) sees a 15 cents to 23 cents first quarter loss on lower than expected sales of $19 million to $21 million, citing technical delays in new product introduction. S&P keeps hold. The company provides repair and testing services for the flat-panel display manufacturing industry.
Qwest Communications (Q
) announced that noteholders voluntarily dismissed a complaint filed in connection with the company's $12.9 billion debt exchange. Kaufman Brothers reiterates buy.
Baird upgraded discount general merchandise chain Fred's (FRED
) to outperform from neutral.
Construction management services company URS Corp. (URS
) posted 21 cents vs. 80 cents fourth quarter earnings per share as charges and higher costs offset a 10% revenue rise. URS sees lower than expected $1.75 fiscal 2003 earnings per share. S&P keeps avoid.
Credit Suisse First Boston downgraded Foot Locker (Z
) to neutral after Nike said it would remove the sneaker retailer as a primary distribution point for elite/statement product in the U.S.
) posted 12 cents vs. 11 cent second quarter earnings per share from continuing operations despite a 1.4% revenue decline, and sees 3% lower third quarter sales. Wachovia upgraded to buy from hold. S&P reiterates sell.
) posted 57 cents vs. 48 cents second quarter earnings per share on an 8% sales rise (6% in constant dollars), beating expectations.
Raymond James downgraded Royal Caribbean (RCL
) to market perform from outperform.
Salomon upgraded Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX
) to in-line from underperform. CIBC reiterates sector outperform. On Thursday the company and Pfizer announced a global pact to develop and promote Neurocrine's insomnia drug.
Morgan Stanley upgraded Georgia Gulf (GGC
) to equal-weight from underweight. On Wednesday the company raised its fourth quarter guidance.
Ocular Sciences (OCLR
) sees 32 cents to 36 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on revenue of $66 million to $68 million. The company says sales of higher-margin disposable contact lenses had fallen. Baird downgraded to neutral from outperform.
) sees 27 cents first quarter earnings per share, above the 24 cents consensus, and continues to be cautious about the business outlook. The consulting firms sees 21 cents to 25 cents second quarter earnings per share on a 1%-6% net revenue drop, and ses $1.05 fiscal 2003 earnings per share on 0%-2% revenue growth.
) says the SEC has formalized its investigation of the company's disclosure and accounting for cost overruns on certain engineering and construction jobs.
) sees $1.30 2002 earnings per share from core operations due to further challenges in Mexico, Venezuela, Korea, and the Philippines. Raymond James downgraded to underperform from market perform.
Merrill upgraded Business Objects (BOBJ
) to buy from neutral.
Electronics Boutique (ELBO
) cut the $1.33-$1.39 fourth quarter earnings per share guidance to $1.05-$1.13, and cut the 8%-12% same store sales increase to a 5%-9% decrease. The video game retailer sees $1.39-$1.47 fiscal 2003 pro forma earnings per share, citing the economy and the shorter holiday shopping season.
Prudential Financial (PRU
) will buy American Skandia from Skandia Insurance Co. for total consideration of $1.265 billion, and expects the acquisition to add 10 cents to 15 cents to the 2003 earnings per share, and sees $2.50-$2.65 2003 earnings per share (after-tax adjustments from operations).
) posted lower than expected $1.85 vs. $1.69 second quarter earnings per share on a 4% revenue rise, and sees fiscal 2003 earnings per share about equal to fiscal 2002's $2.50, with the benefit of Harry Potter book five to be recorded in fiscal 2004.
Tenet Healthcare (THC
says federal agents completed removal of certain records from two administrative offices, and have departed the Alvarado Hopital Medical Center. Tenet notes no FBI agents were involved.
Research In Motion (RIMM
) posted a $1.20 third quarter loss vs. an eight cent loss (GAAP) as restructuring charges and litigation costs offset a 4.7% revenue rise.
Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP
) says a Phase III clinical trial for its development product MorphiDex did not meet its objectives. Separately, Endo submitted a new drug application for oxymorphone extended release tablets, a pain relief drug.