Markets & Finance

Best Buy Rises


Best Buy (BBY) reported second-quarter EPS from continuing operations of 46 cents, vs. 42 cents a year ago, on a 13% revenue rise. The electronics retailer sees third-quarter EPS from continuing operations of 41 cents to 47 cents, driven by 3% to 5% same-store sales gain. It reiterated $2.80 to $2.93 fiscal year 2005 EPS guidance.

Rambus (RMBS) shares rose after the Justice Department reports that IFX (a peer of RMBS) has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $160 million fine to settle federal charges that it was involved in conspiracy to fix prices in the DRAM chip market.

After the market close Tuesday, Oracle (ORCL) reported first-quarter earnings per share of 10 cents, vs. 8 cents one year earlier, a penny above the Wall Street consensus estimate. The database software outfit said revenues rose 7%, citing continued growth of its Oracle 10g product. Merrill Lynch says the results were better than expected and reiterated a buy rating. S&P raised its earnings estimate and kept an accumulate recommendation.

Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO), announced she wants to serve her sentence of five months of jail and five months of house arrest instead of waiting for the appeal process. Stewart said she wants to reclaim her good name and her personal and professional life.

Coca-Cola (KO) says unfavorable operating conditions in its key markets are hurting earnings. The soft drink maker says third-quarter worldwide unit case volume growth is expected to be flat to up 1%. It sees third-quarter earnings per share of 35 cents to 38 cents, including impairment charges.

Xilinx (XLNX) says it sees a 5% to 7% sequential revenue decline for the second quarter, vs. its previous guidance for a 2% to 4% revenue rise. The programmable logic devices maker expects 64% gross margin, vs. prior forecast of 65%. This could dampen the positive sentiment for semis after the recent run-up, says Standard & Poor's MarketScope.

Taser International (TASR) says it launched TASER X26C Citizen Defense System, the latest, most effective citizen TASER device available. It can be directly purchased from the TASER Web store.

Callaway Golf (ELY) says its CEO transition facilitates business review; the company subsequently suspends quarterly and annual guidance. It cited unknowns, including re-order status for the rest of year and timing of new product launches. RBC Capital cut estimates and target.

Celestica (CLS) cuts its third-quarter guidance to 7 cents to 11 cents EPS on $2.05 billion to $2.15 billion in revenue. S&P downgraded the stock to hold. KeyBanc reportedly downgraded to hold from aggressive buy.

Cyberonics (CYBX) shares rose after Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (ANSI) proposed to Cyberonics that the two companies investigate the possibility of a merger. ANSI is prepared to offer CYBX holders $22 per share payable in combination of cash and stock.

Schering (SHR) says the FDA issued an approvable letter to the company's Berlex unit for hormone therapy Angeliq tablets, pending submission of additional manufacturing information. Angeliq is intended to help alleviate menopausal symptoms.

PacifiCare Health Systems (PHS) agreed to acquire American Medical Security (AMZ) for $32.75 per share in cash, in a $502 million deal. Separately, PacifiCare raised its $350 million to $360 million 2005 net income guidance to $360 million to $375 million.

Guidant (GDT) says the FDA approved an expanded indication for its portfolio of cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators.

Tribune (TRB) says that due to lower-than-anticipated revenues in publishing and broadcasting, it sees third-quarter EPS of 49 cents to 51 cents.

Potash (POT) raised its third-quarter EPS guidance to 65 cents to 75 cents (post-split). It cited continued strong potash markets and higher-than-anticipated nitrogen prices.


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