Markets & Finance

Wendy's Climbs


Prudential initiates coverage of Wendy's International (WEN) with buy, saying

the fast-food chain's comparative-store sales are expected to rebound in the second half, a trend that could continue into 2004. Also, Prudential says the new Baja chain of stores is expected to increase its sales in the future.

Thomas Weisel and BB&T Capital raised its estimates on Engineered Support (EASI). On Tuesday the company posted 72 cents vs. 43 cents third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations, and raised the fiscal 2003 guidance to $2.40 to $2.45 earnings per share from continuing operations on revenues of more than $550 million.

Semtech (SMTC) posted 3 cents vs. 14 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 14% sales drop. Semtech sees third-quarter sales up 4% to 6% from the second quarter, and sees 11 cents earnings per share. First Albany raised its estimates. S&P reiterates sell.

Flamel Technologies (FLML) signed a licensing and commercialization agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop and market Basulin for patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Bristol-Myers will pay Flamel $20 million up front, a $145 million milestone payment, and double-digit royalties on sales.

Upholstery fabrics maker Culp (CFI) posted a narrower than expected 4-cent first-quarter loss vs. 8 cents earnings per share (before the cumulative effect of an accounting change) on a 14% sales decline. Culp sees 12 cents to 19 cents second-quarter earnings per share. BB&T Capital reiterates strong buy.

Fresh Del Monte (FDP) raised its quarterly dividend to 20 cents from 10 cents.

Petrochina (PTR) reportedly posted record-high first-half profits due to strength in crude oil prices.

Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR) posted 25 cents vs. 21 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 5.1% same-store sales rise, and a 22% total sales rise. Dollar Tree sees $665 million to $680 million third-quarter sales. It raised the fiscal 2004 guidance to sales and earnings per share growth of at least 19%. S&P and WR Hambrecht raised their estimates.

Sears, Roebuck (S) says August comparable store sales are tracking better than expected, which is primarily related to strength in the home-appliance category.

Bear Stearns upgraded Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS) to outperform from peer perform.

Lehman upgraded National Semiconductor (NSM) to equal-weight from underweight.

Computer Network (CMNT) posted a 96-cent second-quarter loss (including charges and other items) vs. a 7-cent loss despite a 98% revenue rise. Roth Capital says the second quarter is well above consenus.

Cincinnati Bell selected Westell Technologies (WSTL) as the primary provider of DSL modems to its residential and small business customer in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

Altria Group (MO) raised its quarterly dividend by 6.3% to 68 cents.

Corinthian Colleges (COCO) posted 39 cents vs. 27 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 28% higher same-school revenue rise, and 32% core growth in revenue (excluding branches acquired in the last four quarters). Corinthian sees 36 cents to 37 cents first-quarter earnings per share, and $1.77 to $1.80 in fiscal 2004.

H&R Block (HRB) posted 6 cents first-quarter earnings per share vs. a 5-cent loss on a 15% revenue rise.

Cerner (CERN) says its Millennium PathNet Blood Bank Donor has received pre-market notification clearance from the FDA.

Powell Industries (POWL) posted 13 cents vs. 42 cents third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 19% revenue decline. Powell sees 10 cents to 15 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share, and 65 cents to 70 cents fiscal 2003 earnings per share from continuing operations.

Hughes Supply (HUG) posted 82 cents vs. 80 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 5% sales rise. Hughes sees 70 cents to 78 cents third-quarter earnings per share on 4% to 5% higher sales, and notes challenges are presented by continued weakness in infrastructure and commercial construction.

Idine Rewards (IRN) will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600 Index after the close of trading on Aug. 27, replacing Impath, which is being delisted from the Nasdaq in response to ongoing delinquency of its SEC filings.

WebEx Communications (WEBX) will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600 Index after the close of trading on Aug. 27, replacing Nautica Enterprises, which is being acquired.


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