Markets & Finance

Gemstar Advances


Gemstar-TV Guide (GMST) rose. The company and Time Warner Cable announced a long-term licensing and distribution agreement for Time Warner to utilize Gemstar's intellectual property and technology, as well as the TV Guide brand and content, throughout its digital subscriber base.

Ruby Tuesday (RI) advanced. The restaurant operator posted 37 cents, vs. 31 cents, first-quarter earnings per share on flat same-store sales. It says same-store sales growth in the early second quarter is currently in excess of its 2.5% to 3% goal. Ruby Tuesday sees 32 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and 17% to 18% in fiscal 2004 earnings per share growth (excluding a possible accounting adjustment).

UBS Financial upgraded chipmaker Altera (ALTR) to buy from neutral.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) shares sank after the drugmaker said patients treated with the highest dose of IL-1 Trap (for rheumatoid arthritis) exhibited improvements in primary and secondary end-points. However, Regeneron says it hasn't achieved its optimal dose level. S&P keeps hold.

Medallion Financial (TAXI) soared after its subsidiary, Medallion Bank, received approval from the FDIC for Federal deposit insurance.

Fresh Del Monte (FDP) shares fell after a Wall Street Journal article highlighted the mounting competition in growing "perfect" pineapples like Fresh Del Monte's "gold" pineapple. Merrill keeps buy and the $32 target.

Rambus (RMBS) climbed. On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling denying Infineon's (IFX) petition for writ of certiorari in patent litigation between Infineon and Rambus. The ruling means that Infineon has exhausted all possible avenues of appeal.

PepsiCo (PEP) posted 62 cents, vs. 53 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on a 8.4% revenue rise. Based on strength in the third quarter, and the current outlook for the fourth quarter, the soft-drink manufacturer expects to deliver on the higher end of the current 2003 earnings per share guidance. Citigroup reiterates buy.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Comcast (CMCSA) to equal-weight from overweight.

CVS Corp. (CVS) posted 6.6% higher September same-store sales, and 8.8% higher total sales. As a result of solid sales growth, and better-than-expected gross margin, CVS sees 46 cents third-quarter earnings per share, which is above previous expectations. S&P keeps buy.

Rite Aid (RAD) posted 6% higher September same-store sales, and 5.2% higher total drugstore sales.

FirstFed American Bancorp (FAB) agreed to be acquired by Webster Financial in a deal valued at about $465 million. Terms: $24.50 per FirstFed share cash, or 0.5954 Webster Financial share per FirstFed share.

IDine Rewards Network (IRN) says although it expects third-quarter earnings per share to be within the range of the consensus 16 cents to17 cents earnings per share, the expected $89 million to $90 million in revenue is lower than the company anticipated. IDine cited two unanticipated events: the blackout in August and Hurricane Isabel.

LookSmart (LOOK) dropped. The provider of Internet search solutions says financial results will be materially and adversely affected by Microsoft's decision to not renew a distribution licensing pact between LookSmart and Microsoft's MSN. USB Piper downgraded to underperform from market perform. Kaufman Bros. also downgraded.

JetBlue (JBLU) set a 3-for-2 stock split.

Citigroup upgraded its investment rating on shares of McDonald's (MCD) to buy from hold.

El Paso (EP) says the SEC has authorized an investigation focusing on power plant contract restructuring, related disclosures, and an accounting treatment.

Tweeter Home Entertainment (TWTR) posted 6.8% lower fourth-quarter same-store sales, and flat total revenue. Tweeter widened the fourth-quarter loss guidance to a 38 cents to 43 cents loss.

UBS Financial upgraded Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to neutral from reduce.

Eastman Kodak (EK) plans to offer about $500 million of convertible senior notes to institutional buyers. Separately, privately held Jasco acquired Kodak's Indiana-based Burrell Professional Labs.

Catapult Communications (CATT) sees a 3 cents to 4 cents fourth-quarter loss (GAAP) on revenue of about $10.1 million, citing significantly lower-than-expected revenues in Japan and a higher-than-expected cost of goods sold.

Apollo Group (APOL) posted 37 cents vs. 26 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 32% consolidated revenue rise. It sees 39 cents first-quarter earnings per share, and $1.64 for fiscal 2004.

Tenet Healthcare (THC) says People's Health Network (Tenet holds a 50% membership interest) received a subpoena from a U.S. Attorney seeking certain records from Jan. 1, 1999, to the present. The subpoena doesn't indicate the focus or extent of the criminal inquiry.

Regis (RGS) posted 14% higher September consolidated revenue, and 1% higher consolidated same-store sales. As such, the hair salon chain expects to beat the 50 cents to 52 cents first-quarter earnings per share guidance. It sees 54 cents to 56 cents second-quarter earnings per share.

PEC Solutions (PECS) received a task order award from the Army Office of The Surgeon General valued at $9.8 million with one base year, and three option years. PEC will provide information-technology support services.


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