Markets & Finance

Visx Advances


The FDA approved Visx 's (EYE) CustomVue laser vision correction. Wachovia reiterates outperform.

ImClone Systems (IMCLE) received a $6 million payment from Merck KGaA for achieving a manufacturing-related milestone under the companies' license agreement for Erbitux; the milestone allows Merck to import Erbitux from ImClone's New Jersey facility directly to Germany.

Fidelity National Financial (FNIS) offered to acquire all outstanding shares of Fidelity National Information, the loan services unit that is already 66% owned by Fidelity National. Terms: 0.644 Fidelity National shares for each Fidelity National Information share.

Blackberry device maker Research In Motion (RIMM) says based on a patent case ruling (privately held NTP v. Research In Motion), it will record an incremental accounting provision of $13.75 million to $14.25 million for enhancement to compensatory damage, and $5 million for NTP's attorney's fees. J.P. Morgan downgraded Research In Motion to underweight. S&P keeps hold.

Tennessee's Bureau of TennCare notified pharmacy-benefit management company MIM Corp. (MIMS) that it wasn't selected as the single provider of all pharmacy benefits for the state. TennCare relationships were expected to generate about $85 million in revenue and $5.5 million in gross profit for the second half of 2003.

Genta (GNTA) announced preclinical studies show the initiation of myeloma cell death by standard chemotherapy was blocked by Bcl-2, which is the target of Genta's Genasense therapy. Needham reiterated strong buy.

Lehman says a new government project to build a global network with optical and data networking gear could be a boost for companies such as Juniper Networks (JNPR) and Ciena (CIEN).

BB&T Capital upgraded U.S. Xpress (XPRSA) to strong buy from buy.

CS First Boston upgraded ChoicePoint (CPS) to outperform from neutral.

Oxigene (OXGN) and Cancer Research U.K. announced they are collaborating on final pre-clinical development of one of Oxigene's most advanced vascular targeting agents (VTAs).

SoundView initiated coverage of Synovis Life Technologies (SYNO) with outperform.

Prudential downgraded newsprint makers Bowater (BOW) to sell from hold and downgraded Abitibi-Consolidated to hold from buy.

High-speed network maker Adtran (ADTN) unveiled a high-density central office DSLAM. Pacific Growth upgraded to overweight from equal-weight.

Blue Rhino (RINO) posted 22 cents (including items and one-time gain) vs. 12 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 1.7% net revenue rise, beating analysts' average estimates by a penny. The provider of gas grill cylinder exchange services posted 14 cents third-quarter earnings per share from operations. Blue Rhino reaffirmed its 61 cents to 63 cents fourth-quarter pretax earnings per share guidance, and 95 cents to 97 cents for fiscal 2003.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the tobacco industry lost gambit to have ad-fraud claims dismissed in the government's biggest suit against cigarette companies. UBS Warburg downgraded Altria (MO) to neutral from buy on valuation.

Tenet Healthcare (THC) CEO Jeffrey C. Barbakow resigned. S&P believes the resignation removes one of the factors overhanging the stock, and reiterates hold.

Shares of Dutch grocery concern Ahold (AHO) could fall further on a report that Ahold may discover more accounting irregularities after an $880 million profit overstatement earlier this year. Ahold holds several large U.S. retail food chains.

Bear Stearns upgraded Interstate Bakeries (IBC) to peer perform from underperform.

Jacques D. Kerrest resigned his position as senior vice president and CFO of Harte-Hanks (HHS) to become CFO of Equant.

KeyCorp (KEY) subsidiary Victory Capital Management will acquire NewBridge Partners.

AOL Time Warner 's (AOL) Stephen Case, mastermind of America Online's acquisition of Time Warner, has begun to talk of undoing the deal by spinning off AOL, according to The New York Times.


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