Markets & Finance

PeopleSoft Cleared to Buy JD Edwards


PeopleSoft (PSFT) and JD Edwards (JDEC) said Monday that antitrust regulators have approved their $1.75 billion proposed software merger, and that the deal will be completed as planned on Thursday. The decision strengthens PeopleSoft's effort to ward off Oracle's hostile bid.

Echelon (ELON) is working with Continuon Netbeheer, a Dutch utility grid operator, to examine the deployment of its Networked Energy Services system within Continuon's service territory. Also, Echelon resolved a contractual dispute with Enel.

Prudential initiated coverage of UTStarcom (UTSI) with buy.

RBC Capital upgraded Sierra Wireless (SWIR) to outperform from sector perform.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) sees $236 million to $239 million in second-quarter revenues, better than analysts' median total net revenues projection of $179 million. Gilead noted strong sales growth of Viread. It sees $98 million to $102 million total second-quarter operating expenses. Gilead also presented positive data on Emtriva. S&P raised its estimates, and keeps accumulate.

Overture Services (OVER) agreed to be acquired by Yahoo! (YHOO) for about $1.63 billion. Terms: 0.6108 Yahoo shares, and $4.75 cash per Overture share.

J.P. Morgan upgraded Guidant (GDT) to overweight from neutral.

Prudential initiates coverage on UTStarcom (UTSI) with buy.

SoundView upgraded Tibco Software (TIBX) to neutral from underperform.

Continental Airlines says it will defer deliveries of 36 Boeing (BA) 737 aircraft originally scheduled for delivery in 2005 through 2007. Continental expects to receive deliveries in 2008 and beyond. S&P reiterates strong buy on Boeing.

Compuware CPWR sees $300 million to $305 million first-quarter revenues, and about 1 cent earnings per share. CS First Boston reiterates underperform. S&P reiterates hold.

Citigroup (C), the nation's largest bank, posted 83 cents vs. 73 cents second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on an 8% revenue rise. Citigroup attributed gains to strong consumer businesses. S&P reiterates strong buy.

Merrill upgraded Intel (INTC) to buy from neutral and put a $29 price target on the stock, anticipating an improvement in gross margins.

OfficeMax (OMX) agreed to be acquried by paper Boise Cascade (BCC) for $9 per share, 30% in cash, and 70% in BCC stock, in a deal with a total value of about $1.15 billion. The deal should expand the paper company's office-products distribution business.

Cigna (CI) sees lower than expected $1.00-$1.15 second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations, and $5.00-$5.25 2003 earnings per share, citing higher medical costs, and lower medical membership. Wachovia and Prudential cut their estimates. S&P downgraded.

American Home Mortgage (AHMH) raised the 2003 earnings per share guidance by 27%, to $3.95-$4.05, and upped the 2004 guidance by 31%, to $3.05-$3.15. The company projects a fourth-quarter dividend of 55 cents, and sees $2.20 earnings per share for 2004. Also, American Home Mortgage will acquire Apex Mortgage Capital (AXM). Terms: Apex shareholders will receive shares of American Home Mortgage valued at roughly $6.21 per share.

Performance Food (PFGC) sees 48 cents to 49 cents second-quarter earnings per share, down from the previous 50 cents to 52 cents guidance.

Applied Materials (AMAT) says orders for chip-making tools are showing signs of rising on improved semiconductor demand.

Pilgrim's Pride (CHX) sees 40 cents to 42 cents third-quarter earnings per share (including a 24 cents to 26 cents non-recurring gain).

Crompton (CK) sees a second-quarter loss of about 8 cents, including charges for antitrust related costs, facility closures, and severance. Crompton cited higher raw material and energy costs, reduced unit volume, and lower selling prices.

Compuware (CPWR) sees $300 million to $305 million in first-quarter revenues, and about 1 cent earnings per share.

Bank of America (BAC) posted $1.80 vs. $1.40 second-quarter earnings per share on 12% higher revenues, 5% higher net-interest income, and 13% lower loan chargeoffs.

E. W. Scripps (SSP) posted 80 cents vs. 33 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 25% operating revenue rise. Scripps sees 55 cents to 65 cents third-quarter earnings per share.

Fidelity National Financial (FNIS) will acquire the rest of Fidelity National Information stock that it does not currently own (currently owns about 66%). Terms: 0.830 Fidelity National Financial share for each Fidelity National Information share.


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