Markets & Finance

Altria Rises on Favorable Court Decision


Altria (MO) rises after a federal court rules that the government cannot after past profits of up to $280 billion as part of its racketeering case against the tobacco industry.

Time Warner (TWX) posted 24 cents, vs. 14 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a slight revenue rise. The company expects the 2005 growth rate in adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization to be in the high-single digits, vs. $9.9 billion in 2004.

Ask Jeeves (ASKJ) posted 25 cents, vs. 13 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) from continuing operations on sharply higher revenues. The company sees 24 cents first-quarter GAAP earnings per share on $94 million in revenue and 90 cents to $1.05 2005 GAAP earnings per share on $380 million to $395 million in revenue.

Instinet Group (INGP) posted 4 cents, vs. a penny fourth-quarter earnings per share (pro forma), as lower costs offset a 4.6% revenue decline.

DoubleClick (DCLK) posted 8 cents, vs. 3 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on a 14% revenue rise. For the first quarter, the company sees a one-cent loss to 3 cents earnings per share (GAAP) on $70 million to $75 million in revenue.

Sapient (SAPE) posted 6 cents, vs. 2 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 28% revenue rise. The company says it concluded its internal controls were not effective as of Dec. 31, 2004, expects its auditors will issue adverse opinion on its internal controls.

Icos Corp. (ICOS) posted a 53-cent fourth-quarter loss, vs. a 54-cent loss despite a 30% revenue drop. The company sees 65 cents to 80 cents first-quarter loss and a 90 cents to $1.20 2005 loss. S&P reiterates strong buy.

Cerner Corp. (CERN) posted 56 cents, vs. 44 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 9.7% revenue rise. The company sees 41 cents to 42 cents first-quarter earnings per share and raises $2.05 to $2.10 2005 earnings per share forecast to $2.07 to $2.12.

Enzon Pharmaceuticals (ENZN) posted a one-cent second-quarter loss, vs. 5 cents earnings per share despite a 2.9% revenue rise. The company is to discontinue further development of Pegamotecan, a PEGylated cytotoxic drug of topoisomerase I inhibitor class. S&P maintains hold.

Maxtor Corp. (MXO) posted a 24-cent fourth-quarter loss, vs. 15 cents earnings per share (GAAP) on a 12% revenue decline. The company expects to reduce U.S. headcount by up to 200 over the course of 2005.

WebMethods (WEBME) posted 2 cents third-quarter earnings per share (pro forma) on $52.4 million revenue. Results were seen as better than Street estimates. The company sees fourth-quarter revenue of $52 million to $56 million, a 3-cent loss to 3 cents earnings per share, on a pro forma basis. To restate financials for fiscal 2004, first-quarter, and the second-quarter of fiscal 2005.

Cardinal Health (CAH) posted 63 cents (including a 10-cent charge), vs. 84 cents second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations as higher selling, general, and administrative costs offset a 13% revenue rise. The company lowers 2005 earnings per share guidance to $3.20 to $3.50 (excluding item and charges). S&P maintains hold.

Deutsche Bank downgrades Goodyear Tire (GT) to sell from hold.

Prudential upgrades AnnTaylor (ANN) to overweight from neutral. Yesterday the company posted 3.6% lower January same-store sales and 8.7% higher total sales.

Darden Restaurants (DRI) posted 4% to 5% higher January same-store sales at Olive Garden, and an 8% to 9% decline at Red Lobster. Legg Mason downgrades to sell from hold.

Immunogen (IMGN) posted a 5-cent second-quarter loss, vs. a 3-cent loss as higher operating expenses offset a 73% revenue rise.

Hain Celestial (HAIN) posted 29 cents, vs. 29 cents second-quarter earnings per share as one-time charges offset a 19% sales rise. The company reiterates fiscal 2005 guidance of 92 cents to $1.01 earnings per share on $650 million to $670 million in sales. S&P maintains hold.

Micrel (MCRL) posted 6 cents, vs. 4 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 2.0% revenue rise. Based on current backlog levels and demand estimates, it thinks 2005 revenues will be roughly flat sequentially, in the $57 million to $61 million range.

Landry's Restaurant (LNY) says it will purchase Golden Nugget Casino in downtown Las Vegas from Poster Financial Group Inc. for $140 million in cash, assumption of $155 million of Senior Secured Notes due 2011, as well as certain working capital liabilities.

Party City (PCTY) posted 74 cents, vs. 98 cents second-quarter earnings per share on 5.6% lower same-store sales and 4.5% lower revenue.


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