Markets & Finance

Cisco Tops Targets


After the close of trading Tuesday, networking products manufacturer Cisco (CSCO) posted 15 cents pro forma second quarter earnings per share, vs. nine cents a year ago -- beating analysts' average estimates by two cents. Revenue fell slightly to $4.7 billion.

Jones Apparel (JNY) says it is in talks with Polo Ralph Lauren to possibly restructure their license pacts. Wedbush Morgan cut Jones to hold from buy. S&P downgraded to hold.

Hewitt Assosciates (HEW) posted 30 cents vs. 31 cents first quarter core earnings per share despite a 19% revenue rise, and thinks fiscal 2003 revenue growth will be at the low-end of the previously guided 15%-18% range.

Clark/Bardes (CBC) sees weaker than expected 51 cents to 54 cents fourth quarter earnings per share, citing sluggish new business sales in its Executive Benefits Practice unit, and a slow ramp-up in sales from the start-up of its Human Capital Practice business.

Genzyme General (GENZ) sees lower than expected $1.25-$1.35 2003 earnings per share prior to amortization. The company says selling, general, and administrative spending reflects the full-year impact of a significant step-up in worldwide sales and marketing efforts for Renagel. Gerard Klauer keeps its neutral rating.

American Superconductor (AMSC) posted a 60-cent third quarter loss vs. a 53-cent loss on a 22% revenue decline. The company sees a loss of $2.07 to $2.23 for fiscal 2003. Adams Harkness downgraded to reduce.

Chubb (CB) posted 48 cents vs. 21 cents fourth quarter operating earnings per share on 33% higher net premiums written. The results were impacted by additions to asbestos-related reserves. Chubb sees $4.60 to $5.00 2003 operating earnings per share. S&P keeps buy.

Myriad Genetics (MYGN) posted a 27-cent second quarter loss vs. a 10-cent loss. The company announced the discovery of a new gene named DEP1 that causes depression. S&P reiterates hold.

Shares of American International Group (AIG) moved sharply lower after the company said it will take a $1.8 billion after-tax charge as it sets aside cash to pay higher than expected claims by U.S. businesses to cover the cost of sick workers and corporate directors facing lawsuits. S&P cut to avoid from accumulate, while Raymond James cut to market peform. Salomon trimmed its estimates.

After a delayed opening, shares of Oxford Health (OHP) headed lower after company posted 84 cents vs. $1.00 fourth-quarter earnings per share as higher costs offset a 15% revenue rise. Salomon Smith Barney downgraded the shares to in-line from outperform.

Republic Service (RSG) posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 35 cents vs. 28 cents (adjusted) on a 7.4% revenue rise. The company lowered is 2003 EPS guidance. S&P reiterates accumulate. Deutsche Bank keeps hold.

JP Morgan downgraded Interpublic (IPG) to underweight from neutral.

Argonaut Group (AGII)delayed release of its fourth-quarter earnings in order to complete a previously announced study of its reserves relating to asbestos and environmental liabilities. Argonaut deferred consideration of a quarterly dividend.

Hologic (HOLX) posted worse than expected first quarter loss of 5 cents per share vs. a loss of 10 cents on a 3% revenue rise. S&P downgraded the shares to hold from accumulate.

Colgate-Palmolive (CL) posted 59 cents vs. 49 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 3.9% revenue rise.

AaiPharma (AAII) raised the $1.53-$1.58 2003 earnings per share estimate to $1.58-$1.65, and raised the $270 million to $275 million revenue estimate to $275 million to $280 million. The company says the FDA approved its abbreviated new drug application for Azasan 75 mg. and 100 mg. tablets. The company set a 3-for-2 stock split.

General Electric's (GE) GE Consumer Finance unit will acquire First National's secured and unsecured lending business from Abbey National for 848 million British pounds.

Celgene (CELG) says its Revimid received fast track designation from the FDA for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

CVS Corp. (CVS) posted 5.8% higher January same store sales, and 7.2% higher total sales.

Walgreen (WAG) posted 7.7% higher January same store sales, and 13% higher total sales.

Perry Ellis (PERY) will acquire Salant Corp. in a $91 million deal. Terms: $9.37 per Salant share, comprised of at least $5.35 in cash and not more than $4.02 of Perry Ellis stock.

Solectron (SLR) inked a supply and manufacturing pact with Hewlett-Packard, valued at $1.4 billion over five years. S&P reiterates hold.

Tellabs (TLAB) CFO Joan Ryan resigned.


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