) sees a 22 cents to 25 cents fourth-quarter loss. The paper and packaging company cited lower selling prices, and higher costs for energy, fiber, and employee benefits. Morgan Stanley cut its estimates. S&P reiterates buy.
The Wall Street Journal says International Flavors/Fragrances (IFF
) faces the threat of additional liability from civil suits related to plant worker lung injuries caused by the company's butter-flavoring mixture. S&P reiterates accumulate.
Magal Security (MAGS
) is seen higher following Israel's assassination of Hamas founder and spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin.
US Oncology (USON
) says a private investment group, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe IX, L.P., agreed to acquire a portion of US Oncology it doesn't already own for $1.14 million. The terms are $15.05 cash per share of US Oncology, a company that provides cancer care services.
Telecommunications company Global Crossing (GLBC
) says Carlos Slim and his family have accumulated a 9.1% share of the company's common equity (5% of the compnay's total equity). Global Crossing will reportedly pay $325 million to settle a class action shareholder lawsuit.
Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM
) says it may cut spending by as much as half next year due to slower sales growth. The drop also is seen tied to the contested presidential election in Taiwan.
) posted 42 cents, vs. 36 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 12% same-store sales rise and a 16% total sales rise. The discount retailer says results were aided by strong prescription-drug sales. S&P reiterates buy.
Lucent Technologies (LU
) will supply infrastructure technology to Verizon Wireless for its BroadbandAccess service for three years. Lucent notes Verizon Wireless will invest $525 million or more in Lucent's technology in the first two years of the pact. S&P keeps hold on Lucent. Also, Nortel Networks (NT
) agreed to provide Verizon with wireless infrastructure technology. Verizon is expected to spend $167 million on Nortel's wireless infrastructure technology through 2005.
Recent increase in fuel prices are taking a heavy toll on the still-recovering airline industry, including American Airlines parent AMR Corp. (AMR
, but the isn't nearly as great as it might have been a few years ago, according to WSJ.com.
Boston Scientific (BSX
) says preliminary net sales for March 8 through March 19 for its Taxus Express(2) paclitaxel-eluting coronary stent were about $42 million, vs. its forecast for $52 million to $75 million for all of March. Boston Scientific estimates the current adoption rate in U.S. for its stents at 65%.
CIBC World upgraded business software maker Cognos (COGN
) to sector outperform from sector perform, citing valuation and improved timing issues.
Flag Financial (FLAG
) set a 10% stock buyback.
Siga Technologies (SIGA
) announced a successful smallpox vaccine trial using its proprietary live vector vaccine delivery system.
Marathon Oil (MRO
) plans to offer 30 million shares. Marathon will use the proceeds to help retire debt it expects to assume in connection with its recently announced deal to acquire Ashland's (ASH
) stake in Marathon Ashland Petroleum, or to retire debt.
Bone Care (BCII
) will offer 4 million shares, and founder and board member Richard Mazess will sell 500,000 shares.
JP Morgan reportedly upgraded insurer MetLife (MET
) to overweight from neutral.
JP Morgan reportedly downgraded Prudential Financial (PRU
) to neutral from overweight.
) and Xoma (XOMA
) say preliminary results of a randomized, placebo-controlled Phase II study with Raptivatm in patients with psoriatic arthritis shows it didn't reach the statistically significant 12-week goal.
) says Aetna (AET
) recognized the medical importance of using Medtronic's Infuse Bone Graft together with the LT-CAGE Lumbar Tapered Fusion Device.