Ford Motor (F) chose Cosworth Technology and Teradyne (TER) as next-generation providers for assembly line vehicle test and configuration requirements, through the electronic Customer Acceptance Test System that was developed by the two companies.
R.J. Reynolds (RJR) and British American Tobacco (BTI) agreed to combine their U.S. tobacco businesses, and form a new company to be called Reynolds American Inc. British American will own 42% of the new company, and RJR holders will own 58%. Seperately, RJR posted a $3.45 third-quarter net loss, including charges. Citigroup raised RJR's target. S&P keeps hold.
SG Cowen says Taiwan Semiconductor's strong results and capital spending comments bode well for the semiconductior capital equipment group; and is most positive for Applied Material (AMAT) because it has the most leverage to Taiwan Semi.
Deutsche Bank downgraded Questar (STR) to hold from buy.
Jones Apparel (JNY) posted 71 cents, vs. 95 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on a 7.6% revenue decline. Jones sees $2.45 to $2.50 2003 earnings per share, and $2.25 to $2.50 in 2004.
Amkor Technology (AMKR) posted 9 cents third-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 36 cents loss, on an 8% revenue rise. Amkor sees 7 cents to 10 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 5% to 8% sequential revenue growth. Thomas Weisel upgraded to outperform from peer perform.
ST Robinson Humphrey upgraded Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) to overweight from equal-weight.
King Pharmaceuticals (KG) posted 44 cents, vs. 35 cents, third-quarter earnings per share (including items) on a 34% total revenue rise. King sees 31 cents to 34 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share. Banc of America downgraded to neutral.
Lifepoint Hospitals (LPNT) posted 42 cents, vs. 33 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on a 25% revenue rise. Raymond James reportedly upgraded to strong buy from market perform.
Verizon Communications (VZ) posted 64 cents, vs. $1.60 (including gains), third-quarter earnings per share as higher operating costs offset a slight revenue rise (excluding revenues from access lines).
Biogen (BGEN) posted 36 cents, vs. 28 cents, third-quarter earnings per share. Revenue rose 19%, to $342 million -- ahead of forecasts at $327 million. Biogen confirmed that there will be no change to the 2003 earnings per share from operations guidance, and says the 2003 earnings per share (reported) outlook is currently not assessable as the company says it can't predict any charges in the fourth quarter. S&P keeps hold.
Lockheed Martin (LMT) posted 48 cents, vs. 64 cents, third-quarter earnings per share despite a 23% total net sales rise. The defense contractor sees 2003 earnings per share at the midpoint of the previous $2.25 to $2.35 guidance range. Lockheed sees $33 billion to $34 billion in 2004 sales, up from the prior $31.5 billion to $33 billion guidance.
Cooper Cameron (CAM) posted 42 cents (before an accounting change), vs. 37 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on a 12% total revenue rise. It sees 45 cents to 50 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share.
Avon Products (AVP) posted 56 cents, vs. 38 cents, third-quarter earnings per share (including items) on an 11% sales rise (including foreign exchange). Avon raised the 2003 earnings per share guidance to $2.65 to $2.70, and anticipates 10% to 12% 2004 earnings per share growth.
Oxford Health (OHP) posted $1.19, vs. $1.04, third-quarter earnings per share on a 7.6% revenue rise. The HMO operator initiated a 10 cents quarterly dividend. Oxford sees $4.03 to $4.08 2003 earnings per share, and $4.30 to $4.50 in 2004, citing a challenging enrollment environment and a competitive landscape. S&P reiterates buy.