Markets & Finance

Yahoo Soars


Yahoo! (YHOO) posted 14 cents, vs. 8 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a sharp revenue rise. The online media portal noted strong growth in fee-based and marketing services. Yahoo also set a 2-for-1 stock split. Pacific Growth upgraded to overweight from equal-weight.

Research In Motion (RIMM), the maker of Blackberry and handheld devices, posted 56 cents, vs. 20 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (before items) on a sharp revenue rise. RIMM raised the first-quarter guidance to 28 cents to 33 cents earnings per share on revenue of $250 million to $260 million. It also set a two-for-one stock split. S&P maintains hold. J.P. Morgan says the shares trade at a premium.

Pharmacopeia (ACCL) sees first-quarter revenue about 34% lower than first-quarter 2003's. The company cited the negative effect of a new subscription software license, and a 22% decrease in orders from a year ago. Pharmacopeia sees 2005 revenue 12% to 15% lower than the 12-months comparison ended Mar. 31, 2004.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) posted 1% lower March same-store sales, and 18% higher total sales. Based on March results, A&F expects 28 cents to 30 cents first-quarter earnings per share.

Dell (DELL) raised the first-quarter sales estimate to $11.4 billion, which is $200 million higher than the earlier guidance. Dell reiterated the 28 cents first-quarter earnings per share. The computer maker cited strong demand across its full range of products and services. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Teen retailer Hot Topic (HOTT) posted a 3.9% March same-store sales rise, and a 28% net sales rise. Wedbush Morgan cut its target.

General Electric (GE) posted 32 cents, vs. 30 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 9.5% revenue rise. GE says it's positioned for double-digit earnings per share growth in 2005.

Discount retail giant Wal-Mart (WMT) posted 6% higher March same-store sales, up 14% from a year ago.

Biosite (BSTE) sees $56 million to $57 million first-quarter sales, vs. the previous estimate of $48 million to $51 million. The maker of medical testing systems raised the 33 cents to 41 cents first-quarter earnings per share estimate to 48 cents to 56 cents, citing strong domestic sales of its Triage BNP test combined with cost savings and delayed expenses.

Consumer retailer Ultimate Electronics (ULTE) posted a 43 cents fourth-quarter loss, vs. 38 cents earnings per share on a 9% same-store sales drop and flat total sales. Ultimate says same-store sales should remain negative during the first part of fiscal 2005. It hired a consultant to assist in returning the company to profitability.

Bombay Company (BBA) posted 6% lower March same-store sales, vs. a year ago's 30% rise in March same-store sales. Due to weak same-store sales, the home-furnishing retailer expects a first-quarter loss near the high end of the previously announced range of an 8 cents to 11 cents loss.

Limited Brands (LTD) posted 15% higher March same-store sales, and 14% higher total sales.

Century Aluminum (CENX) priced a public offering at 9.5 million shares at $24.50 per share.

Genentech (DNA) posted 33 cents, vs. 29 cents first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on 30% higher total operating revenues. The drug company, which makes cancer drug Avastin, sees a 20% to 25% 2004 earnings per share (non-GAAP) rise.

Retailer American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) posted 7.5% higher March comparable store sales, and an 18% total sales rise.

Children's Place (PLCE) posted 17% higher March same-store sales, and 26% higher total sales. The children's retailer sees 42 cents first-quarter earnings per share.

Costco Wholesale (COST) posted 11% higher March same-store sales, and 14% higher total sales.

Allstate (ALL) expects first-quarter operating earnings per share of $1.38 to $1.42, vs. a year ago's 95 cents, on about 6.5% higher net written premiums. Allstate cited higher property-liability earned premium, lower claims, and lower catastrophe losses.

Aeropostale (ARO) posted 14% higher same-store sales, and a 45% total net sales rise. The apparel retailer raised the 9 cents first-quarter earnings per share estimate to 11 cents. Aeropostale promoted Thomas Johnson, senior vice president and director of stores and marketing, to executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Bebe Stores (BEBE) posted 21% higher March same-store sales, and 22% higher total sales. The retailer raised the 11 cents to 14 cents third-quarter earnings per share forecast to 16 cents to 19 cents on higher same-store sales, improved merchandise margins, and favorable leverage in expenses.


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