Markets & Finance

H-P Net Climbs as Dollar Boosts Revenue


After the close of trading Thursday, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) posted first-quarter earnings per share of 30 cents, vs. 24 cents (GAAP), on a 9% revenue rise -- meeting analysts' average expectations. H-P says revenue was aided by the falling U.S. dollar. Excluding items, the technology outfit posted 35 cents earnings per share, vs. 29 cents. Still, the company noted pricing pressure from rivals in the information-technology consulting market.

Intuit (INTU) posted 73 cents, vs. 60 cents, second-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on a 14% revenue rise. The tax software maker sees $1.12 to $1.16 third-quarter earnings per share (pro forma, below consensus) on $685 million to $725 million in revenue (8% to 14% growth). S&P cut the earnings estimates for fiscal 2004-05, and reiterated its hold ranking on the shares.

RadioShack (RSH) posted 77 cents, vs. 63 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on flat same-store sales and flat total sales. It sees 36 cents to 38 cents first-quarter earnings per share, and at least $1.99 in 2004. Prudential raised its estimate, and reiterates overweight.

Biogen Idec (BIIB) climbed after Wachovia, CS First Boston, and Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock. On Wednesday the company and Elan (ELN) said they expect to submit application to the FDA for approval of Antegren for multiple sclerosis by mid-2004.

Panera Bread (PNRA) posted 34 cents, vs. 25 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on flat system-wide comparable bakery-cafe sales, and a 30% total sales rise. It sees $1.28 to $1.30 2004 earnings per share. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Omnivision Technologies (OVTI) posted 28 cents, vs. 9 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on a sharp revenue rise. It sees 30 cents to 31 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on revenue of $96 million to $100 million. Needham upgraded to strong buy from buy.

Target (TGT) reported fourth-quarter earnings per share of 91 cents, vs. 75 cents a year ago, on a 4.9% same-store sales rise and 11% total revenue rise.

Ciena (CIEN) posted a first-quarter loss per share of 16 cents, vs. a loss of 25 cents a year ago, despite 5.8% total revenue decline. The networking gear maker sees second-quarter revenue up 20% sequentially.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) reported 7.8% higher January same-store sales, 6.4% higher fourth-quarter same-store sales. The book retailer sees $2.07 fiscal year 2004 earnings per share, at the high end of previously issued $2.00-$2.07 guidance.

Wal-Mart (WMT) posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 63 cents, vs. 57 cents a year ago, on a 4.8% U.S. same-store sales rise and a 12% total sales rise.

Broadcom (BRCM) raised the first-quarter revenue guidance to 16% to 18% sequential growth, vs. the previous guidance for about 10% sequential growth. S&P reiterates hold.

DaimlerChrysler (DCX) posted 1.39 euros ($1.77), vs. 0.32 euros, fourth-quarter earnings per share despite a 3.2% revenue drop. The auto maker says it's striving to achieve a slight increase in 2004 operating profit vs. 2003. It sees significantly improved earnings per share in 2005 and 2006.

Applied Materials (AMAT) posted 12 cents first-quarter earnings per share (before a 7-cents restructuring charge), vs. breakeven results a year ago, on a 48% sales rise. The company reportedly sees 17 cents to 19 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 20% sequential revenue rise. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Oppenheimer upgraded to neutral from sell.

Movie Gallery (MOVI) posted 52 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 12 cents loss, on a 6% same-store sales rose and a 28% total revenue rise. Movie Gallery sees slightly positive to -2% first-quarter same-stores sales, and 52 cents to 54 cents adjusted earnings per share, as well as flat to +3% 2004 same-store sales, and $1.76 to $1.86 adjusted earnings per share.

Nextel Communications (NXTL) posted 56 cents, vs. $1.38, fourth-quarter earnings per share despite a 29% revenue rise. Nextel sees $2.00 in 2004 earnings per share, or more.

Eastman Kodak (EK) announced changes to its corporate governance policy. Separately, Carl Icahn reportedly says he has sold his stake in Kodak due to the rise in Kodak's stock price.


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