Markets & Finance

Amazon Tops Street Targets, Guides Higher


After the close of trading Thursday, online bookseller Amazon (AMAZ) posted a (GAAP) loss of 3 cents a share, vs. a loss of 1 cent earnings per share -- beating analysts' average expectations of a 6 cent loss per share. Excluding items, Amazon posted 10 cents earnings per share. Revenues jumped 28.9% year-over-year to $1.08 billion. Amazon expects 2003 revenues of $4.7 billion, slightly better than analysts' estimates.

After the close of trading Thursday, coffee chain giant Starbucks (SBUX) posted 13 cents second quarter earnings per share -- in line with consensus. Revenues rose 21.8% to $954.2 million from a year ago. Starbucks sees 16 cents earnings per share for the third quarter, and 66 cents to 67 cents earnings per share for 2003.

After the close of trading Thursday, Applied Micro Circuits (AMCC) reported a fourth quarter loss of 5 cents per share, in line with analysts' average expectations. Revenues fell 33.2% year over year $20.1 million.

After the close of trading Thursday, Nortel Networks (NT), a maker of telecom equipment, posted 1 cent earnings per share for the first quarter, vs. a loss of 26 cents, including gains. Excluding discontinued operations, Nortel posted a loss of 3 cents -- meeting expectations. Revenue fell 18%, to $2.4 billion. Looking ahead, Nortel expects the telecom equipment market to decline "modestly" this year.

American Express (AXP) posted 53 cents first quarter earnings per share, vs. 46 cents -- a penny ahead of expectations. The company cited declining costs and growth in its consumer credit card business.

Japanese electronics maker Sony (SNE) reported lower than anticipated fiscal 2003 profit. Sony set a cautious forecast of 20 million units for Playstation 2 hardware production shipments, which leads the company to anticipate a drop in operating income.

Insurance giant AIG (AIG) posted 74 cents vs. 75 cents first quarter earnings per share. It posted 90 cents vs. 81 cents adjusted first quarter earnings per share. AIG sees lower operating income from its AIG Star Life unit in Asia from second quarter to year-end, due to a possible impact from SARS on Asia markets.

AmeriCredit (ACF) posted 9 cents vs. $1.02 third quarter earnings per share. It plans to generate positive cash flow by the fourth quarter. The online brokerage firm maintains its 43 cents to 50 cents fiscal 2003 earnings per share guidance. Wachovia upgraded to outperform.

Microchip Technology (MCHP), a maker of memory control products, posted 16 cents vs. 13 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on 7% higher sales. S&P maintains accumulate. SoundView reiterates outperform.

SpeechWorks (SPWX) agreed to be acquired by ScanSoft (SSFT) in a deal valued at about $132 million. Terms: 0.86 ScanSoft share per SpeechWorks share.

Restaurant operator Yum Brands (YUM) posted 39 cents vs. 38 cents first quarter earnings per share on a 12% sales rise. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Health and life insurance comapny Aflac (AFL) posted 45 cents vs. 34 cents first quarter earnings per share on 18% higher total revenue. JP Morgan, and Merrill downgraded.

Orthopedic implant device maker Haemonetics (HAE) posted 18 cents vs. 29 cents fourth quarter earnings per share despite a 2.3% revenue rise. It notes that its earnings per share was lower than previously expected due to lower than anticipated plasma revenue. RBC Capital downgraded to underperform from sector perform.

Wireless chip maker Intersil (ISIL) posted 13 cents vs. 13 cents first quarter earnings per share (adjusted) as higher costs and expenses offset a 23% revenue rise. It sees 15 cents to 16 cents second quarter earnings per share (adjusted) on improved profit margins, and 5% to 7% sequential revenue growth. Wedbush Morgan reiterates buy.

Veritas Software (VRTS) posted 10 cents vs. 11 cents first quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on a 7.3% total revenue rise. Veritas posted 17 cents vs. 16 cents first quarter earnings per share (excluding special items and an accounting change). Wachovia and Legg Mason upgraded. S&P reiterates hold.

Food and snack manufacturer Sara Lee (SLE) posted 33 cents vs. 31 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 4% sales rise. Sara Lee cut the fiscal 2003 guidance to $1.49-$1.51.

DaimlerChrysler (DCX) posted 588 million euros (about U.S. $647 million) vs. 2.5 billion euros first quarter net profit (including one-time items), or 63 cents first quarter earnings per share. The car maker's revenue declined 9%, to 33.7 billion euros, below analysts' estimates. Saying the environment is now "even more challenging," the No. 3 car maker sees 158 billion euros in 2003 revenue.

Software maker Citrix Systems (CTXS) posted 18 cents vs. 14 cents first quarter earnings per share despite flat revenue. It posted 19 cents vs. 16 cents adjusted first quarter earnings per share, and sees 13 cents to 16 cents second quarter earnings per share, and 14 cents to 17 cents adjusted. RBC Capital upgraded to outperform from sector perform.

Overture Services (OVER), a search-engine developer, posted 18 cents vs. 48 cents first quarter EPS (GAAP) as higher expenses offset a 57% revenue rise. It cut the 2003 EPS guidance to 35 cents to 42 cents. CSFB downgraded to neutral. Smith Barney downgraded to underperform.

Barr Laboratories (BRL) posted 66 cents vs. 78 cents third quarter earnings per share on 34% lower revenue.

UBS Warburg downgraded auto parts manufacturer Borg Warner (BWA) to neutral from buy.

Qualcomm (QCOM), a maker of cell phones, posted 13 cents vs. 5 cents second quarter earnings per share on 50% higher revenues, and increased demand for CDMA products. It sees 23 cents third quarter earnings per share on 24% revenue growth.

JetBlue Airways (JBLU) posted 25 cents vs. 23 cents first quarter earnings per share on 63% higher operating revenue. JetBlue placed an order with Airbus for the purchase of 65 new A320 aircraft, with options for a further 50 new aircraft; the new order will be delivered starting in 2004.

Software maker Siebel Systems (SEBL) posted 1 cent vs. 12 cents first quarter earnings per share on 30% lower revenues.

Hotel and resort operator Marriott (MAR) posted 36 cents vs. 32 cents first quarter earnings per share(continuing operations) on an 11% total revenue rise. It sees 46 cents to 49 cents second quarter earnings per share, and $1.76 to $1.87 in 2003 (continuing operations).

Software maker Business Objects (BOBJ) posted 14 cents vs. 17 cents earnings per ADS as lower operating margin offset a 10% revenue rise. The software maker notes an 11% decline in software license revenues.

AT&T Wireless (AWE) posted 5 cents first quarter earnings per share vs. a 7 cent loss (including the impact of SFAS 142) on 12% higher services revenue.

Symantec (SYMC) posted 41 cents vs. 3 cents fourth quarter earnings per share(GAAP) on a 26% revenue rise. The provider of Internet security technology sees 34 cents first quarter earnings per share on $370 million to $390 million in revenues.


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