Markets & Finance

Wal-Mart Cuts September Growth Targets


Bone transplant maker Osteotech (OSTE) withdrew its 2002 guidance of $0.22-$0.24 EPS on $91.5 million to $93.5 million revenue as a result of voluntarily suspending its Base Tissue unit for five to nine days due to higher than normal sterility failures.

Carpenter Technology (CRS) will eliminate about 500 positions as part of a strategy to cut costs and improve operational effectiveness. Its general counsel will retire on Nov. 1.

Goldman removed Business Objects ( BOBJ) from its recommended list, and now rates the stock as market outperform.

Raymond James upgraded Tupperware (TUP) to strong buy from underperform.

According to The Wall Street Journal, New York prosecutors are examining whether accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers may have known about secret bonuses paid to former Tyco (TYC) executives, and neglected to notify the board.

UBS Warburg cut BellSouth (BLS) and Verizon (VZ) targets.

Lehman says continued declines in mortgage rates from curent levels is a net negative for Fannie Mae's (FNM) EPS outlook.

Wal-Mart (WMT) cut its September sales outlook to 3%-4% from 4%-6%. S&P reiterates buy. Merrill keeps buy.

Walgreen (WAG) posted weaker than expected $0.24 vs. $0.21 fourth-quarter EPS on 9.4% higher total same store sales. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Commonwealth Bank (CMSB) agreed to be acquired by Citizens Financial Group Inc., a unit of RBS Group PLC, for about $450 million cash. Terms: $46.50 per Commonwealth share.

Thomas Weisel downgraded Raytheon (RTN) to market perform from attractive.

Howell Corp. (HWL) agreed to be acquired by Anadarko Petroleum (APC) in a cash merger. Under terms of the deal, holders of Howell common shares will receive $20.75 per share; holders of its $3.50 convertible preferred will get $76.15 per share.

RBC Capital downgraded EBay (EBAY) to underperform from sector perform.

Salomon SB upgraded Silgan Holdings (SLGN) to outperform from in-line on valuation.

Extreme Networks (EXTR) says due to weak economic conditions, it expects first quarter revenue to be about $100 million vs. the previous $113 million forecast, and based on this revenue level, expects to report a loss of about $0.03-$0.04 (GAAP).

Digi International ( DGII) sees $0.08-$0.12 fiscal 2003 earnings per share on revenue of $101 million to $103 million, and says despite difficult economic conditions, it continues to position business to generate significant cash from operations.

Intel (INTC) reportedly tightened its third-quarter revenue forecast to a range of $6.3 billion to $6.7 billion vs. the previous $6.3 billion to $6.9 billion guidance.

Labor Ready (LRW) sees $0.13-$0.15 third-quarter EPS vs. the previous $0.15-$0.17 guidance, and $249 million to $251 million revenue vs. the previous $235 million to $240 million guidance.

Unocal (UCL) says the third quarter will include a special item provision of about $35 million pretax ($22 million aftertax) for anticipated environmental remediation costs.

Merrill reportedly cut its estimates and target on General Electric (GE).

Lehman reportedly cut its estimates on Household International (HI).

First Albany lowered it estimates and target on Cisco Systems ( CSCO).

Morgan Stanley lowered its estimate on Mercury Interactive (MERQ).


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