Markets & Finance

Circuit City Falls Amid Lower Sales


Circuit City (CC) posted 4.3% lower third-quarter same-store sales. The company cites their decision to be less promotional than last year in music, movies and software, a weaker new release schedule, and business model changes in digital satellite services and wireless phones. S&P cut estimates but kept a buy ranking, while ST Robinson Humphrey downgraded the stock to neutral from buy.

Merrill Lynch reportedly downgraded Pfizer (PFE) to neutral from buy.

Kimberly-Clark (KMB) plans to increase its quarterly dividend in 2005 by 13% to 45 cents per share, and repurchase at least $1.0 billion of its stock. The company confirms 89 cents to 91 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share guidance.

3Com (COMS) lowered its $170 million to $180 million second-quarter revenue guidance to $149 million to $153 million. It now expects a 12 cents to 14 cents second-quarter loss (including substantially lower restructuring charges vs. a year ago).

Corgentech (CGTK) says the Phase III trial of the company's Edifoligide therapy in patients receiving peripheral artery bypass grafts failed to meet its primary and secondary endpoints. CIBC World downgrades to sector perform.

Prudential downgrades Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) to neutral from overweight.

Taser International's (TASR) claims that its weapons were a safe way to subdue children are disputed by researchers, doctors and one of the world's most respected independent testing labs, according to a Dec. 5 Miami Herald story.

Komag (KOMG) sees fourth-quarter revenue at or above the high end of its previously forecast range of $118 million.

Navistar (NAV) sees fourth-quarter earnings per share of at least $1.88 on $3 billion in sales. The company sees at least $4.60 to $5.00 2005 earnings per share.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM) announced a final resolution of their long-standing patent dispute with Cable & Wireless Internet Services (a company originally known as Digital Island). The Settlement includes a cash payment to Akamai for damages.

Bombay Company (BBA) announced the departure of Steve Farley, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing.

GeoPharma (GORX) says a lawsuit seeking class action status was filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern District of New York, alleging that the company violated federal securities laws by issuing false and misleading public statements.

Lottery-transaction company GTECH Holdings (GTK) is to acquire a 50% controlling equity position in the Atronic group of companies owned by privately-held Gauselmann Group. Merrill says the deal should position GTECH for accelerated growth.

The Wall Street Journal reports that DaVita (DVA) is close to agreeing to $3 billion deal to buy the dialysis opeartions of Sweden's Gambro, the world's No. 2 dialysis group. European MarketScope reports that shares halted in Stockholm. S&P reiterates its hold rating.

CarMax (KMX) posted 2% higher third-quarter comparable-store sales, and 15% total used unit sales growth. The company now expects 17 Q3 cents earnings per share (including a one-cent benefit from adjust in the valuation of retained interests in securitized receivable.)

Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW) sees 26 cents to 29 cents fourth quarter earnings per share and 20% to 22% higher same-store sales. The company also sees $1.02 to $1.05 2004 earnings per share, including a 7-cent stock-based compensation expense.


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