Markets & Finance

Adelphia Communications Slides on Debt Concerns


Adelphia Communications (ADLAC

) BoA downgraded to buy from strong buy. Salomon cut targets. On Wednesday the company posted $395.3M vs. $275.9M 4Q EBITDA.

Advanced Fibre Communications (ARCI

) will acquire AccessLan.

USB Piper believes is Direct Focus (DFXI

) poised to report another excellent quarter, and raised its $42 target to $53, and reiterated strong buy.

DB Alex Brown cut its targets on QLT Inc. (QLTI

), saying it expects a March 29 announcement from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to be for no national reimbursement coverage for Visudyne, a treatment for blindness in the elderly developed by QLT and Novartis for occult age-related macular degeneration.

Merrill Lynch upgraded Veeco Instruments (VECO

) to near-term strong buy from buy, and maintains its long-term strong buy rating.

Alltrista Corp. (ALC

) agreed to acquire Tilia International for $160M and expects the acquisition to more than double Alltrista's consumer products revenue.

Talx Corp. (TALX

) sees $0.11-$0.13 Q4 EPS on revenue of $10.5M-$11M, citing lower than expected transaction volume in The Work Number. Adams Harkness downgraded to market perform from strong buy.

Prudential upgraded Adobe Systems (ADBE

) to buy from hold.

Aksys Ltd. (AKSY

) received FDA clearance to market its Personal Hemodialysis System.

Building Materials (BMHC

) sees $0.02-$0.04 vs. $0.17 Q4 EPS from operations despite sales 10% higher than a year ago, citing a slowdown in permit activity and inclement weather in the Puget Sound area.

Juniper Networks (JNPR

) sees Q1 EPS slightly above breakeven on lower than expected revenue of $120M-$125M. CS First Boston cut estimates. S&P says the preannouncement was expected, and cut the 2002 EPS estimate and maintains hold.

BJ Services (BJS

) cut the $0.30-$0.32 Q2 EPS guidance to $0.23-$0.25 and says drilling activity has fallen faster and somewhat deeper than expected in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Merrill downgraded Charles Schwab (SCH

) and other financial service firms, citing valuation. Merrill still sees upside in larger firms such as CitiGroup (C

).

Instinet Group (INET

) says it may incure a Q1 net operating loss due to a shortfall in broker-dealer revenue. Instinet raised its projected restructuring charge for the first half of 2002 to $55M from $25M. CS First Boston cut estimates.

Press reports say the SEC asked IBM Corp. (IBM

) to consider amending its 1999 annual report. S&P maintains buy.

Datum (DATM

) cut its Q1 outlook to $17M revenues, and a $0.30 operating loss, which includes $0.05 non-recurring charge related to severance costs.

Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI

) received a not approvable letter from the FDA for Oxytrol, a transdermal oxybutynin therapy for overactive bladder. A Watson unit, Somerset Pharmaceutical, also received a not approvable letter for Emsam, a transdermal therapy for depression. Somerset is also owned by Mylan Labs (MYL

).

Qwest Communications (Q

) inked a pact with Japan Telecom to jointly offer communications services to multinational corporations needing services between Japan/US and Japan/Europe.

Tollgrade Communications (TLGD

) reaffirmed Q1 guidance for revenue of $16M-18M, and $0.06-$0.10 EPS.

Lawson Software (LWSN

) inked a software solution contract with Lucent, to replace several internally developed systems at Lucent.

Boeing (BA

) says its Boeing Space & Communications unit is strongly positioned to pursue a potential multibillion-dollar contract for the U.S. armed forces' 3G satellite-based mobile commun. system.


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