) lowered the $1 billion to $1.06 billion 2004 net sales guidance to $975 million to $990 million, and cut the 82 cents to 97 cents EPS guidance to 15 cents to 25 cents, including items. AG Edwards downgraded to sell from buy. S&P downgraded to avoid.
) says an FDA panel voted 5 to 2 to recommend conditional approval of its VNS Therapy System as an adjunctive long-term treatment of chronic or recurrent depression. AG Edwards upgraded to buy from hold.
Hewitt Associates (HEW
) agreed to acquire Exult (EXLT
). The terms are 0.20 Hewitt Class A stock for each Exult share. S&P maintains hold.
CS First Boston raised its estimates and target on FactSet Research (FDS
). On Tuesday the company posted 45 cents, vs. 41 cents third-quarter EPS on a 12% revenue rise.
Best Buy (BBY
) posted first-quarter earnings per share of 34 cents, vs. 21 cents one year earlier, from continuing operations on 8.3% higher same-store sales. The retailer forecast 47 cents to 52 cents second-quarter EPS from continuing operations, and sees a 5% to 7% same-store sales improvement.
) says the FDA approved its new drug application for Rapinex Powder for heartburn, symptoms related to gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcers, and the treatment and maintenance of healing of erosive esophagitis. Thomas Weisel sees upside to earnings estimates.
Media General (MEG
) expects second-quarter EPS to be below 85 cents, vs. the previous estimate of EPS at the low end of the 85 cents to 90 cents range. The greatest impact on these lowered expectations is a reduction in anticipated equity earnings from SP Newsprint.
) posted 19 cents, vs. 16 cents fourth-quarter EPS on an 8.6% total revenue rise. The software maker reportedly sees first-quarter EPS of 9 cents. S&P reiterates accumulate. JMP Securities trimmed its target and keep the strong buy rating.
) agreed to acquire Force Computers, an embedded computing business owned by Solectron (SLE
). Motorola expects the deal to close during the third quarter of 2004. Terms were not disclosed.
Merrill downgraded Knight Trading (NITE
) to neutral from buy. Yesterday Knight said May average daily equity volume fell 25%.
) posted $1.22, vs. $1.02 second-quarter EPS on an 11% revenue rise. The homebuilder raised the $5.30 2004 EPS guidance to $5.50.
) says an audit committee of its board of directors is conducting an internal review into practices that resulted in the overstatement of circulation figures for The Chicago Sun-Times over the past several years.
Mandalay Resort (MBG
) signed a definitive agreement for MGM Mirage (MGG
) to acquire it for $71 cash per Mandalay share.
) filed a resale registration statement with the SEC covering 15 million shares. All shares registered are currently owned by affiliates of The Blackstone Group.
Sanderson Farms (SAFM
) will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600 after the close of trading on June 17, replacing International Multifoods, which is being acquired.