) cut its first-quarter revenue guidance to the lower end of its previous range. The world's largest chipmaker now sees revenues in the range of $8 billion and $8.2 billion, vs. earlier expectations for a range of $7.9 billion and $8.5 billion.
Deutsche Bank (DB
) is seen higher on renewed rumors that it may be a takeover target for Citigroup (C
) founder Michael Dell will relinquish his role as CEO but will keep his chairman title, in an effort to adhere to corporate governance reform. Dell named president and chief operating officer Kevin Rollins as the next CEO, effective Jul. 16. Shares dipped on the news.
Jefferies reportedly downgraded Quicksilver Resources (KWK
) to hold from buy. On Wednesday the energy producer posted 23 cents, vs. 21 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 16% revenue rise.
In an SEC filing, a group that includes financier Carl Icahn reported it now owns a 6.9% stake in ImClone Systems (IMCL
), or about five million shares. ImClone shares advanced on the news.
Piper Jaffray downgraded ManTech International (MANT
) to market Perform from outperform. The information-technology services firm posted 31 cents, vs. 13 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 37% revenue rise. ManTech sees $795 million to $810 million in 2004 revenue. Shares fell.
Wedbush Morgan upgraded Pier 1 Imports (PIR
) to buy from hold. The home-furnishing retailer posted 3.3% higher February same-store sales, and 11% higher total sales. Pier 1 posted 2.7% higher fourth-quarter same-store sales, 6.6% higher total sales. It still sees 52 cents to 56 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share. Shares rose.
JP Morgan upgraded PalmOne (PLMO
) to overweight from neutral.
Ask Jeeves (ASKJ
) agreed to acquire Interactive Search Holdings. Ask Jeeves will issue 9.3 million shares and options, and pay $150 million in cash. Ask Jeeves could pay up to an additional $17.5 million in cash based on various factors, including Interactive's operating performance.
Take-Two Interactive (TTWO
) posted 70 cents, vs. $1.22 first-quarter earnings per share on 8.6% lower sales. The video-game software maker reduced the second-quarter earnings per share guidance to 33 cents, vs. the previous 39 cents, due to a shift in the release of the Grand Theft Auto video game. Take-Two reiterated the $2.45 fiscal 2004 earnings per share and the $1.22 billion sales guidance.
Chico's FAS (CHS
) posted 29 cents, vs. 17 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 21% higher same-store sales and 56% higher total sales. CIBC World raised its estimates and target. S&P keeps hold.
Wet Seal (WTSLA
) posted 13% lower February same-store sales from continuing operations, and 10% lower total sales from continuing operations.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO
) posted 10 cents, vs. 6 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share as lower costs offset an 8.6% sales drop. The media company sees a 20 cents first-quarter loss, which reflects increased pressure on ad revenues resulting from the ongoing trial of Martha Stewart.
) elected former U.S. Senator and board director George Mitchell to serve as chairman, replacing Michael Eisner, who will continue as CEO. Also, Disney's board rejected cable giant Comcast's reiteration that a proposal to buy Disney would lead to a deal beneficial to shareholders.
) posted 6.2% higher February total U.S. same-store sales, and 14% higher total sales. The world's largest discount retailer sees March U.S. same-store sales up 4% to 6%.
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF
) posted 1% higher February comparable-store sales, and 21% higher total sales. Based on February results, the apparel retailer says it's comfortable with the 27 cents first-quarter earnings per share consensus estimate.
Piper Jaffray upgraded Foundry Networks (FDRY
) to outperform from market perform.
Discount retailer Target (TGT
) posted 7.5% higher February comparable-store sales, and 13% higher total sales.
) posted 18% higher February same-store sales, and 25% higher total sales. The women's retailer raised its $55 million to $57 million first-quarter sales guidance to $56 million to $58 million, upped its 24 cents to 28 cents earnings per share estimate to 28 cents to 30 cents, and upped its $1.28 to $1.31 2004 earnings per share guidance to a range of $1.32 to $1.35.
Pep Boys (PBY
) posted a 2 cents fourth-quarter GAAP loss, vs. a 4 cents loss on 15.9% higher comparable merchandise sales and a 13.6% revenue rise.
Children's Place (PLCE
) posted 25% higher February same-store sales and 35% higher total sales.
Merck & Co. (MRK
) sees 71 cents to 73 cents first-quarter earnings per share, excluding costs associated with the acquisition of biotech firm Aton Pharma, as well as a gain from the sale of its stake in a joint venture with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ
). Merck reaffirmed its $3.11 to $3.17 2004 earnings per share guidance.