Markets & Finance

Morgan Stanley to Spin Off Discover


Morgan Stanley (MWD) will pursue a spinoff of its Discover Financial Services unit. Separately, the company increases its reserve with respect to its Coleman litigation from $260 million to $360 million and will reduce its previously-announced preliminary first-quarter earnings per share by 6 cents to $1.29.

RSA Security (RSAS) sees lower-than-expected 8 cents to 10 cents first-quarter earnings per share on revenue of $74 million to $76 million. The company cites slower-than-anticipated uptake rates for software products during the last month of the quarter.

Altiris (ATRS) sees lower-than-expected 17 cents to 18 cents first-quarter earnings per share (pro forma) on $46 million in revenue. Cites accelerated sales, marketing hiring to support selected new products, and higher-than-planned general and accounting costs. S&P keeps buy.

American Greetings (AM) posts 28 cents, vs. 62 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 5.3% revenue drop and higher costs. The greeting card company sees first-quarter revenue from continuing operations flat to up slightly, and 25 cents to 30 cents earnings per share. It sees fiscal 2006 revenues up 1% and $1.46 to $1.51 earnings per share.

French-company EADS says it in advanced negotiations to acquire Nokia's (NOK) Professional Mobile Radio business.

ConocoPhillips (COP) provided first-quarter, vs. a fourth-quarter 2004 interim update. The company expects higher U.S. refining margins, lower international refining margins, significantly lower worldwide marketing margins, and increased turnaround activity and costs.

Ethan Allen (ETH) sees 50 cents third-quarter earnings per share (excluding any adjustments for lease accounting) and $230 million revenue. The furniture company says the quarter was impacted by a sluggish economy, Easter falling in March vs. April a year ago, and implementation of everyday pricing.

Monro Muffler Brake (MNRO) sees 4% to 5% higher fourth-quarter same-store sales and expects $1.36 to $1.37 fiscal 2005 earnings per share, in line with previous guidance.

Tweeter Home Entertainment (TWTR) posted 4% lower second-quarter same-store sales and 3% lower total sales from continuing operations.

Corn Products (CPO) sees first-quarter earnings per share down 35% to 40% from a year ago, due primarily to higher net corn costs, higher energy and freight costs, and manufacturing expense problems.

Napster Inc. (NAPS) says its subscriber base grew by 143,000 in the fourth quarter, representing an over 53% sequential increase. The company raises its fourth-quarter revenue estimate to $16.5 million to $17.5 million.

International Speedway (ISCA) posted 77 cents, vs. 52 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 37% revenue rise. Due to an anticipated $1.5 million before-tax CART settlement, the company raises second-quarter earnings per share guidance to 47 cents to 49 cents. It raises fiscal 2005 revenue guidance to $715 million to $730 million and earnings per share to $2.87 to $2.93.

Navigant International (FLYR) is subject to potential delisting on Nasdaq, due to a previously disclosed late filing of its 2004 10-K. As of commencement of trading today, an "E" will be appended to Navigant's trading symbol.


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