Markets & Finance

SmartForce Remains Lower


Merrill says a recent Russian embargo of U.S. poultry products is having a negative impact on Smithfield Food (SFD), and cut estimates.

According to press reports, the SEC is looking into accounting methods at Williams Cos. (WMB). S&P keeps hold.

According to press reports, Dynegy (DYN) reportedly used energy trades through a partnership to increase its 2001 cash flow. S&P downgraded to avoid from hold.

SmartForce (SMTF) sees a $0.26-$0.27 Q1 loss on $42M-$43M revenues and ended a merger with Centra Software (CTRA). Smartforce will take a $2M-$2.5M Q1 charge. DB Alex Brown, Banc of America downgraded.

Adelphia Communication (ADLAC) confirmed that the SEC is conducting an informal inquiry into its previously disclosed co-borrowing pacts. Earlier Goldman removed Adelphia from its recommended list, the stock is now not rated.

Sanford Bernstein upgraded Circuit City (CC) to outperform from market perform. On Tuesday the company posted $0.67 vs. $0.46 Q4 EPS (excluding EPS attributed to reserved Circuit City Stores-CarMax shares).

Robert Half International (RHI) sees $0.05-$0.06 Q1 EPS on $465M-$475M revenues. Salomon and Lehman downgraded. Wachovia cut estimates. S&P maintains accumulate.

Salomon SB downgraded Parker Hannifin (PH) to neutral from outperform. JP Morgan downgraded to long term buy from buy.

Merrill downgraded International Game Technology (IGT) to near term buy from strong buy.

Sybase (SY) reaffirmed its first quarter guidance of $0.21 EPS on $210 million in revenue.

Jones Apparel (JNY) expects to exceed its $0.62-$0.64 first quarter EPS from operations guidance. The company will take $0.24 in first quarter charges.

CIBC World upgraded Cott (COTT) to strong buy from buy, citing incremental growth from bottled water.

Salomon Smith Barney downgraded Parker Hannifin (PH) to neutral from outperform. JP Morgan reportedly downgraded the shares to long term buy from buy.

Interwoven (IWOV) sees a $0.10-$0.12 first quarter loss per share (pro forma) on $32-$33 million in revenue. CS First Boston cut its estimates. S&P maintains its hold opinion.

According to press reports, the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into accounting methods at some of the largest U.S. companies -- including Adelphia Communications (ADLAC) and Williams Cos. (WMB) -- broadening the scope of its inquiry beyond issues in the Enron probe. Goldman Sachs removed Adelphia from its recommended list.

Lehman Brothers downgraded Worldcom (WCOM) to market perform from strong buy.

Robert Half (RHI) sees $0.05-$0.06 first quarter EPS on $465-$475 million in revenues. The company expects revenues from temporary staffing and consulting activities to show a 7%-8% sequential decline.

Skechers (SKX) says first quarter EPS should exceed the $0.34 First Call consensus by at least 25% on sales in excess of $235 million.

i2 Technology (ITWO) sees a $0.07-$0.08 first quarter loss per share (pro forma). The company cites continued weak market conditions.


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