Markets & Finance

Dean Foods Sinks


Delta Air Lines (DAL), the nation's third-largest carrier, will cut up to 7,000 jobs, or 10% of its work force, during the next 18 months in an effort to avert bankruptcy, according to AP Online. It will also cease using the Dallas-Fort Worth airport as one of its four hubs. Still, CEO Gerald Grinstein said bankruptcy is a "real possibility."

ValueClick (VCLK) sees 2005 total revenue of about $210 million, up more than 38% from the midpoint of its 2004 guidance of $150 million to $154 million. The company expects EBITDA margin of about 25%. S&P raised its estimate and target, but keeps the hold opinion.

Avon Products (AVP) expects a 5% to 10% decline in third-quarter U.S. operating profit on "flattish" sales, citing weaker-than-expected beauty sales. Avon still sees 34 cents third-quarter earnings per share and is comfortable with the $1.72 2004 earnings per share guidance.

Dean Foods (DF) cut its 2004 earnings per share guidance to $2.00 to $2.05, and raised its stock buyback program by $200 million. CS First Boston downgraded the stock to neutral from outperform.

Piper Jaffray downgraded Oracle (ORCL) to market perform from outperfrom.

PTEK Holdings (PTEK) says it has been informed of IBM Corp.'s (IBM) intention to transition reservation-less conferencing services currently provided by PTEK to an alternative provider. The transition is expected to begin sometime in 2005.

Merrill Lynch downgraded Motorola (MOT) to neutral from buy.

Apollo Group (APOL) received approval for expansion into Mexico. Apollo has reached an agreement with the U.S. Dept. of Education to resolve both Office of Inspector General audits and the University of Phoenix program review. S&P keeps the hold ranking.

McDonald's (MCD) posted 3.9% higher August global comparable sales and 8.6% higher systemwide sales (4.6% in constant currency).

Triquint Semiconductor (TQNT) cut the $92 million to $94 million third-quarter revenue estimate to $88 million to $90 million, and widened the breakeven to 1-cent third-quarter loss per share to a 3-cent to 4-cent loss per share. Triquint also cut the 2004 revenue guidance to $362 million to $367 million, and sees a 5-cent to 6-cent loss per share.

Continental Airlines (CAL) will charge service fees when tickets are booked via its reservations centers or airport ticket counters in the U.S. It won't charge a fee for booking or ticketing on its web site or at airport self-service kiosks.

AirTran Holdings (AAI) says due to the near-term economic impact of hurricanes Charley and Frances, it now expects to report a third-quarter loss.


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