) posted 21 cents first-quarter earnings per share, vs. 15 cents a year ago, on $1.5 billion in net earnings (excluding charges). Revenue rose 17% from a year ago to $5.97 billion. The EPS results for the networking giant were in line with analysts' estimates. The shares were down in after-hours trading.
) shares moved lower Tuesday on news that the SEC is commencing an informal inquiry on Vioxx. Merck received a Justice Department subpoena requesting information on research, marketing, and selling activities for Vioxx in a federal health care investigation under criminal statutes.
Marsh & McLennan (MMC
) posted 4 cents, vs. 65 cents a year ago, third-quarter earnings per share, as higher expenses offset a 4.7% revenue rise. The insurance broker set a $232 million reserve for any settlement reached with the New York Attorney General. A $40 million settlement deal in principle is reached with the SEC on its Putnam unit.
) and Wellpoint Health Networks (WLP
) rise after the California Insurance Commissioner dropped his objections to Anthem's $16 billion acquisition of Wellpoint after Anthem agreed to more than double its previous offer to improve health care for California consumers and underserved communities, according to WSJ.com.
) and its federal criminal investigation of dealings with the Air Force is branching out to include aspects of a $100 billion program it was overseeing for the Army, according to people familiar with matter, reports The Wall Street Journal.
EchoStar Communications (DISH
) posted 22 cents, vs. 7 cents, third-quarter earnings per share (basic) on a 28% revenue rise. The company set a one-time $1.00 per share dividend.
) was upgraded to overweight from neutral by J.P. Morgan.
) sees $1.50 to $1.60 for 2005 earnings per share, including about 5 cents in restructuring and related charges. S&P maintains its hold rating.
Western Wireless (WWCA
) posted 30 cents third-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 23-cent loss per share, on a 24% revenue rise. The company will restate results for 2001 to 2003, as well as for the first- and second-quarter of 2004, for the required correction of accounting for certain direct labor costs in international operations.
Pacific Sunwear (PSUN
) posted 42 cents, vs. 31 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on 6.6% higher same-store sales and 17% higher total sales. The company sees 5% same-store sales growth in the fourth-quarter. S&P reiterates buy.
Six Flags (PKS
) posted 55 cents, vs. $1.20, third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 3.3% revenue decline. It expects 2004 revenue of $1.023 billion to $1.026 billion.