Markets & Finance

Boston Scientific Rises


Boston Scientific (BSX) says it sold $42 million worth of its Taxus drug-coated stents during an initial 10 selling days of Taxus between March 8 and March 19. CIBC World reiterated the sector outperform rating.

PalmOne (PLMO) posted a 20 cents third-quarter loss per share (including items), vs. a $5.93 loss (GAAP) on a 23% revenue rise. Bear Stearns upgraded to peer perform from underperform. S&P keeps hold.

Cincinnati Bell (CBB) posted $3.17 fourth-quarter earnings per share (including a $3.08 tax benefit) vs. an $11.00 loss despite a 39% revenue drop. Cincinati Bell sees a low single-digit 2004 revenue drop (excluding Broadband Services). Raymond James cut to market perform. S&P keeps sell. Shares sank.

Eastman Chemical (EMN) expects first-quarter earnings per share to exceed the high end of the range of analysts' estimates as currently reported by First Call. S&P reiterates hold.

SkillSoft (SKIL) posted 6 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share, vs. a $2.71 loss on a 28% revenue rise. SkillSoft is keeping the fiscal 2005 earnings per share guidance of 20 cents to 22 cents (GAAP) on revenues of $221 million to $225 million. Pacific Growth reiterated its overweight rating, and Legg Mason maintains its buy rating.

Elan (ELN) and Biogen Idec (BIIB) plan to submit an application this summer for European regulatory approval for Antegren, a multiple sclerosis treatment. In February, the two companies said they would seek U.S. approval a year ahead of schedule. Shares rose.

Kimberly-Clark (KMB) announced that its Consumer Tissue business recently notified customers of plans to raise prices in the U.S. during the third quarter. The company says the increase is necessary to offset inflation in key raw material inputs, as well as higher energy costs. Shares are higher.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS) posted first quarter earnings per share of $2.50, vs. $1.29, beating the Street's expectations. Net investment banking revenue was $763 million, vs. $718 million. Shares advanced.

Steel Dynamics (STLD) raised the 35 cents to 45 cents first-quarter earnings per share guidance to the 50 cents to 60 cents range, citing improvement in demand for flat-rolled and structural steel

Needham recommended increasing exposure in Digital Insight (DGIN), and reiterates the buy rating.

Limited Brands (LTD) raised its first-quarter earnings per share guidance to 11 cents to 13 cents, vs. the previous guidance of about 9 cents, on a better than expected low double-digit March same-store sales rise.

Home Depot (HD) launched an online gift registry.

Orasure Technologies (OSUR) says the FDA approved its new OraQuick Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test. Approval will allow simultaneous detection of antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 viruses in finger stick and venipuncture whole blood specimens.

Eli Lilly (LLY) says it and Icos's erectile dysfunction drug, Cialis (tadalafil) has already captured a significant share of new prescriptions, beating Levitra and further eroding the U.S. share of the market for Viagra.

American Healthways (AMHC) posted 15 cents, vs. 16 cents second-quarter earnings per share despite a 42% revenue rise. The company sees 18 cents to 19 cents third-quarter earnings per share, and 26 to 27 cents in the fourth quarter. American Healthways reaffirmed the fiscal 2004 guidance of 71 cents to 73 cents earnings per share on revenue of $245 million to $255 million.

Jones Apparel (JNY) says its MSC Acquisition Corp. unit commenced a tender offer for all outstanding Maxwell Shoe (MAXS) shares at a price of $20 per share in cash.

Union Bancorp (UBCD) raised its quarterly dividend by 11% to 10 cents.


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