Markets & Finance

Nokia Jumps


Nokia (NOK) says fourth-quarter sales and profit are exceeding guidance. The mobile-phone maker sees fourth-quarter earnings per share of 24 euro cents ($0.31) to 25 euro cents, vs. the guidance of 20 euro cents to 22 euro cents. S&P reiterates buy. Shares advanced.

Inamed (IMDC) received a "Not Approvable" letter from the Food and Drug Administration for its silicone gel-filled breast implants. The product was banned more than 10 years ago on fears the silicone could harm women. The FDA released new guidelines for Inamed and other implant manufacturers to explain exactly what issues must be settled if the devices are ever to be sold again widely.

S&P downgraded to hold. Shares fell on the news.

Gap (GPS) posted 1% higher December same-store sales, and 2% higher total sales. Shares slumped.

Friedman Billings upgraded Scientific-Atlanta (SFA), a maker of set-top boxes, to market perform from underperform.

RSA Security (RSAS) raised the fourth-quarter outlook to 9 cents to 10 cents earnings per share, and $69 million to $70 million revenue, citing strong demand for products. First Albany raised its estimates. S&P keeps avoid.

Roth Capital raised its estimates, target, and reiterated its buy rating on Pixelworks (PXLW). On Wednesday the company raised the fourth-quarter guidance to 3 cents earnings per share (GAAP).

Deutsche Bank upgraded Nortel Networks (NT) to buy from hold. On Wednesday, Verizon selected Nortel as its voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) equipment provider.

Frontier Airline (FRNT) says continued high fuel prices have adversely impacted cost per available seat mile for the third quarter of fiscal 2004.

Avici Systems (AVCI) and Nortel announced a three-year agreement under which Nortel will integrate, sell, and support Avici's carrier-class core routers as part of its converged network solutions based on Internet Protocol technology.

Banc of America upgraded Sun Microsystems (SUNW) to buy from neutral.

Procter & Gamble (PG) expects second-quarter earnings per share to exceed consensus expectations by 2 cents to 4 cents, citing the unexpected early, severe cold and flu season in North America and strong developing market growth. S&P raised its target and reiterates buy.

Wal-Mart (WMT) posted 5.2% higher December total U.S. same-store sales, and 11% higher net sales. The world's largest retailer says with two months of the fourth quarter complete, earnings are now tracking near the low end of the 63 cents to 65 cents earnings per share guidance. Wal-Mart sees a 3% to 5% rise in January total U.S. same-store sales.

Tiffany & Co. (TIF) posted a 16% rise in the Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 holiday period, and an 18% rise in net sales. The luxury retailer raised the 64 cents to 69 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share guidance to 68 cents to 71 cents.

Merrill upgraded Altera (ALTR) to buy from neutral.

Wet Seal (WTSLA) says due to soft December sales, it sees a 44 cents to 49 cents fourth-quarter loss per share. The retailer is seeking the potential sale or closure of all 31 of its pre-teen Zutopia stores; if a buyer isn't found, all stores will be closed by the first quarter. JP Morgan downgraded.

Neopharma (NEOL) plans to offer 3.5 million shares under its existing shelf registration statement.

Emerge Interactive (EMRG) announced its CattleLog system has been designated as a Process Verified Program (PVP) by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service.

Women's retailer Chico's (CHS) posted a 24% rise in December same-store sales and a 61% rise in total sales.

Merrill Lynch reportedly upgraded Honeywell (HON) to buy from neutral.

Joseph A. Bank Clothing (JOSB) posted a 14% rise in December same-store sales, and a 33% rise in total sales.

AnnTaylor (ANN) posted 26% higher December same-store sales, and 40% higher total sales. Due to stronger-than-expected sales, AnnTaylor raised the fourth-quarter earnings per share guidance to 54 cents to 56 cents, from the previous range of 43 cents to 45 cents.

Urban Outfitters (URBN) posted 20% higher November through December same-store sales, and 48% higher total company sales.


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