Markets & Finance

Express Scripts Dives on Profit Taking

AG Edward downgraded Qualcomm (QCOM

) to hold from strong buy.

S&P downgraded EchoStar Communictions (DISH

) to hold. Ladenburg cuts estimates, but sees price weakness as a buying opportunity. On Thursday the company posted a $0.20 Q1 loss vs. a $0.36 loss.

Goldman cut estimates on Oracle (ORCL

) and maintains market outperform.

Advanced Digital Information (ADIC

) sees about $80M-$82M Q2 sales vs. $95M-$105M forecast and notes Q2 original equipment manufacturer sales down about 30%. Bear Stearns downgraded to neutral.

Sapient (SAPE

) posted a $0.16 Q1 loss vs. a $0.05 loss on 54% lower consolidated service revenue. RW Baird downgraded to market underperform. S&P reiterates avoid.

SWS Securities downgraded Express Scripts (ESRX

) to market outperform. On Thursday the company disclosed in an 8K the receipt of a subpoena from a U.S. Attorney in Boston related to dealings with TAP Pharmaceuticals.

S&P says Vodafone Group (VOD

) VOD reduced fiscal 2003 (Mar.) projections for German and Italian cell phone operations, and keeps avoid.

Raymond James upgraded Administaff (ASF

) to buy from market perform. On Wednesday the company posted a wider than expected Q1 loss.

Adobe Systems (ADBE

) received a favorable jury verdict in its intellectual property case against Macromedia (MACR

), finding willful patent infringement.

Sinclair Broadcasting (SBGI

) posted slightly higher Q1 broadcast cash flow from operations and sees $0.37-$0.39 Q2 operating cash flow (after taxes), with 2002 to be up in the high single digits to low teen percents vs. $1.08 year ago. Goldman upgraded to market outperform.

Resmed (RMD

) posted $0.27 vs. $0.24 Q3 EPS from operations on 24% revenue rise. The company says if current uncertainties in German SDB market continue, it will be a challenge for it to meet the consensus Q4 EPS estimate of $0.30.

Guidant (GDT

) announced FDA approval of its CONTAK CD/EASYTRAK system for treatment of heart failure.

Agrium (AGU

) posted a $0.25 Q1 loss per share, before net losses in Argentina from foreign exchange effects, vs. $0.04 EPS on a 17% sales decline. Agrium says competitive pressures will result in lower nitrogen prices and therefore a lower overall gross profit in the first half of 2002.

Amkor Technology (AMKR

) posted a $1.15 Q1 loss per share (including items) from operations on a 27% revenue decline. The company posted Q1 EBITDA of $22M vs. $103M and expects Q2 revenue to increase about 20%.

American Power Conversion (APCC

) posted $0.08 vs. $0.14 Q1 EPS on a 16% revenue decline. The company says IT spending, particularly within the corporate environment, continues to lack signs of near term improvement. S&P keeps its hold recommendation on the shares.

Avant (AVNT

) posted $0.79 vs. $0.48 Q1 EPS (pro forma) on a 15% revenue rise.

Emerson (EMR

) posted $0.65 vs. $0.83 Q2 EPS on a 17% revenue decline.

Immunex (IMNX

) will sell its Leukine business to Schering for $380 million in cash, plus payment of additional cash consideration upon achievement of certain milestones.

First Tennessee (FTN

) will be added to the S&P 500 Index after the close of trading on May 3, 2002, replacing Compaq, which is being acquired.

Later, Baby

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