Markets & Finance

McDonald's Climbs


McDonald's (MCD) posted 26 cents vs. 20 cents first quarter earnings per share on a 6% revenue rise. The world's largest burger chain plans to cut capital spending by $800 million in 2003. S&P reiterates hold.

Pre-Paid Legal (PPD) posted 67 cents vs. 43 cents first quarter earnings per share on 13% higher membership revenues.

Noven Pharmaceuticals (NOVN) dropped after receiving notification from the FDA that its new drug application for Methypatch, a methylphenidate transdermal system to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is not approvable. WR Hambrecht downgraded to sell from buy. Shire Pharmaceuticals (SHPGY) shares also declined; Shire recently acquired the worldwide sales and marketing rights for Methypatch.

Intuit (INTU) is seen lower as its quarter comes to an end, and a lack of historical indication of its performance during the 2003 tax season raises some concern.

Action Performance (ATN) posted 40 cents vs. 60 cents second quarter earnings per share (including items) on a 9.1% revenue drop.

Smith Barney upgraded UnumProvident (UNM) to outperform from underperform. On Friday the disabilty and life insurer posted 44 cents first quarter operating earnings per share, and cut its dividend.

First Albany initiated coverage of Altiris (ATRS) with buy.

NCR Corp. (NCR) and the State Bank of India agred to deploy about 1,500 ATMs in the next 18 months. State Bank of India will now have the largest network in India, with over 3,000 ATMs throughout the country. McDonald Investments reportedly upgraded to buy.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) announced a cost-effective set of new Internet Protocol telephony products and enhancements that extend the reach and benefits of its IP Communication system to a wider range of users.

Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (PG) met analysts' average estimates and posted 96 cents vs. 84 cents third quarter earnings per share (excluding charges) on an 8% net sales rise. P&G sees mid to high single-digit net sales growth in the fourth quarter, and 10%-12% earnings per share growth (excluding restructuring charges).

Health benefits company Humana (HUM) posted 19 cents vs. 28 cents first quarter earnings per share (GAAP) as a 12 cents per share restructuring charge offset a 7.6% revenue rise. Human posted 31 cents first quarter earnings per share (adjusted) -- meeting analysts' estimates. S&P reiterates hold.

First Health Group (FHCC) posted 37 cents vs. 30 cents first quarter earnings per share on a 26% revenue rise. It sees $1.50-$1.55 2003 earnings per share on $870 million revenue. S&P reiterates sell.

Tyson Foods (TSN) posted 20 cents vs. 18 cents second quarter earnings per share on flat sales. The poultry processor noted second quarter pretax earnings per share included 17 cents per share received in connection with ongoing vitamin antitrust litigation. S&P reiterates hold.

Wal-Mart (WMT) sees April sales at the low end of the 5% to 7% forecast, citing the impact of cool weather.

Bear Stearns upgraded Beckman Coulter (BEC) to peer perform from underperform. On Friday it posted 70 cents vs. 43 cents first quarter earnings per share. Beckman Coulter forecast 18%-22% second quarter earnings per share growth and 11%-14% growth in for full-year 2003.

First Albany downgraded Applied Material (AMAT) to underperform from neutral.

Williams Energy (WEG) posted 99 cents vs. 72 cents first quarter earnings per share (per limited partner unit) on a 17% revenue rise. Williams Energy sees 50 cents 55 cents second quarter earnings per share (including one-time transition costs).

Rohm & Haas (ROH) posted 37 cents vs. 36 cents first quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 17% sales rise. It says if favorable conditions remain, it should be able to deliver high single-digit 2003 revenue growth, and $1.60-$1.75 earnings per share from continuing operations.

Entergy (ETR) posted $1.12 vs. 80 cents first quarter operating earnings per share on a 9.5% operating revenue increase. Entergy sees $3.75-$3.95 2003 earnings per share.

United Auto Group (UAG) posted 41 cents vs. 39 cents first quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 26% revenue rise. It reaffirmed the 55 cents to 60 cents second quarter and $1.96-$2.06 2003 earnings per share forecast.

Veeco Instrument (VECO) posted a 6 cent first quarter loss vs. a 12 cent loss (GAAP) despite an 18% sales decline. Veeco posted 3 cents first quarter earnings per share vs. breakeven (excluding charges). It sees a 4 cents to 7 cents second quarter loss (GAAP), and 1 cent to 4 cents earnings per share (excluding charges).

Sysco (SYY) posted 26 cents vs. 23 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 14% sales rise. S&P reiterates buy.

Smithfield Foods (SFD) says it now sees 3 cents to 5 cents fourth quarter earnings per share, citing low hog prices and weak fresh meat prices.

Federal regulators are poised to approve a settlement in which nine brokerage firms, including J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), will pay $1.4 billion to resolve allegations that they issued biased ratings on stocks to lure investment-banking business.

Ohio Casualty OCAS sees 10 cents to 13 cents first quarter operating earnings per share (excluding 21 cents in after-tax realized capital gains in investments). The insurer noted catastrophe losses are about $10.7 million, and are expected to negatively impact the quarter by 11 cents per share. S&P reiterates avoid.

Goodrich (GR) posted 25 cents vs. 15 cents first quarter earnings per share, citing the weak global economy, lower airline traffic, and the outbreak of SARS. Goodrich cut the 2003 earnings per share guidance to 27 cents to 42 cents from continuing operations on $4.3 billion in sales.

General Electric (GE) could face greater than expected financial exposure in claims from people who had contact with asbestos-insulated turbines, according to The Wall Street Journal.

J.P. Morgan reportedly downgraded Boeing (BA) to underweight.

Trimeris (TRMS) and Roche announced that final topline 48-week data from Phase III studies of their Fuzeon HIV treatment shows that responses seen at 24 weeks are maintained at 48 weeks.

CKE Restaurants (CKR), which owns hamburger chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, said CFO Dennis J. Lacey is leaving, and will be replaced by chief administrative officer Theodore Abajian.


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