Markets & Finance

Northwest Airlines Loss Widens


Northwest Airlines (NWAC) posted a $5.68 fourth quarter loss per share vs. a $2.55 loss (including charges) as higher operating expenses and costs tied to aircraft retirement and facility closures offset an 18% revenue rise. S&P reiterates hold.

Caminus (CAMZ) agreed to be acquired by Sungard Data for $9.00 cash per share.

Harley Davidson (HDI) posted 49 cents vs. 39 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 14% revenue rise.

Chinese web portal Sohu.com (SOHU) posted five cents fourth quarter earnings per share vs. a seven-cent loss on a sharp revenue rise, and sees first quarter earnings per share of no less than six cents on revenue of $12.5 million.

Movie production and distribution company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) reportedly sees 22 cents to 24 cents fourth quarter earnings per share, and a 2003 loss of 28 cents to 38 cents. Seperately, Tracinda Corp. says that, in order to take advantage of tax benefits before its fiscal year-end, it intends to sell 25 million MGM shares in an underwritten public offering.

Laboratory products maker Beckman Coulter (BEC) sees 90 cents fourth quarter earnings per share -- the high end of guidance, excluding a patent infringement settlement with Streck Labs -- on about a 3% revenue rise. S&P upgraded, while Thomas Weisel keeps buy.

UBS Warburg upgraded Juniper Networks (JNPR) to buy from neutral, and says the Internet networking gear maker's near-term visibility is improving, while its long-term fundamentals remain positive.

Duane Reade (DRD) sees 38 cents to 41 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (including items) on 3.8% higher same store sales, and $1.40-$1.50 2003 earnings per share on 5%-7% higher same store sales. S&P downgraded to hold from accumulate.

Steel Technologies (STTX) posted lower-than-expected 38 cents vs. 18 cents first quarter earnings per share on a 24% sales rise, and says consolidations and supply/demand dynamcis is creating raw material pricing volatility that is impacting margins.

Charles Schwab (SCH) posted seven cents vs. eight cents fourth quarter earnings per share from operations on a 5.9% revenue decline, citing an extremely difficult market environment for its clients for the third year in a row. The results missed estimates by a penny.

Citigroup (C) posted 47 cents vs. 69 cents fourth quarter core earnings per share despite flat revenues. The company noted fourth quarter results include a previously-announced $1.3 billion aftertax charge for a settlement on a conflict of interest investigation by regulators. Still, Citigroup's results beat expectations.

First Virginia (FVB) agreed to be acquired by BB&T Corp. via a $3.38 billion stock swap. Terms: 1.26 BB&T shares for each First Virginia share. S&P upgraded.

Electronic Data Systems (EDS) says the SEC's previously announced informal inquiry has moved to a formal investigation. Bernstein says the potential for the inquiry to move to an investigation was a known risk.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) posted 48 cents vs. 36 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 14% sales rise (including foreign exchange).

Georgia Pacific (GP) posted breakeven second quarter vs. 42 cents earnings per share from continuing operations due to higher pension costs and difficult market conditions. The company expects to reduce administrative overhead costs by about $135 million below the 2002 levels.

The board of Taubman Centers (TCO) unanimously voted to reject a revised $20 per share cash offer by Simon Property Group in conjunction with a unit of Westfield America Trust as inadequate.

Gap (GPS) announced the resignation of CFO Heidi Kunz, who will be replaced by Byron Pollitt.

3M (MMM) posted $1.29 vs. 96 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 7.3% revenue rise, and sees $1.38-$1.43 first quarter earnings per share, as well as $5.80-$6.00 2003 earnings per share.

American Pharmaceutical Partners (APPX) sees better than expected 33 cents to 37 cents fourth quarter earnings per share, and 86 cents to 90 cents for 2002, citing strong demand for recently launched, higher margin products, and the leverage of fixed production and other costs.

Interpublic Group (IPG) says the SEC has issued a formal order in connection with its investigation of the company's previously announced restatement of earnings for the periods from 1996 to June 2002.

UBS Warburg reportedly downgraded Dell Computer (DELL) to neutral from buy.

Brocade Communications (BRCD) and Hewlett-Packard announced a joint development pact to deploy HPQ VersaStor virtualization technology within the new Brocade SilkWorm Fabric Application Platform.

Cable & Wireless (CWP) shares are higher in Europe on news that CEO Graham Wallace will be leaving the company.

Echostar Communications (DISH) chairman has been talking with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. as well as Liberty Media about possibly selling the company, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ford Motor (F) posted eight cents fourth quarter earnings per share from operations on a 3.2% sales rise. The automaker estimates 2003 industry demand will be about 16.5 million vehicles in the U.S.

Energizer (ENR) agreed to buy the Schick-Wilkinson Sword razor business from Pfizer (PFE) for $930 million.

Tyco (TYC) delayed paying many bonuses that were due to be awarded last quarter, a move that likely boosted its cash flow, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Infineon Technology (IFX) posted a 31 million euro loss in the first quarter vs. a 564 million loss (EBIT basis) on a 47% revenue rise. The company sees pricing pressure continuing in wireline communications and secure mobile solutions segments in the first half of 2003.


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