Markets & Finance

EBay Tops Estimates


After the close of trading Wednesday, EBay (EBAY) posted first-quarter earnings per share of 30 cents, vs. 16 cents. Excluding certain items, eBay posted 31 cents per share, topping analysts' average estimates of 26 cents. Sales for the online auction company soared 59%, to $756 million. For fiscal 2004, eBay expects $1.13 earnings per share (excluding items.)

Ford Motor (F) posted 96 cents (excluding items), vs. 45 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 9.6% total sales rise. The auto maker raised the $1.20 to $1.30 2004 earnings per share guidance to $1.50 to $1.60 from continuing operations, excluding special items.

DeVry (DV), a for-profit education provider, posted lower-than-expected 23 cents, vs. 21 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 16% revenue rise. Credit Suisse First Boston downgraded to underperform. Banc of America reiterates sell. S&P keeps hold.

Motorola (MOT) posted first-quarter earnings per share of 25 cents, vs. 7 cents. Excluding one-time items, the mobile-phone maker posted 18 cents earnings per share, trumping Wall Street's consensus estimate of 7 cents. Revenue rose 42%, to $8.56 billion. Motorola sees $8.2 billion to $8.6 billion in second-quarter sales, and 14 cents to 18 cents earnings per share (GAAP). S&P upgraded to buy. CIBC World and RBC Capital also upgraded the shares.

Career Education (CECO) posted 40 cents, vs. 20 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 64% revenue rise. The for-profit college sees 33 cents second-quarter earnings per share and $405 million to $410 million in revenue. For 2004, it sees $1.75 earnings per share and $1.675 billion to $1.7 billion in revenue. Piper Jaffray raised its estimates and target.

Computer Associates' (CA) chairman and CEO Sanjay Kumar has stepped down amid a federal probe and a guilty plea to accounting fraud by from former CFO Ira Zar. Lewis Ranieri, the board's lead independent director since 2002, was elected chairman. Kumar will remain with the company as chief software architect. Computer Associates says it will name an interim CEO shortly.

Eastman Kodak (EK) posted 10 cents, vs. 4 cents first-quarter earnings per share on an 11% revenue rise. Kodak sees 55 cents to 65 cents second-quarter operating earnings per share. The maker of photographic film raised its $2.05 to $2.35 2004 operating earnings per share guidance to $2.15 to $2.45, primarily reflecting first-quarter tax benefits.

Internet Security (ISSX) posted 10 cents first-quarter earnings per share(GAAP), vs. 11 cents earnings per share (reported) despite a 13% revenue rise. It sees 9 cents to 13 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and 48 cents to 55 cents in 2004. CS First Boston cut its target, and keeps neutral. S&P reiterates hold.

Mercury Computer (MRCY) commenced a private offering of up to $100 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes.

WebEx Communications (WEBX) posted 22 cents, vs. 15 cents first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on a 35% revenue rise. WebEx sees 20 cents to 22 cents second-quarter earnings per share on $59 million to $61 million in revenues. It raised the 2004 earnings per share guidance to 80 cents to 90 cents. S&P notes revenue was at the low end of guidance

Select Comfort (SCSS) posted 18 cents, vs. 11 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 37% revenue rise. It sees 13 cents to 15 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and raised the 2004 earnings per share guidance to 92 cents to 95 cents. Piper Jaffray says guidance is disappointing, and cut the $36 target to $34.

C.R. Bard (BCR) posted $1.19, vs. 89 cents first-quarter earnings per share from operations on a 17% sales rise. It sets a 2-for-1 stock split. S&P upgraded to accumulate from hold. Bear Stearns upgraded to outperform from peer perform.

American Pharmaceuticals (APPX) posted 16 cents, vs. 23 cents first-quarter earnings per share as higher cost of sales offset a 9.6% sales rise. The company sees Abraxane-related expenses of $40 million in 2004, and expects to expense a $10 million milestone payment upon the FDA's acceptance of a new-drug application filing.

Coca-Cola (KO) posted 46 cents, vs. 34 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 13% net operating revenue rise. Profit rose on solid sales in Europe and China, a weak U.S. dollar, and an increase in shipments of concentrate. The world's largest soft drink maker beat analysts' average estimates for 44 cents earnings per share.

J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) posted 92 cents, vs. 69 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 6.8% revenue rise. Analysts were expecting average earnings of 87 cents per share. The New York-based bank says it's on target for a mid-year closing of its merger with Chicago-based Bank One.

Ask Jeeves (ASKJ) posted 23 cents, vs. 17 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations (GAAP) on a 73% revenue rise. The Web-search engine sees 16 cents second-quarter earnings per share on revenue of $38 million.

Teradyne (TER) posted 20 cents first-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 41 cents loss on a 29% revenue rise. As a result of a strong first quarter, Teradyne will continue to increase shipments in the second quarter to meet customer demand. It expects 32 cents to 38 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and $500 million to $525 million in revenue.

SBC Communications (SBC) posted 37 cents, vs. 42 cents first-quarter earnings per share from operations on 2.4% lower total operating revenue.

Whirlpool (WHR) posted $1.43, vs. $1.32 first-quarter earnings per share on an 11% sales rise. The home-appliances maker maintains its $6.20 to $6.35 2004 earnings per share forecast.

Colgate-Palmolive (CL) posted 59 cents, vs. 56 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 7% sales rise.

General Dynamics (GD) posted $1.34, vs. $1.11 first-quarter earnings per share on a 41% revenue rise. Due to the strength of the first quarter, the company raised the 2004 earnings per share guidance to the $5.70 to $5.75 range.

Arkansas Best (ABFS) posted 18 cents first-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 3 cents loss (including a charge) on a 2.4% operating revenue rise. The poultry processor says due primarily to errors in estimates made by its actuaries, its pension expense will actually be $9.5 million for 2004, vs. the previous estimate of $6 million to $7 million.

Honeywell (HON) posted 34 cents, vs. 30 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 14% revenue rise. The company sees continued strong performance for 2004.


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