Markets & Finance

Dollar General Rises


Dollar General (DG) shares rose Monday after the retailer posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 32 cents, vs. 29 cents one year earlier, on an 11% sales rise and a 2.1% same-store sales rise. The company sees 4% to 6% fiscal 2004 same-store sales growth, a 13% to 15% total sales rise, and 650 new store openings.

Jabil Circuit (JBL) shares rose after CS First Boston says it expects a positive tone from management on its Mar. 19 conference call. CSFB maintains an outperform rating on the stock.

Interdigital Communications (IDCC) shares rose after the company revised reported fourth-quarter EPS to 10 cents and revenue to $27.1 million to reflect the recognition of higher royalties from certain licensees. It also settled a patent infringement litigation with Ericsson (ERICY).

Mohawk Industries (MHK) fell after the company says its concerns of weakening conditions in its markets are more pronounced than it had expected. Wachovia downgraded the stock, while UBS Warburg and CS First Boston cut earnings estimates. S&P kept a hold ranking.

TMP Worldwide (TMPW) gained after the company's board approves a record date and stock distribution ratio for spin-off of its eResourcing and Executive Search units. USB Piper Jaffray upgradedt the stock to market perform from underperform.

Xilinx (XLNX) gained ground after Wedbush Morgan reiterated a buy rating, citing the upcoming launch of the company's next generation of FPGAs based on the 0.09-micron process and other potentially positive events.

PEC Solutions (PECS) shares fell after it cut its guidance to revenue of $43 million to $44 million and earnings of 12 cents per share in the first quarter. It sees EPS of 63 cents to 81 cents in 2003. The company cited delays in new government awards stemming from unusually late passing of 2003 budgets. RBC Capital and Jefferies downgraded the stock.

Pfizer (PFE) and Pharmacia (PHA) reached agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on all required divestitures related to Pfizer's acquisition of Pharmacia.

Silicon Image (SIMG) shares fell after Wachovia downgraded to market perform from outperform.

Goldman Sachs upgraded Protective Life (PL) to outperform from in-line.

Manor Care (HCR) shares rose after Banc of America upgraded to neutral from sell.

Fresh Del Monte (FDP) shares fell after Bear Stearns downgrades to peer perform from outperform. On Friday, the company reaffirmed it has not been notified by the SEC of preliminary inquiry, denying a report by BB&T Capital Markets.

Genesis Microchip (GNSS) and Pixelworks (PXLW) agreed to merge in deal valued at about $600 million. Terms call for Genesis shareholders to receive 2.3366 Pixelworks shares per Genesis share. The new company will be called Genesis Pixelworks. Current Pixelworks shareholders will own 37.5% of the new company, while Genesis shareholders will own 62.5%.

Sodexho Alliance (SDX) denied a report on the Europe 1 radio station which said Sodexho lost a contract with the U.S. Marine Corps in the U.S.

Banc of America cut its $28 price target on General Motors (GM) to $26 and maintained its sell rating on the shares.

Wal-Mart (WMT) reportedly said it still expects March same-store sales to show a percentage increase in the low-single digits. It expects same-store sales growth to be in the high-single digits for April.

Carnival (CCL) reportedly said cruise bookings are falling below expectations.

Bear Stearns upgraded Cardinal Health (CAH) to outperform from peer perform.

GTECH Holdings (GTK) says it will acquire Interlott Technologies (ILI) for $9.00 per share, including assumed debt of $21 million. The deal is valued at $85 million.

Eli Lilly (LLY) and Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) announced the result of a Phase III trial of the antisense agent Affinitak, which, when combined with chemotherapy, showed no difference in the survival rate of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

MOORE (MCL) sees first-quarter earnings per share of 18 cents, consistent with analysts' expectations.

Two Japan-based golf club sellers have agreed to halt sales of the "White Shot" putter that Callaway Golf (ELY) says infringes on its trademark "White Hot" club. The two companies will pay Callaway an undisclosed amount of money as settlement.

The board of Longview Fibre (LFB) voted to reinstate payment of a quarterly dividend.

AOL Time Warner's (AOL) HBO unit is close to cutting a deal with Sopranos' star James Gandolfini that will allow the hit mob drama to continue into a fifth season, according to the New York Post.


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