Markets & Finance

Wyeth Wins Fen-Phen Case


Wyeth (WYE) says a jury in Atlanta ruled in favor of the company in a case brought by Linda Eichmiller, who claimed to have suffered heart-valve injury from the use of Wyeth's diet drug, known as fen-phen. The combination drug was taken off the market in 1997 because of patients who developed heart-valve damage, and has forced the drugmaker to take $16.6 billion in charges so far. Earlier this month, a Texas jury awarded $1.36 million to a woman claiming injuries from fen-phen. The shares rose in afternoon trade.

H&R Block (HRB) rose after posting 6 cents second-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 21 cents loss on a 23% revenue rise. The tax-return preparation company sees $3.65 to$3.85 fiscal 2004 earnings per share, up from the previous guidance of $3.56 to $3.72. S&P upgraded to hold from avoid. Morgan Stanley raised its estimates and target.

ChangeWave.com editor Tobin Smith picked 8X8 (EGHT) as his voice-Web telephony pick because it has a better product than Vonage Holdings, and has just sold off its microelectronics business, according to Forbes.com.

Tech Data (TECD) climbed. The information-technology company posted 46 cents, vs. 57 cents third-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) despite a 15% net sales rise. Tech Data sees 50 cents to 55 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (excluding charges). S&P reiterates hold. Raymond James upgraded to strong buy from outperform.

SeaChange International (SEAC), a maker of video-storage servers, posted third-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 2 cents loss on an 11% revenue rise. Friedman Billings says the third-quarter results are in line, as strong video-on-demand sales offset other weaknesses. The broker reiterated its market perform rating.

Eon Labs (ELAB) received final approval for depression treatment Bupropion HC1, ER 100mg tablets, the generic equivalent of GlaxoSmithKline's Wellbutrin SR 100mg tablets.

CE Unterberg upgraded RF Micro Devices (RFMD) to short-term and long-term buy, from short-term and long-term market perform.

Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR) posted 31 cents, vs. 27 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 19% net sales rise. The discount retail chain sees $880 million to $905 million in fourth-quarter sales. WR Hambrecht cut the estimates.

Ultimate Electronics (ULTE) posted a 42 cents third-quarter loss, vs. 3 cents earnings per share on 12% a same-store sales decline, and a 10% net sales decline. The company noted higher expenses and declining gross profit margins for the loss. Analysts had been expecting a loss of 39 cents per share.

Genentech (DNA) says a Phase II study of its colorectal-cancer drug, Avastin, plus 5-FU/Leucovorin chemotherapy, showed a 29% improvement in the median survival of patients, meeting Genentech's target. However, the company says the results aren't statistically significant.

Coffee chain Starbucks (SBUX) posted an 11% October same-store sales rise, and a 28% consolidated net sales rise.

Customer-service software firm Open Solutions (OPEN) priced an initial five million shares at $17 each in a bid to raise $85 million, ahead of its debut Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

Praecis Pharmaceuticals (PRCS) received FDA approval for its prostate-cancer treatment, Plenaxis.

Michaels Stores (MIK) posted 54 cents, vs. 46 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 7.2% net sales rise. Wachovia raised its estimates.


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