgan Stanley downgraded Nokia Corp. (NOK) to underperform from neutral.

HealthSouth Corp. (HRC) receives notice that the Department of Justice is partially intervening in a lawsuit against it alleging that certain physical therapy practices violate Medicare regulations.

CIBC World suspends rating of ImClone Systems (IMCL) while Lehman Brothers cuts estimates. On Friday, the biotech company received a letter from the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations requesting information pertaining to Erbitux.

Tyco International (TYC) plans to separate into four public companies -- healthcare; fire protection & flow control; financial services business will be taken public through an IPO and distribution to holders; security and electronics business combined as fourth independent company. Tyco will sell Tyco Plastics.

Amazon.com (AMZN) posts $0.09 fourth quarter EPS (pro forma) on a 15% rise in sales. The Internet retailer sees $775-$825 million in first quarter sales, break even to $16 million pro forma loss. It sees 2002 sales up by 10% or more. RBC Capital upgrades to outperform from sector perform.

Gencorp (GY) reschedules its fourth quarter release pending the review of previously reported unaudited results for fiscal 2001. Preliminary information indicates a revision of 2001 quarterly results that could be material. The company says disregard previous guidance.

Banc Of America (BAC) posts $1.28 compared with $0.85 fourth-quarter EPS on 10% revenue rise, higher investment banking income, higher trading account profits, investment, brokerage service fees.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) posts $0.39 vs. $0.32 fourth quarter EPS from operations on a 16% sales rise (excluding foreign exchange).

Sanford Bernstein upgrades Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) to outperform from market perform.

Verisign Inc. (VRSN) and IBM (IBM) ink pact whereby the companies integrate key products, market new, enhanced security services to enterprise customers.

Allergan Inc. (AGN) board okays the spin-off of its optical medical device business. Separately, the company posts $0.61 vs. $0.48 fourth quarter EPS from operations on a 13% rise in worldwide sales.

Willamette (WLL) agrees to be acquired by Weyerhaeuser (WY) for $55.50 cash per share. The company says talks with Georgia-Pacific (GP) have ended. Salomon Smith Barney upgrades Willamette to outperform from neutral. JP Morgan reportedly downgrades Georgia-Pacific to market perform from buy.

Lucent Technologies (LU) posts $0.23 first quarter loss (pro forma) vs. $0.42 loss despite 7.9% lower revenue. The company sees 10%-15% second quarter sequential revenue rise, bottom line to improve at an even greater rate. It expects profitability in the current fiscal year.

AOL Time Warner (AOL) is reportedly in talks to buy Red Hat (RHAT).

International Paper (IP) posts $0.12 vs. $0.28 fourth quarter EPS from operations on 13% lower sales. Although it expects a weak first quarter, it does expect to see improvement begin in the second quarter.

Fleming (FLM) says that Kmart (KM) did not make regular weekly payment for delivery of food and other consumable products. Fleming stops shipments to all Kmart stores. S&P keeps sell rating.

Saks (SKS) believes Moody's downgrade of its corporate debt fails to reflect operating results of its business and the overall strength of its financial position.


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