) posted April-quarter earnings per share of 29 cents (excluding items) that beat analysts' average estimates of 27 cents. On a GAAP basis, the computer and printer maker posted 22 cents earnings per share, vs. 24 cents a year ago. Revenue was $17.98 billion, slightly higher than estimates. H-P reaffirmed estimates for the second half of the year.
), Wendy's (WEN
) and Tyson Foods (TSN
) are seen lower on the news that Canada has confirmed a bovine case of mad cow disease. The U.S. subsequently halted meat imports from Canada, and S&P sees the fear of mad cow disease negatively impacting restaurant stocks.
Home Depot (HD
) shares rose after the home-improvement retailer posted 39 cents vs. 36 cents first-quarter earnings per share on 5.8% higher sales, and 1.6% lower same store sales. Home Depot reaffirmed the 9%-12% fiscal 2004 sales growth target and flat-to-slightly-positive same store sales growth, as well as 9%-14% earnings per share growth. S&P keeps hold.
Elan Corp. (ELN
) announced an agreement with King Pharmaceuticals (KG
) to settle a pending lawsuit relating to the previously announces sale of Elan's primary care franchise and related inventory/rights to King. Irish drugmaker Elan will sell the U.S. rights to two of its drugs, muscle relaxant Skelaxin and its Sonata insomnia drug, to King for $750 million. Elan sued King after King pulled out of a deal for the two drugs in April, when U.S. regulators opened an investigation into Elan's attempt to block generic competition for one of the medicines.
Jo-Ann Stores (JAS.B
) posted 20 cents (including charges) vs. 43 cents first-quarter EPS on flat total sales. The fabrics supply retailer cut the $2.45-$2.50 fiscal 2004 EPS guidance to $2.00-$2.10 due to the adoption of SFAS No. 123, the repurchases of notes, and the reclassification proposal for dual class shares.
Wachovia initiated coverage of Biosite (BSTE
) with underperform.
Southwest Securities upgraded pharmacy-benefits management company MIM Corp. (MIMS
) to strong buy from market outperform, and also upgraded Express Scripts (EXS
), Caremark (CRX
), and Advance PCS (ADVP
) to strong buy from neutral.
Nextel Communications (NXTL
) reaffirmed 2003 guidance, and says the second quarter is looking very solid. S&P reiterates strong buy.
Zimmer Holdings (ZMH
) offered to acquire Centerpulse AG. Terms: 120 Swiss francs in cash, 3.68 Zimmer shares per Centerpulse share. J.P. Morgan downgraded. S&P maintains accumulate.
) posted 29 cents (including a 12-cent per share gain from an asset sale, and a 9-cent tax credit) vs. 68 cents first quarter earnings per share on 5% lower comp-store sales, and 5% lower total sales.
) will repurchase, for about $289 million, all of the outstanding 9-7/8% cumulative-convertible preferred shares held by a unit of MidAmerican, a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies.
Parlux Fragrance (PARL
) received an acquisition offer from Quality King Distributors, and investor Ilia Lekach, for $4 per share cash.
Inspire Pharmaceuticals (ISPH
) says a study showed INS37217 Intranasal, for those suffering from perennial allergic rhinitis, failed to meet its objectives. J.P. Morgan says it's "not surprised."
Jefferies upgraded Certegy (CEY
) to buy from hold.
CIBC World downgraded Atrix Laboratories (ATRX
) to sector perform from sector outperform on valuation.
Pacific Northwest (PNWB
) agreed to be acquired by Wells Fargo (WFC
). Terms: $35 in Wells Fargo stock per Pacific Northwest share.
Longs Drug (LDG
) posted 16 cents vs. 29 cents first-quarter earnings per share from operations on slightly lower same store sales, and 1.2% higher total sales. Longs sees 15 cents to 19 cents second-quarter earnings per share on 1%-3% lower second-quarter same store sales.
Ross Stores (ROST
) posted 63 cents vs. 59 cents first-quarter earnings per share as higher costs offset 3% lower same store sales.
SoundView downgraded business software company WebMethods (WEBM
) to underperform from neutral. Pacific Growth reiterates overweight.
Ford Motor (F
) reportedly says it will miss its 2003 targets for vehicle prices in North America and Europe. However, it remains on track to meet the 70 cents 2003 earnings per share.
) posted 18 cents vs. 14 cents first-quarter earnings per share (pro forma) on a 15% sales rise, and posted 5 cents vs 20 cents first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP). The office-supply retailer sees second-quarter earnings per share meeting current estimates, and 20% fiscal 2004 earnings per share growth.
Axcan Pharmaceuticals (AXCA
) increased the price of a cash tender offer for Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP
) to $10.50 per share from $8.75.
BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ
) posted 18 cents vs. 32 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations (excluding an accounting change) despite a 5.7% same store sales rise, and a 16% net sales rise.
Cisco Systems (CSCO
) will record an expense of up to $500 million next quarter due to a new accounting rule, according to The Wall Street Journal.
) posted 40 cents vs. 25 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 20% revenue rise.
) says claims stemming from a recent string of Midwest and Southern tornadoes, added to a loss from hailstorms in Texas, are estimated at about $90 million in pre-tax second-quarter catastrophe losses, or 42 cents per share.
Agilent Technologies (A
) posted a 15-cent second-quarter loss from operations vs. a 54-cent loss on a slight sales rise. Agilent expects a 10-cent loss to operating breakeven for the third-quarter and $1.45 billion to $1.55 billion in sales.
) posted 20 cents vs. 22 cents first-quarter earnings per share from operations on 1.4% lower same store sales. The department-store chain sees 35 cents to 40 cents second-quarter earnings per share on flat same store sales. UBS Warburg, Bear Stearns raised estimates. S&P reiterates hold.