Markets & Finance

Brocade Meets Targets


After the close of trading Wednesday, data storage networking firm Brocade Communications (BRCD) posted breakeven results for the first quarter, meeting analysts' average expectations.

After the close of trading Wednesday, TMP Worldwide (TMPW) posted a fourth quarter loss of five cents, missing estimates for breakeven results. The job placement company withdrew its guidance, citing the"unpredictability of world events."

Citigroup (C) CEO Sandy Weill declined his annual bonus because of poor stock performance.

Halliburton (HAL) says C. Christopher Gaut will take over as executive vice president and CFO effective March 3, replacing Doug Foshee, who will advance to the CEO spot. Gaut is a 20-year energy finance veteran.

Manhattan Associates (MANH) posted 25 cents vs. eight cents fourth quarter EPS (GAAP) on an 8.7% revenue rise. The IT services provider sees 95 cents to $1.10 2003 earnings per share from operations. Southwest Securities downgraded to neutral from market outperform.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered the counterparty credit rating on Fairfax Financial (FFH) to BB from BB+ due to concerns about the company's ability to maintain adequate liquidity at the holding company.

First Albany says Microsoft may unveil a new product that could put pressure on business intelligence stocks such as Cognos (COGN).

PEC Solutions (PECS) posted 20 cents vs. 12 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 54% revenue rise. The provider of IT services to the government sector sees 17 cents to 18 cents first quarter earnings per share on $48 million to $49 million revenue, and 85 cents to 92 cents 2003 earnings per share. RBC Capital downgraded. CIBC World cut its estimates.

Surmodics (SRDX) says the CFO is resigning, and the president is retiring. Surmodics still sees 20% to 25% second quarter revenue growth and 25% to 30% net income growth. Adams Harkness says the weakness is a buying opportunity, and S&P keeps accumulate.

Chiquita Brands (CQB) posted a 66 cents fourth quarter loss vs. a 98-cent loss on a 6.1% sales rise. The fruit distributor says it's disappointed with its fourth quarter performance, and notes a poor pricing environment. BB&T Capital downgraded.

Banc of America downgraded General Motors (GM) to sell from neutral.

Jakks Pacific (JAKK) posted 30 cents vs. 22 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 12% sales increase, and sees sales and earnings per share growth of at least 10% in 2003. Bear Stearns reiterates peer perform.

Viacom (VIA) posted 37 cents fourth quarter earnings per share vs. a two-cent loss on a 12% revenue rise (before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting). Analysts were expecting an average of 34 cents earnings per share.

Coca-Cola (KO) posted 38 cents (including a two-cent expense) vs. 37 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on 13% higher net operating revenue.

Applied Materials (AMAT) posted a four-cent first quarter loss vs. a three-cent loss (including a charge) as lower gross margins offset a 5.4% net sales rise. The world's largest chip maker expects new orders for the first quarter to be lower than initially expected, and sees one cents to two cents earnings per share, below estimates of three cents a share.

Prudential Financial (PRU) posted 43 cents vs. 23 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 4.7% revenue rise, and sees $2.50-$2.65 2003 earnings per share.

The FDA approved Wyeth's (WYE) Effexor for the treatment of social anxiety disorder.

Sangstat Medical (SANG) posted five cents vs. two cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 17% revenue rise, and sees 35 cents to 45 cents 2003 earnings per share.

IBM Corp. (IBM) agreed to take over Visteon's computer operations in a deal that could be valued at over $2 billion over 10 years.

Network Appliances (NTAP) posted six cents vs. two cents third quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on a 15% revenue rise, and sees six cents to seven cents fourth quarter earnings per share.


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