Markets & Finance

Dollar General Advances


Dollar General (DG) posted 18 cents vs. 14 cents 1Q EPS on a 4.2% same store sales rise. It sees 4%-6% fiscal 2004 same store sales rise, and 13%-15% higher total sales. CIBC World upgraded to sector perform. S&P keeps hold.

Miller Exploration (MEXP) agreed to be acquired by Edge Petroleum in a $12.7 million deal. Terms: For each Miller share, holders will get Edge stock valued at $4.70-$5.00, based on Edge's closing price for a 20-day trading period.

Morgan Stanley downgraded JetBlue Airways (JBLU) to equal-weight from overweight.

CommerceSouth (COSO) agreed to be acquired by Banctrust Financial (BFTG) in a $75 million deal. Terms: A mix of cash and stock worth about $25.50 for each CommerceSouth share; the cash to be paid is set at $12.75 per share.

CIBC World downgraded Genentech (DNA) to sector perform from sector outperform.

Homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) posted $1.60 vs. 80 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 21% revenue rise. It raised the $5.25-$5.50 fiscal 2003 earnings per share forecast to $6.50-$6.75, and set a $7.50 fiscal 2004 guidance.

Deloitte & Touche LLP resigned as Neoforma 's (NEOF) independent auditor, effective immediately.

National Commerce Financial (NCF) announced the resignation of CEO E.C. Roessler, and appointed W.R. Reid as the new CEO. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Agile Software (AGIL) posted a 5-cent fourth-quarter loss vs. a 24-cent loss on a 26% revenue rise. Agile posted a 6-cent fourth-quarter loss vs. a 39-cent loss (GAAP).

West Marine (WMAR) posted 27% higher net sales for the four week period ending May 24, and 1.5% lower same store sales, which is slightly better than the expected 3% decline. The boating supplies chain says it's comfortable with the $1.03 second-quarter earnings per share and flat June comp-sales forecast.

Take-two Interactive (TTWO) posted 36 cents vs. 25 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 14% net sales rise, beating analysts' average estimates of 35 cents per share. Take-Two sees 16 cents third-quarter earnings per share, and raised the fiscal 2003 earnings per share guidance to $2.28.

Qwest Communications (Q) posted 9 cents first-quarter earnings per share (including a gain) vs. a $14.32 per-share loss (including a $13.36 charge). Revenue fell 9.4% to $3.63 billion. The local telephone company sees the rate of annual revenue decline in the mid-single digit range, and sees roughly breakeven 2003 cash flow from continuing operations.

Allos Therapeutics (ALTH) will submit a new-drug application to the FDA to market RSR13 (efaproxiral) as a treatment for brain metastases from breast cancer. It notes RSR13 has fast-track designation, and Allos will begin a rolling submission of the application early in the third quarter.

Merck (MRK) has filed plans to spin off its pharmacy benefit management unit Medco Health Solutions to Merck shareholders.

Tech Data (TECD) posted 38 cents vs. 60 cents first-quarter earnings per share on flat sales. Tech Data sees $3.9 billion to $4.05 billion second-quarter sales, and 34 cents to 38 cents earnings per share. CS First Boston downgraded to neutral. S&P reiterates hold.

La-Z Boy (LZB) posted 45 cents vs. 41 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share as higher operating margin offset a 9.4% sales drop. Given the likely declining level of sales, it could possibly take extended summer vacation plant shutdowns. The furniture maker suspended specific financial guidance.

Scholastic (SCHL) will cut its workforce by 4% (about 400 employees), and will take an after-tax special fourth-quarter charge of about $7 million, or 17 cents per share.

Veritas (VTS) posted 14 cents (including a 9-cent charge) vs. 25 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 10% revenue rise.

Chico's (CHS) posted 27 cents vs. 23 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 7.8% same store sales rise, and a 30% net sales rise.


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