Markets & Finance

Supergen Jumps


Supergen (SUPG) granted MGI Pharmaceuticals (MGON) exclusive worldwide rights to develop, manufacture, and distribute Supergen's anti-cancer drug Dacogen. MGI will make a $40 million equity investment in Supergen. First Boston upgraded Supergen to buy.

Open Text (OTEX).

posted 49 cents, vs. 67 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP), and sees 7 cents to 12 cents first-quarter earnings per share. Open Text will acquire Vista Plus products from Quest Software (QSFT). Dlouhy downgraded to hold. S&P keeps accumulate. RBC Captial keeps the outperform rating, and sees a buying opportunity.

Corinthian Colleges (COCO) posted 20 cents vs. 20 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 56% revenue rise, limited by higher operating expenses. The for-profit education provider sees 17 cents to 19 cents first-quarter earnings per share.

Online auction giant EBay (EBAY) offered about $530 million to buy the remainder of South Korean affiliate Internet Auction Company. Shareholders accepted a 79% increase to an earlier offer.

A Securities and Exchange Commission report says Conrad Black, the former CEO of Hollinger International (HLR), looted the publishing company of more than $400 million.

St. Paul Travelers (STA) estimated losses from Hurricane Charley to be about $140 million, after tax and reinsurance.

Forest Labs (FRX) announced that in preliminary analysis, data from the first Phase III study of an investigational Alzheimer's disease treatment, neramexane, failed to achieve statistical significance. Prudential keeps neutral.

Boston Scientific (BSX) sees 45 cents to 47 cents third-quarter earnings per share on $1.44 billion to $1.465 billion in sales (including worldwide Taxus stent sales of between $594 million and $608 million. The medical-devices maker sees $1.60 to $1.65 2004 earnings per share (excluding charges). It says preliminary worldwide sales of the Taxus system for August were about $200 million.

Hain Celestial (HAIN) posted 14 cents, vs. 19 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share as higher selling, general, and administrative costs offset a 17% sales rise. It sees 92 cents to $1.01 fiscal 2005 earnings per share.

Allstate (ALL) says pre-tax catastrophe losses related to Hurricane Charley are preliminarily estimated to be about $425 million, net of recoveries from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, or $276 million after-tax, or 40 cents per share.

Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS) reiterated the previous third-quarter guidance for sales to be about the same as in the second quarter. It says as expected, bookings were soft during the first two months of the third quarter.

Papa John's (PZZA), the pizza chain, posted 1.2% lower August domestic system-wide comparison-sales, and noted that the trend of increased ticket averages over the prior year's results continued during August.

Sierra Wireless (SWIR) reaffirmed the previous guidance of $57 million in third-quarter revenue, net earnings of $6.4 million, positive cash flow from operations. Sierra currently expects fourth-quarter guidance will reflect continuation of top-line growth and bottom-line profitability.


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