Markets & Finance

Intel Posts Sharp Profit Rise


After the close of trading Wednesday, Intel (INTC) posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 33 cents, vs. 16 cents one year earlier on a 22% revenue rise. Results for the current period included the impact of a $611 million goodwill writedown related to its wireless communications and computing group. Intel also said than an expected tax benefit for the current quarter of approximately $200 million related to a divestiture increased by $420 million, or 6 per share cents more than anticipated. The shares were lower in after-hours trading.

After the close of trading Wednesday, Yahoo! (YHOO) posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 11 cents, vs. 8 cents one year earlier on a 132% revenue rise. The shares moved down in after-hours trading.

After the close of trading Wednesday, Apple Computer (AAPL) posted fiscal first-quarter earnings per share of 16 cents (excluding a 1-cent after-tax investment gain), vs. a net loss of 2 cents one year earlier on a 36% revenue rise. Apple shares declined in after-hours trading.

UBS Financial upgraded video-game software maker Activision (ATVI) to buy from neutral. Morgan Keegan raised its rating to outperform. Both brokers see room for upside for the company's earnings and share price in fiscal 2005. The shares rose.

Plantronics (PLT) posted better-than-expected 37 cents, vs. 20 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 24% revenue rise. The maker of wireless headsets sees 30 cents to 34 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on $104 million to $108 million revenue, and $1.19 to $1.23 earnings per share in fiscal 2004. S&P reiterated its accumulate ranking, while JP Morgan raised its estimates. Shares soared.

Casual shoe maker Vans (VANS) raised the third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations guidance by 4 cents to a range of 24 cents to 26 cents , and on a GAAP basis to 21 cents to 23 cents. Vans cited strong comp-store gains and higher retail gross margins. Shares rose.

Internet Security (ISSX) says fourth-quarter earnings per share (pro forma) may be below the previous 13 cents to 17 cents guidance depending on if it needs to record an impairment expense and if there's a need for additional bad debt allowance. S&P reiterates hold. Schwab SoundView notes the company's execution issues. Shares fell.

Sina (SINA), a Chinese Web portal, and Yahoo (YHOO) inked a deal to establish a joint venture that will provide new auctions-based ecommerce service for small and medium-sized businesses, and buyers and sellers in China. USB Piper reiterates outperform on the shares. Sina advanced.

Wireless giant Cingular -- owned jointly by SBC Communications (SBC) and BellSouth (BLS) -- is close to a deal to acquire AT&T Wireless (AWE) in a combination that could kick off the telecom sector's long-awaited consolidation, according to BusinessWeek Online.

AG Edwards reiterated its hold rating, while S&P says investors should accumulate the shares.

Rockwell Collins (COL), a maker of communications and aviation electronics products, raised the fiscal 2004 earnings per share guidance to $1.50 to $1.60. Prudential upgraded to overweight from neutral. Shares advanced.

Battery maker Rayovac (ROV) set a restructuring plan which will include consolidation of certain facilities, and lay off of about 217 hourly administrative employees. UBS Financial upgraded to buy from neutral.

Applied Imaging (AICX) rose after it won FDA clearance to market the Ariol HerSight application to assist in detecting overexpression of HER2 protein in breast cancer patients.

Merrill Lynch upgraded Nokia (NOK) to buy from neutral.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted a $2.69 fourth-quarter loss vs. a $2.98 loss on a 2.7% operating revenue rise. The airline notes while in line with expectations, the results were disappointing. Delta began a complete reassessment of its business to ensure the company is competitive.

Advanced Marketing (MKT) will restate financial results for fiscal years in a five-year period ended Mar. 31, 2003; it sees a total reduction of between $3 million and $9 million; this constitutes default under the company's revolving credit agreement. Advanced Marketing cut the fiscal 2004 earnings per share outlook to 30 cents to 40 cents.

WR Hambrecht upgraded Electronic Arts (ERTS) to buy from hold. Schwab SoundView expects a solid third-quarter, and rates the shares as outperform.

Bear Stearns downgraded Hollywood Entertainment (HLYW) to underperform from peer perform, and upgraded Movie Gallery (MOVI) to outperform from peer perform.

XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) announced the commencement of an 18 million Class A share public offering, including 7 million shares by a company representing new financing, and 11 million shares by certain selling shareholders.


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