) shares surged after the company received an "approvable" letter from the FDA for its New Drug Application for Estorra brand eszopiclone. Deutsche Bank reportedly upgraded the shares to buy from hold. Morgan Stanley upped the stock to equal-weight from underweight.
Sprint Corp. will combine its wireless (PCS
) and wireline (FON
) tracking stocks into a single stock; terms: 1 PCS share converts to 0.50 FON share. The company will recognize about $55 million of noncash pretax expense in 2004, about $45 million in 2005. UBS upgraded FON shares to buy from reduce.
Union Pacific (UNP
) says that due to a recent court decision and a difficult operating environment in the first quarter, it will not meet the low end of its initial forecast of 30% to 40% earnings per share growth over the 57 cents reported year ago from continuing operations.
Universal Health Services (UHS
) shares dropped sharply after the company said first quarter EPS could be as much as 25% lower than the year-ago figure of 84 cents. S&P maintains hold. CIBC World downgrades to sector underperform from sector outperform. Triad Hospitals (TRI
)and other peers moved down in sympathy following the news.
) sees earnings per share of 40 cents to 43 cents in the first quarter and 50 cents to 60 cents for all of 2004 as it accelerates investment in research and development. It says it does not expect Flumist vaccine to be a meaningful contributor to revenue growth before 2007. The company sees $1.00 to $1.10 earnings per share by 2007.
Morgan Stanley upped estimates on Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN
JP Morgan downgraded Intel (INTC
) to neutral from overweight. The firm also downgrades Advanced Micro Devices (AMD
) to underweight from neutral. JP Morgan lowered its stance on the semiconductor industry to neutral from positive.
UBS Financial reiterated its buy rating on KB Home (KBH
). The company was unavailable for comment.
Buckingham Research upgraded Circuit City Stores (CC
) to strong buy from neutral.
Furniture Brands (FBN
) sees better than expected first quarter earnings per share of 55 cents to 57 cents on mind-single digit sales growth. The company cites strong orders; it sees recovery continuing through the first quarter. Morgan Keegan and ST Robinson Humphrey each raised their estimates. S&P kept its hold opinion.
Lehman upgraded Pacificare Health (PHS
) to overweight from equal-weight.
United Parcel Service (UPS
) is in talks with Airbus to cancel more than $1.6 billion in aircraft orders as consumer preferences shift to ground delivery, according to a Wall Street Journal report.