) sees $2.05-$2.10 fiscal 2003 earnings per share. The art and crafts chain posted 3% lower January same store sales, citing unseasonably cold weather, and less effective mid-month promotions. S&P downgraded to hold from accumulate.
J.P. Morgan upgraded Cephalon (CEPH
) to overweight. On Wednesday the drug maker said it would defend its patent for its narcolepsy treatment Provigil against generic drug makers. The FDA accepted a new drug application filing for the generic form of Provigil's active element.
Agilent Technologies (A
) sees a wider than expected 22-cent to 28-cent first quarter loss before restructuring on revenue of $1.35 billion to $1.45 billion, citing continued weak orders. S&P and Thomas Weisel cut estimates.
) posted 87 cents vs. 43 cents fourth quarter operating earnings per share on 4.6% higher net premiums written. The insurance company sees $3.20-$3.40 2003 operating earnings per share. Legg Mason cut to hold from buy. S&P upgraded to buy.
Adolph Coors (RKY
) posted lower-than-expected 63 cents vs. 49 cents fourth quarter operating earnings per share. Sales rose 76%, reflecting flat Americas sales and the Carling acquisition. S&P reiterates accumulate.
) settled a price dispute with Microsoft over its Xbox game console.
) posted 8% lower January domestic same store sales, and 50 cents to 65 cents first quarter earnings per share. Sears says it remains on track to deliver a low-digit to mid-single digit percentage increase over the $4.92 2002 earnings per share.
) posted 46 cents vs. 37 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on 4% higher net revenue.
Roper Industries (ROP
) sees first quarter earnings per share as much as 15 cents lower than the previous estimate due to delayed shipments to Russian natural gas company Gazprom, and weak downstream oil and gas market conditions. Wachovia cut its estimates.
Disability insurer UnumProvident UNM
) posted 64 cents vs. 62 cents fourth quarter operating earnings per share. S&P reiterates hold. Salomon and CS First Boston downgraded.
Wet Seal (WTSLA
) sees a 15-cent to 20-cent fourth quarter loss (including charges), and 12 cents to 17 cents fiscal 2003 earnings per share. The retailer announced that CEO Kathy Bronstein has been relieved of duties, effective immediately. Also, Wet Seal posted 25% lower January same store sales.
) sees better than expected 34 cents to 35 cents fourth quarter earnings per share due to cost controls and inventory management. The women's retailer posted 10.3% lower January same store sales
Foot Locker (Z
) posted flat fourth quarter same store sales, and a 4.9% total sales rise, and sees $1.10-$1.12 fiscal 2003 earnings per share.
) posted 16% higher January same store sales, and 24% higher total sales. The company sees 51 cents to 57 cents fiscal 2003 earnings per share.
) posted slightly lower January same store sales, and 7.7% higher total sales.
) posted 33 cents vs. eight cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a sharp revenue rise, and posted 48 cents earnings per share (adjusted). The online travel company set a $200 million stock buyback, and a 2-for-1 split. Expedia sees 24 cents first quarter earnings per share (GAAP), and $1.76 for 2003. Erik Blachford was named as CEO.
) expects fiscal 2003 earnings per share to be around $1.80. The world's largest retailer posted 2.3% higher January same store sales, and 13% higher total sales.
IDX Systems (IDXC
) posted a four-cent fourth quarter loss vs. a 48-cent loss on an 18% revenue rise. The company posted 17 cents vs. one cents fourth quarter operating earnings per share, and raised the 74 cents 2003 earnings per share guidance to 77 cents based on an anticipated lower effective tax rate.
Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson (ERICY
) named Carl-Henric Svanberg as CEO. SoundView believes the appointment could eliminate Ericsson's discounted valuation relative to peers. S&P reiterates avoid.
Hot Topic (HOTT
) raised its fourth quarter earnings per share guidance to 49 cents, and posted 14% higher January same store sales, and 43% higher total sales.
Polo Ralph Lauren (RL
) posted 43 cents vs. 46 cents third quarter earnings per share (actual) despite a 13% revenue rise, and reaffirmed the 75 cents to 80 cents fourth quarter earnings per share guidance. The apparel company expects $1.95-$2.05 fiscal 2004 earnings per share.
) raised the 38 cents to 40 cents fourth quarter earnings per share guidance to 44 cents to 46 cents. The retailer posted 4.6% higher January same store sales, and 36% higher total sales.