Markets & Finance

Hot Topic Climbs


Hot Topic (HOTT) posted 14 cents vs. 11 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 2.6% same-store sales rise, and a 26% total sales rise. Bear Stearns, Thomas Weisel raised their estimates. S&P reiterates hold.

Synopsys (SNPS) posted 29 cents vs. 33 cents second-quarter GAAP earnings per share despite a 57% revenue rise. The chip-equipment maker posted 80 cents vs. 39 cents second-quarter earnings per share before goodwill. Synopsys sees 77 cents to 82 cents third-quarter earnings per share, and $2.95-$3.10 for fiscal 2003, both on a earnings per share before goodwill basis. Merrill upgraded, UBS raised estimates. S&P keeps accumulate.

Foot Locker (FL) posted 27 cents vs. 26 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations despite a 2.5% same store sales drop, and a 3.5% total sales rise. It sees second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations meeting or exceeding the 24 cents consensus. S&P ups to hold from avoid.

AaiPharma (AAII) filed a CBE-30 (supplement - changes being effected in 30 days) with the FDA for Darvon Compound, the first of two line extensions set for launch in 2003 to its Darvon/Darvocet brand of products. First Albany keeps strong buy.

CS First Boston upgraded Altria (MO). Goldman placed it on its current investment list, and upgraded the tobacco sector to attractive. On Wednesday a Florida appeals court reversed a $145 billion judgement against Altria and other tobacco companies.

Roxio (ROXI) posted 12 cents vs. 2 cents fourth-quarter GAAP earnings per share despite a 13% revenue drop. It posted 19 cents vs. 19 cents pro forma fourth-quarter earnings per share. Roxio sees $23 million first-quarter software revenue, and 5 cents GAAP earnings per share, not including the accounting impact of its acquisition of music subscription service Pressplay. Adams Harkness and Roth Capital downgraded.

Goldman upgraded Mondavi (MOND) to in-line from underperform.

Rayonier (RYN) set a 3-for-2 stock split, and a 12.5% increase in its post-split quarterly dividend.

CBRL Group (CBRL) posted 46 cents vs. 36 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 4% revenue rise. The owner of Cracker Barrel Restaurants and shops sees 66 cents to 68 cents in fourth-quarter earnings per share.

Telecom-equipment provider Ciena (CIEN) posted a 17-cent second-quarter loss vs. an $1.86 loss (GAAP) on an 18% revenue rise. Ciena posted a 10-cent second-quarter adjusted loss, and sees $65 million to $75 million in third-quarter revenue.

Merrill downgraded CheckFree (CKFR) to sell from neutral.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) posted 11 cents vs. 13 cents first-quarter earnings per share despite flat same store sales growth, and a 12% net revenue rise. The results were 3 cents ahead of analysts' average estimate of 17 cents. The kitchen-goods retailer sees 12 cents to 14 cents second-quarter earnings per share, on 2%-4% same store sales growth.

Claire's Stores (CLE) posted 32 cents vs. 17 cents first-quarter earnings per share on an 8% same-store sales rise. Claire's sees 40 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and raised the $1.76 fiscal 2004 earnings per share guidance to $1.95, and increased the 2004 quarterly dividend to 6 cents.

Merrill Lynch downgraded CheckFree (CKFR) to sell from neutral.

Foot Locker (FL) posted 27 cents vs. 26 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations despite a 2.5% same-store sales drop. Total sales rose 3.5%. The company sees second quarter earnings per share from continuing operations meeting or exceeding the 24-cent consensus estimate.

Hormel Foods (HRL) posted 24 cents vs. 23 cents (including a 2-cent charge for bad debt reserves) second-quarter earnings pershare on a 5% sales rise. Hormel sees third-quarter earnings per share of 27 cents to 33 cents.

New Century Financial (NCEN) increased the $7.40-$7.50 2003 earnings per share guidance to $8.75-$9.25, and set a three-for-two stock split.

Animal supplies retailer Petco (PETC) posted 19 cents vs. 15 cents first-quarter earnings per share (pro forma) on a 4.6% same-store sales rise, and a 10% total sales rise. Petco sees 20 cents to 21 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and $1.09-$1.11 fiscal 2004 earnings per share, both before a non-cash effect of the adoption of EITF 02-16.

Patterson Dental (PDCO) posted 49 cents vs. 40 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 12% consolidated sales rise. Patterson sees 42 cents to 44 cents first-quarter earnings per share, and $2.00-$2.02 for fiscal 2004.

Chip-testing company LTX Corp. (LTXX) will acquire privately-owned Step Technologies. Terms: LTX will purchase the remaining shares of Step Technologies for up to about $7.5 million, and for as much as 2.45 million shares of LTX stock.

Gamestop (GME) posted 11 cents vs. 8 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 3.5% same-store sales rise, and a 19% total sales rise. The video game maker sees 9 cents to 11 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and $1.02-$1.06 in fiscal 2004. SouthWest downgraded to neutral. Jefferies cut its estimates.


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