Markets & Finance

Applied Materials Beats the Street


Semiconductor equipment giant Applied Materials (AMAT) reported earnings after the close of trading Tuesday of 5 cents per share (excluding charges), beating the consensus estimate by a penny. Net sales in its fiscal third quarter were $1.09 billion, down 1% from the previous quarter and down 25% from a year ago. The net loss for the quarter was 2 cents per share, vs. EPS of 7 cents a year ago. The company said new orders of $1.05 billion rose 9% from the second quarter.

Capital One Financial (COF) shares rose after the company reported a 5.87% net charge-off rate (reported) and 5.75% (managed). Wachovia upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform.

Marvel Enterprises (MVL) shares gained after the company reported second-quarter EPS of 42 cents, vs. 10 cents, on 27% net sales rise. Its EPS beat analysts' forecast. The comic book publisher sees third-quarter EPS of 25 cents to 30 cents, and raised its 2003 EPS outlook to $1.26 to $1.31 and sees 96 cents to $1.14 in 2004 EPS.

Reliant Resources (RRI) shares skidded after the independent power producer posted a second-quarter loss of 9 cents per share, vs. 42 cents in EPS from continuing operations, as reduced EPS from retail segment, increase in interest expense, and amortization of financing costs offset 29% revenue rise.

Techne Corp. (TECH) shares rose after the company reported fourth-quarter EPS of 31 cents, vs. 1-cent loss (including litigation settlement), on 11% higher revenues.

Emerson Radio (MSN) shares plunged after the company posted a first-quarter loss of 2 cents per share, vs. 7 cents loss, on a 31% revenue drop. The company sees second-quarter revenue lower than year ago.

California Independent Bancorp (CIBN) shares shot up after the company agreed to be acquired by Humboldt Bancorp in a $80 million deal. Terms: About $35.50 per CIBN share, depending on average price of HBEK stock during a 20-trading day period.

Global Payments (GPN) agreed to acquire Latin America Money Services, an operating subsidiary DolEx Dollar Express. Terms: $200 million for 100% outstanding equity interest in DolEx. Global Payments sees the deal adding to annual EPS by 11 cents to 15 cents.

McDermott International (MDR) shares fell after the company posted a second-quarter loss of 94 cents per share, vs. $3.80 loss, on 29% revenue rise. The company sees negative cash flows for the remainder of 2003, and notes substantial doubt about J. Ray unit's ability to continue as a going concern.

Invision Technologies (INVN) received an initial order, valued at $54.8 million, for explosives detection systems from the Homeland Security Department. The order is part of a broader three-year agreement. Needham upgraded the shares to buy from hold.

Zoran (ZRAN) says that due to its acquisition of Oak Technology, it sees third-quarter pro forma EPS diluted by 10 cents to 12 cents, from 31 cents to 33 cents original guidance to 19 cents to 23 cents. The company sees fourth-quarter pro forma EPS diluted by 8 cents to 10 cents to 16 cents to 22 cents.

Overland Storage (OVRL) shares skidded after the company reported fourth-quarter EPS of 54 cents, vs. 40 cents a year ago, on 20% revenue rise. It sees 16 cents in first-quarter EPS.

J.C. Penney (JCP) posted a second-quarter loss of 2 cents per share, vs. a 5-cent loss one year earlier, on a 2.1% rise in same-store deptartment store sales and flat same-store sales at its Eckerd drugstore unit.

Clorox (CLX) posted fourth-quarter EPS (GAAP basis) of 68 cents, vs. 63 cents, on a 2.1% sales rise. The company sees first-quarter EPS of 57 cents to 62 cents (GAAP), and full fiscal year EPS of $2.47 to $2.57.

Deere & Co. (DE) posted third quarter EPS of $1.02, vs. 61 cents, on an 11% sales rise. Deere sees $575 million to $625 million in 2003 net income.

SoundView upgraded Comverse Technology (CMVT) to outperform from neutral.

KB Home (KBH) and Ryland (RYL) are squandering their cash on their on pricey stocks, rather than acquiring attractive land deals or saving it for a rainy day, some investors and analysts say, according to a Wall Street Journal report.


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