Markets & Finance

Mercury Interactive Soars on Upbeat Profit Report


Gerard Klauer reportedly upgraded Merck (MRK) to buy from neutral.

Compania Anonima Telephone (VNT) is seen higher as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is ousted by the military. The political situation is seen as easing, helping all Venezuelan investments.

Escalade (ESCA) posted a $0.01 Q1 loss vs. $0.10 EPS on 5% lower sales, and says favorable quarterly comps may not be evident until the last half of year.

Concord Communications (CCRD) posted $0.02 Q1 EPS from operations vs. a $0.19 loss (pro forma, 38% tax rate) on a 19% revenue rise, and raised the Q2 EPS and revenue guidance. Janney Montgomery reiterates buy.

Legg Mason intitiated coverage of PayPal (PYPL) with strong buy.

IBM Corp. (IBM) rebounded Friday as the SEC confirmed it had opened and closed a preliminary inquiry into IBM, without action. S&P reiterates accumulate on the stock.

Acclaim Entertainment (AKLM) reported second quarter EPS of $0.06, vs. $0.01, on a 75% revenue rise. The company maintains its $0.39 non-taxed fiscal year 2002 EPS estimate on $308 million in revenues, and its $0.67 fiscal year 2003 EPS forecast on $369 million in revenues.

Cree (CREE) reported breakeven third quarter earnings, vs. $0.19 EPS (adjusted), on 37% lower revenue. The company expects recent cost cuts and streamlining of operations to put the company back on a growth track in the fourth quarter. CIBC World reiterates buy.

HC Wainwright upgrades Veritas Software (VRTS) to strong buy from buy.

ICN Pharmaceutical (ICN) shares fell after the IPO of the minority interest of the company's Ribapharm (RNA) unit was priced today at $10.00, below the expected range of $13-$15.

Mercury Interactive (MERQ) posted better than expected $0.14 vs. $0.18 Q1 EPS from operations on flat revenue. CS First Boston raised estimates and reiterates strong buy. S&P maintains hold.

DoubleClick (DCLK) reported $0.01 first quarter EPS, vs. $0.08 loss per share (pro forma) from operations, as lower operating costs offset a 27% revenue decline. Pacific Crest reportedly downgrades to market perform from buy, while CSFB maintains buy.

RSA Security (RSAS) posted a $0.11 Q1 loss from core operations vs. $0.17 EPS on a 27% revenue decline. RSA sees a Q2 loss from core operations of no greater than $0.04-$0.06. S&P cut estimates, keeps avoid.

Banc of America downgraded GE (GE) to buy from strong buy, and cut the target to $36 from $45. On Thursday, the company posted $0.35 first quarter EPS before charges on flat revenue.

Powerwave (PWAV) posted $0.04 Q1 EPS vs. a $0.15 loss on a 43% revenue rise.

Visx (EYE) posted $0.12 vs. $0.21 Q1 EPS on 30% lower revenue, and says a 35% sequential increase in licensing revenue exceeded expectations. Robertson Stephens raised estimates.

Microchip Technology (MCHP) set a 3-for-2 stock split. Separately, S&P lowered the technology sector to market weight from overweight, citing ambitious valuations and a bearish near-term technical outlook. S&P still likes Microchip and Intuit.

Juniper Networks (JNPR) posted breakeven Q1 vs. $0.25 EPS on a 63% revenue decline. S&P says the company forecast Q2 EPS, and revenue flat with Q1. S&P maintains hold.


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