Markets & Finance

Monsanto Jumps


Merrill Lynch and Banc of America upgraded Monsanto (MON) to buy after Monsanto, Solutia, and Pfizer unit Pharmacia agreed to a global settlement involving PCB contamination litigation in Alabama. Monsanto will pay $390 million in cash, Solutia will pay $50 million and the rest will be covered by insurance. S&P reiterates avoid.

Longs Drug Store (LDG) posted 14 cents (including charges) vs. 29 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 1.9% same-store sales drop, and flat total sales. Longs set a goal for 11 cents to 14 cents third-quarter earnings per share, and 38 cents to 41 cents in the fourth quarter. ST Robinson Humphrey reportedly upgraded to equal-weight. S&P upgraded.

Cima Labs (CIMA) says it received an alternative transaction proposal from Cephalon to its merger with AaiPharma. Cephalon bid $26 cash per Cima share.

Needham intitiates coverage of mirgrane-therapy company Pozen (POZN) with strong buy.

Claire's Stores (CLE) posted 45 cents vs. 31 cents second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 5% same-store sales rise, and an 11% net sales rise.

Spherix (SPEX) confirmed that 7-Eleven is introducing a new Diet Pepsi flavored Slurpee drink at participating stores that contains tagatose, Spherix's low-calorie sweetener.

Dick's Sporting (DKS) posted 62 cents vs. 61 cents second-quarter earnings per share on 1.5% higher comp-store sales. Dick's notes the sales environment was impacted by poor weather throughout most of its markets. It sees 15 cents to 17 cent second-quarter earnings per share.

J.P. Morgan upgraded Varian Semiconductor (VSEA) to overweight from neutral.

Merrill downgraded medical diagnostics maker Gen-Probe (GPRO) to neutral from buy on valuation.

Galyan's Trading (GLYN) posted a 1-cent second-quarter loss vs. 22 cents earnings per share on a 7.7% same-store sales drop. The company sees third-quarter and fiscal 2004 same-store sales in the low to mid-single-digit negative range. It discontinued future guidance on other financial measures.

More than half of DaimlerChrysler's (DCX) second-quarter operating profit was generated by favorable currency trades, indicating the company made more money on foreign exchange than from selling cars, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Foot Locker (FL) posted 25 cents vs. 22 cents second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations despite a 4.4% same-store sales drop, and a 3.5% total sales rise. The sporting goods retailer sees 31 cents to 33 cents third-quarter earnings per share.

Thomas Weisel upgraded Advanced Fibre Communications (AFCI) to outperform from peer perform.

Video-game software maker THQ (THQI) sees 1 cent fiscal 2004 earnings per share on $105 million sales, down from the previous guidance of 8 cents earnings per share on $120 million sales, citing the delay of product launches. SoundView and Bear Stearns cut their estimates.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD) posted 21 cents vs. 15 cents second-quarter earnings per share on an 11% rise in systemwide same-store sales, and a 41% total sales rise. Krispy Kreme sees 22 cents third-quarter earnings per share, and 26 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share, yielding 91 cents fiscal 2004 earnings per share -- 2 cents above the consensus estimate. S&P reiterates avoid.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) posted 15 cents vs. 3 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 17% revenue rise, beating analysts' average estimates of 14 cents a share. The kitchen-goods retailer raised the third-quarter guidance to 18 cents to 19 cents on $615 million to $625 million in revenues.

Joseph A. Bank (JOSB) posted 27 cents vs. 13 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 24% total sales rise. The men's retailer increased the fiscal 2004 guidance to $1.86 to $1.91.

Goodyear Tire (GT) is in a tentative deal with the United Steelworkers of America on a new three-year master contract.

Men's Wearhouse (MW) posted 29 cents vs. 19 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 8.1% same-store sales rise, and an 8.3% total sales rise. The retailer sees 16 cents to 17 cents third-quarter earnings per share, and 57 cents to 58 cents in the fourth-quarter, as well as $1.30 to $1.32 in fiscal 2004.

Smithfield Foods (SFD) posted 20 cents vs. 11 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 10% sales rise. The meat processor sees fiscal 2004 earnings per share well above the fiscal 2003 level.

Limited Brands (LTD) posted 19 cents vs. 16 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 3% same-store sales rise, and a 5% total sales rise. Limited says it's comfortable with the 2004 third-quarter earnings per share, and 74 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share First Call consensus estimates.

Dell slashed its PC prices, taking aim at Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), signaling a new phase of competition in the computer industry. On Wednesday H-P posted lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings per share, and said it priced its desktops too aggressively.

Retailer Hot Topic (HOTT) posted 18 cents vs. 13 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 5.2% same-store sales rise, and a 25% total sales rise.

First Niagara Financial (FNFG) announced the unexpected death of president and CEO William Swan on Aug. 20. First Niagrara appointed executive vice president, CFO, and COO Paul Kolkmeyer as president and CEO in accordance with the succession plan.

J.M. Smucker (SJM) posted 51 cents vs. 39 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 27% sales rise. The maker of food products sees $2.10 to $2.15 fiscal 2004 earnings per share (including a 15-cent restructuring charge).


Video Game Avenger
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW

Sponsored Financial Commentaries

Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!

 
blog comments powered by Disqus