Markets & Finance

BEA Systems Climbs


BEA Systems (BEAS) shares rose after the business software maker posted fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) of 9 cents, vs. 8 cents a year ago, on a 12% revenue rise. Its EPS was a penny above analysts' forecast. S&P kept a buy recommendation on the shares.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) posted 35 cents, vs. 29 cents, first-quarter earnings per share (non-GAAP), meeting analysts' average expectations. Revenue, which rose 9%, was helped by the falling dollar. H-P sees about 34 cents second-quarter earnings per share on revenue of $19.2 billion to $19.6 billion. The technology outfit affirmed the current consensus earnings per share estimates of $1.43 for fiscal 2004. S&P reiterates hold. The stock fell as the company failed to provide robust guidance.

Nordstrom (JWN) posted 74 cents, vs. 44 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on 8.5% higher same-store sales and 12% higher total sales. The department store chain sees 23 cents to 28 cents first-quarter earnings per share on 4% to 6% higher same-store sales, and $2.02 to $2.08 fiscal 2005 earnings per share on 1% to 3% higher same-store sales. CIBC World raised its estimate and target. S&P keeps its accumulate ranking.

CompuDyne (CDCY) posted 5 cents (including a charge), vs. 2 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 3.5% revenue rise. The company says it's difficult to estimate 2004 results. Friedman Billings downgraded to market perform from outperform.

Wireless Facilities (WFII) shares fell after the company posted fourth-quarter EPS of 11 cents, vs. 5 cents a year ago, on a 63% revenue rise. Eric DeMarco will become CEO. The company sees EPS of 7 cents to 8 cents in the first-quarter and 39 cents to 43 cents in 2004. Thomas Weisel says investors were disappointed by the company's margins and guidance.

Spanish broadcaster Univision Communications (UVN) posted 17 cents, vs. 14 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 44% revenue rise. Univision sees 8 cents to 9 cents first-quarter earnings per share on high single to low double-digit revenue growth. S&P keeps hold.

Merrill upgraded King Pharmaceuticals (KG) to buy from neutral. Wachovia upgraded to outperform. On Thursday, King posted 32 cents, vs. 28 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share (excluding special items). CEO Jefferson Gregory announced he will retire.

Stratasys (SSYS) sees 80 cents to 90 cents 2004 earnings per share on $61 million to $65 million revenue.

CS First Boston downgraded Micron Technology (MU) to neutral from outperform.

Johnson Outdoors (JOUT) shares rose after the company receives a nonbinding proposal from majority shareholder, director Samuel Johnson, and chairman and CEO Helen Johnson-Leipold, to acquire the outstanding shares of JOUT for $18 per share.

Plains Resources (PLX) agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc., for $16.75 cash per share. The offer is up from the previously announced proposal for $14.25 per share.

Matria Healthcare (MATR) posted 20 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 26 cents loss, on a 21% revenue rise. Matria confirmed the previous first-quarter guidance of 14 cents to 19 cents earnings per share on revenue of $87 million to $89 million.

Texas Instruments (TXN) set a 21 million share buyback.

Vaso Active Pharmaceuticals (VAPH) set a 3-for-1 stock split.

AnnTaylor Stores (ANN) will be added to the S&P MidCap 400 after the market close on Feb. 26.


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