Markets & Finance

Abbott and Pfizer Fall


A U.S. Food and Drug Administration official said Abbott Laboratories' (ABT) weight-loss drug Meridia and Pfizer's (PFE) arthritis treatment Bextra required more scrutiny to determine whether they belonged on the market.

Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) named former Viacom president Mel Karmazin as its chief executive officer.

Nike (NKE) confirmed reports from late yesterday that co-founder Philip Knight is stepping down as president and CEO. The athletic shoe maker named William D. Perez as Knight's successor. Knight will continue as chairman.

Hollywood Entertainment (HLYW) received an undisclosed amount to be acquired by Movie Gallery (MOVI). On Nov. 11, Blockbuster (BBI) said it is interested in acquiring Hollywood Entertainment for $11.50 per share cash.

TheStreet.com (TSCM) rose after Frank Gristina of Avondale Partners says any of three companies who lost out for MarketWatch may go after TheStreet.com, according to BusinessWeek.

PortalPlayer (PLAY) shares rose after their initial 6.25 million shares were offered at $17 per share.

Genentech (DNA) and OSI Pharmaceuticals (OSIP) announce that the FDA approved Tarceva for treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer after failure of at least one prior chemotherapy regimen. Piper Jaffray says if physicians choose to limit usage to EGFR-positive patients, estimates for OSI's sales may prove aggressive. Both stocks fell.

Analysts believe business database software outfit Oracle (ORCL) ) is going to get a majority of shares tendered of PeopleSoft (PSFT). The deadline for Oracle's $8.8 billion takeover bid for PeopleSoft is Friday midnight.

Walt Disney (DIS) said profit rose 24% thanks to more advertising at ESPN and ABC television networks. It reported fourth-quarter earnings per share rose to 25 cents from 20 cents a year ago, on an 8% revenue rise.

Autodesk (ADSK) posted third-quarter earnings per share of 38 cents, vs. 20 cents a year ago (pro forma), on a 28% revenue rise. It set a 2-for-1 stock split. The software maker sees fourth-quarter EPS of 25 cents to 28 cents (post-split) on revenue of $335 million to $345 million. S&P raised estimate, but kept a sell ranking. The shares rose.

UnumProvident (UNM) says some of its insurance units entered into settlement deals with regulators upon conclusion of multistate market conduct examination led by Maine, Massachusetts, and Tennessee relating to disability claims handling practices.

MBIA (MBI) shares fell after the company got identical document subpoenas from the SEC and New York Attorney General requesting information with respect to non-traditional or loss mitigation insurance products developed, offered or sold by MBIA to third parties.

Software firm Novell (NOVL) posted a quarterly net profit vs. a loss a year ago thanks to stronger sales of open-system operating software Linux.

Clothing retailer Gap (GPS) posted third-quarter earnings per share of 28 cents, vs. 28 cents a year ago, on 1% lower same-store sales and 1% higher total sales. Weakness at its Old Navy and international Gap stores kept a lid on gains.

Foot Locker (FL) posted third-quarter earnings per share of 47 cents, vs. 41 cents a year ago, on 1.2% higher same-store sales and 14% higher total sales. The chain sees 10% to 20% fourth-quarter EPS rise.

Food company J.M. Smucker (SJM) reported higher profit as stronger Jif peanut butter and Smucker's jelly sales helped offset higher raw material costs.

iVillage (IVIL) gained after Jefferies upgrades to buy from hold.

JLG Industries (JLG) posted a 20-cent first-quarter loss, vs. 1 cent earnings per share, as higher steel prices offset a 44% revenue rise. The company sees fiscal 2005 earnings per share of $1.00 to $1.15. CS First Boston downgraded the stock to neutral from outperform. S&P kept its hold ranking.


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