Markets & Finance

Tenet Healthcare Unveils Probe


ChevronTexaco (CVX) posted $1.17 vs. $1.61 third quarter earnings per share from operations on a slight revenue drop and took a $1.55 billion third quarter charge for its Dynegy investment. Including the charge, the oil exploration company posted a loss of $0.85, vs. $1.19 earnings per share. S&P reiterates hold.

Tenet Healthcare (THC) says a U.S. attorney is investigating alleged unnecessary angioplasties, coronary bypasses, heart catherizations and false billings by two doctors. Tenet says it is conducting its own internal investigation.

Flowers Foods (FLO) posted $0.27 vs. $0.28 third quarter earnings per share despite an 1.1% revenue rise, and reaffirmed the $0.80-$0.90 2002 earnings per share guidance on $1.6 billion in revenues. Janney Montgomery reiterates buy.

Goldman added Clorox (CLX) to its recommended list; the stock was rated market outperform. On Wednesday the company posted $0.71 first quarter operating earnings per share and forecast $2.18-$2.23 for fiscal 2003.

Aon (AOC) posted $0.46 vs. $0.26 third quarter earnings per share on a 17% revenue rise, and terminated a plans to sell/spinoff its underwriting unit. Aon sees better than expected $0.58 fourth quarter and $1.61 2002 earnings per share, excluding items. S&P downgraded to avoid.

Andrx (ADRX) posted a $0.46 third quarter loss vs. $0.35 earnings per share despite an 11% revenue decline. Andrx notes a negative court decision on its bioequivalent version of Prilosec; the company is facing a number of issues that may adversely affect near term operating results.

Martha Stewart (MSO) posted $0.06 vs. $0.10 third quarter earnings per share as higher costs offset a 4.2% revenue rise. The company sees fourth quarter earnings per share of about $0.03.

Aetna (AET) posted $0.73 third quarter operating earnings per share (excluding favorable developments) vs. a $0.34 loss, beating expectations by $0.03, as lower total benefits and expenses offset a 23% revenue drop.

EBay (EBAY) reaffirmed fourth quarter guidance of $0.22-$0.23 earnings per share (pro forma) on revenue of $372M-$381M, and says transaction revenues could range between $359M-$366M. EBay sees $1.12-$1.15 2003 earnings per share (pro forma), and $1.02-$1.05 (GAAP).

Albertsons (ABS) says a steeper than expected sales decline will likely cause third quarter earnings per share to be 5%-10% below current guidance, and it does not expect the environment to improve in the near term. Albertsons sees $2.10-$2.14 fiscal 2003 earnings per share from continuing operations.

Jones Apparel (JNY) posted $0.95 vs. $0.41 third quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on a 2.9% sales rise and raised the 2002 earnings per share guidance to $2.79-$2.81, equating to $0.48-$0.50 fourth quarter earnings per share. Jones is comfortable with the $3.05 2003 guidance.

Felcor Lodging (FCH) posted $0.44 vs. $0.50 third quarter recurring funds from operations on a 1.8% revenue decline. Felcor estimates October revenue per available room (RevPAR) to be about 4%-5% above year ago, which is below expectations.

UBS Warburg reportedly downgraded Cree (CREE) to reduce from hold.

Electronic Data (EDS) posted $0.18 vs. $0.44 third quarter earnings per share on a 3% revenue decline. EDS will cut its workforce by 3%-4%. S&P reiterates avoid. Sanford Bernstein says the third quarter is "not that bad."

PacifiCare Health (PHSY) posted $0.93 (adjusted for an accounting charge) vs. $0.50 third quarter earnings per share despite a 6% revenue decline, and raised the 2002 earnings per share guidance to $3.90, excluding items. UBS Warburg raised its estimates. S&P keeps hold.


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