Markets & Finance

Taser Drops on SEC Inquiry


Taser International (TASR

) says it is cooperating with an informal inquiry letter from the SEC regarding company statements on the safety of its products, and the recent order received from Davidson's Inc.

Telecommunications equipment maker UTStarcom Inc. (UTSI

) cuts $875 million to $885 million in fourth-quarter revenue guidance to $740 million to $745 million. It sees a 40-cent to 45-cent fourth-quarter loss. It cites a challenging market environment. The company sees $770 million to $780 million first-quarter 2005 revenue, and 20 cents to 22 cents GAAP earnings per share.

Brocade Communications (BRCD

) expects to restate fiscal 2002, fiscal 2003 financial statements to record additional stock-based compensation expense as a result of an internal review. To delay filing its Form 10-K for fiscal 2004. S&P keeps hold.

Accenture (ACN

) posted better-than-expected 32 cents vs. 33 cents first-quarter earnings per share, as higher expenses offset a 14% revenue rise. The company sees 33 cents to 35 cents second-quarter GAAP earnings per share, and $1.41 to $1.46 fiscal 2005 GAAP earnings per share.

Tiffany & Co. (TIF

) posted 6% higher December worldwide same-store sales, and 12% higher total sales. For fiscal 2006, the company expects 10% to 12% net income growth on an 8% to 10% rise in net sales.

Schering's (SHR

) U.S. affiliate, Berlex, announces the FDA issuance of an approvable letter for Bonefos, an oral non-amino bisphosphonate intended to reduce the occurrence of bone metastases in post-surgical treatment of breast cancer patients.

Piper Jaffray cuts Electronics Boutique (ELBO

) estimates.

Healthcare services provider WellPoint (WLP

) cut its 95 cents to $1.00 fourth-quarter earnings per share guidance to about 90 cents. The company says this due to the successful repurchase of 9.125% and 9.00% surplus notes, which generated a pre-tax loss of about $146 million, which was greater than the anticipated $125 million.

GameStop (GME

) posted 0.9% higher Holiday (November and December) same-store sales, and 14% higher total sales. The company notes the impact of hardware shortages. It sees flat to +1.0% fourth-quarter comparable sales. It cuts 81 cents to 84 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share forecast to 68 cents to 70 cents.

FormFactor (FORM

) cuts $50 million to $53 million fourth-quarter revenue forecast to $46.1 million due to contamination problems in its existing wafer production line. The company sees fourth-quarter earnings per share of 6 cents less than its 18 cents to 19 cents guidance due to decline in revenues, and increased spending.

Bausch & Lomb (BOL

) says Bayer HealthCare LLC, a unit of Bayer Helthcare AG has granted Bausch & Lomb an exclusive worldwide license to Bayer's Plasmin technology for use in ophthalmology.

Prudential reiterates Phelps Dodge (PD

) overweight.

DoubleClick (DCLK

) raises $72 million to $77 million fourth-quarter company revenue to $81 million to $82 million. It raises 1 cent to 4 cents fourth-quarter GAAP earnings per share estimate to 6 cents to 7 cents. It sees 24 cents to 25 cents 2004 earnings per share. S&P keeps its hold rating.

CS First Boston initiates Agrium Inc. (AGU

) coverage with outperform and a $18 target price.


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