Markets & Finance

American Express Profits Slide


American Express (AXP) posted Q4 EPS of $0.22 vs. $0.50 on a 2% drop in revenues.

Global Crossing (GX) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Novoste Corp. (NOVT) posted $0.23 Q4 EPS vs. a $0.63 loss and lowered Q1 guidance. Novoste recalls 50 Beta-Cath System devices. Morgan Stanley keeps neutral, Gruntal keeps market perform.

Jim Chanos, hedge fund manager of Ursus Partners, says to short Metris Companies (MXT), according to press reports. Goldman downgrades to market underperform.

Elan Corp. (ELN) says it knows of no reason for the recent decline in its share price, and remains comfortable with the Street's consensus estimates for Q4 and 2001.

Goldman raises Q4 estimates, and reiterates market ourperform on Expedia (EXPE).

Hotel Reservations (ROOM) posted 30% higher Q4 EBITDA on 42%

revenue rise. The company posted $0.27 vs. $0.22 Q4 EPS and sees $775M 2002 revenue., $110M EBITDA, $1.1B 2003 revenue and $156M EBITDA. Lazard Freres upgrades to buy from hold.

Neoware Systems (NWRE) posted $0.06 Q3 EPS vs. a $0.03 loss on 95% revenue rise.

Lehman initiates coverage of NetIQ (NTIQ) with strong buy.

Lehman upgrades PSS World Medical (PSSI) to strong buy from buy.

PanCanadian Energy (PCX) will postpone release of Q4 and year-end results until around Feb. 20.

Morgan Stanley downgrades Cigna (CI) to neutral from outperform.

Albany International (AIN) posted $0.47 vs. $0.30 Q4 EPS from operations despite a 2.1% sales decline.

British Airways (BAB) and AMR's (AMR) American Airlines aborted plans for a trans-Atlantic venture after deciding a second time the regulatory approval price was too high, according to press reports.

Xerox (XRX) posted an operating profit of $0.15 vs. consensus estimates of a loss of $0.01, which exclude restructuring charges and the effects of unhedged currency. Including these items, the company posted a $0.01 Q4 loss vs. $0.04 loss despite a 13% revenue drop. Xerox says it's comfortable with analysts' Q1 estimates.

Toys R Us ( TOY) will take a $237M pre-tax restructure charge associated with facilities consolidation, elimination of 1,900 positions. The company will increase cash flow in 2002, yield

improvements to pre-tax earnings of $25M in 2002.

Centrica North America will acquire the home and business services unit of Enbridge (ENB) Inc. for C$1B.

Wachovia upgrades Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) to strong buy from buy.

Merrill reportedly upgrades Intersil Corp. (ISIL) to near term buy from neutral.

Goldman raised Expedia 's ( EXPE) Q4 estimates, reiterates market outperformer.

Robertson Stephens upgrades Viacom (VIA.B) to buy from market

perform, raises target to $46.

CS First Boston upgrades Texas Instrument( TXN) to buy from hold and set a $35

target.

Barr Laboratory (BRL) received FDA approval for Metformin Hydrochloride Tablets, the generic equivalent of Bristol-Myers' Glucophage tablets.

DST Systems (DST) posted $0.42 vs. $0.52 Q4 EPS despite 19% revenue rise. Believes implementation of accounting change will negatively affect operating margins.

Action Perform ( ACTN) posted better than expected $0.45 Q1 EPS from operations vs. breakeven on 65% sales rise.

Potlatch Corp. ( PCH) posted a $1.12 Q4 loss vs. $0.55 loss on 5.9% sales

decline, citing continued poor market conditions for

most of its products, market-related shutdowns, a higher

interest expense and other charges.

In response to rumors circulating in market, JC Penney (JCP) says it is unaware of any investigation or unannounced litigation.

NL Industries (NL) posted $0.12 vs. $0.46 Q4 EPS from operations on a 4.7% revenue drop. NL notes low TiO2 prices and weak demand.

Beckman Coulter (BEC) posted $0.75 vs. $0.69 Q4 EPS on 10% sales

rise. The company sees 6%-7% Q1 2002 sales growth, 19%-20% net EPS growth, 7%-8% 2002 sales growth and 18%-20% EPS growth.

S&P maintains hold.


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