Markets & Finance

Microsoft Provides Upbeat Guidance


Microsoft (MSFT) posted 23 cents, vs. 12 cents third-quarter earnings per share (including items) on a 5% revenue rise. The software giant sees $1.26 to $1.30 fiscal 2006 earnings per share (excluding a stock-based compensation expense). S&P raises estimates and reiterates strong buy.

Diversified media company Clear Channel (CCU) posted 9 cents, vs. 19 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 4.3% revenue drop. The company is to sell 10% of Clear Channel Outdoor in an IPO and spin off 100% of Clear Channel Entertainment. Shareholders are to receive a $3.00 special dividend and raises its quarterly dividend 50%.

Sun Microsystems's (SUNW) CEO Scott McNealy is considering taking the company private with the help of Silver Lake Partners. His idea is to shrink Sun by selling assets and bolster core hardware, software and service businesses and go public again, according to BusinessWeek's Inside Wall Street column.

KLA-Tencor (KLAC) posted 61 cents, vs. 33 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 39% revenue rise. The company sees 46 cents to 48 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share. Banc of America reiterates sell, and cuts its $36 target to $32. S&P cuts estimates and maintains buy.

Gateway (GTW) posted a 1-cent first-quarter loss, vs. a 22-cent loss as lower selling, general, and administrative costs offset 3.5% lower sales. S&P reiterates hold.

Information technology company Sapient Corp. (SAPE) posted 5 cents, vs. 1 cent first-quarter earnings per share on 30% higher consolidated service revenues. The company inks a deal to acquire Business Information Solutions LLC, a provider of SAP-related professional services.

Eastman Chemical (EMN) posted $2.00 first-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 7-cent loss on 10% higher revenues. The company expects second-quarter earnings per share results to be similar to the first quarter due to sustained strong sales volume and benefit from cost reductions. Banc of America upgrades to buy.

ITT Industries (ITT) posted $1.24, vs. 94 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 25% revenue rise. The company raises $5.00 to $5.15 2005 earnings per share guidance to $5.10 to $5.25.

Agricultural commodities company Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) posted 41 cents, vs. 35 cents third-quarter earnings per share on an 8.8% sales drop. The company notes third-quarter fiscal 05 including gain of $74M ( 11/share) from sale of its interest in Tate & Lyle.

Ingram Micro (IM) posted 26 cents, vs. 24 cents first-quarter earnings per share on 12% higher worldwide sales. The company sees 25 cents to 28 cents second-quarter earnings per share on $6.7 billion to $6.9 billion. S&P reiterates buy.

MicroStrategy (MSTR) posted 89 cents, vs. 60 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 22% revenue rise. Revenue growth is seen as weaker than expected.

Hartford Financial Services (HIG) posted $1.93, vs. $1.70 first-quarter operating earnings per share. It raises 2005 earnings per share guidance to $7.40 to $7.70 from $7.25 to $7.55.

Pitney Bowes (PBI) posted 64 cents, vs. 54 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 12% revenue rise. It raises 2005 earnings per share guidance to $2.51 to $2.64 (including items) on an 8% to 10% revenue rise. S&P reiterates buy.

WebMD (HLTH) posted 12 cents, vs. 9 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 12% revenue rise. It raises its 2005 guidance by about $40 million in revenue, about 8 cents for earnings per share before taxes, non-cash, and other items.

NetGear (NTGR) posted 24 vs. 13 first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on 23% revenue rise.

Guitar Center (GTRC) posted 56 cents, vs. 44 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 5% same-store sales rise at Guiter Center Stores, and a 13% total sales rise. S&P reiterates strong buy.

Columbia Sportswear (COLM) posted 52 cents, vs. 49 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 19% sales rise. The company sees 2005 net income down 8% to 12%.

LeapFrog Enterprises (LF) posted a 32-cent first-quarter loss, vs. a 12-cent loss on flat revenue. S&P maintains sell.

Flextronics (FLEX) posted 12 cents, vs. 3 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) despite 4% lower sales. It says quarterly revenue and operating profits were less than expected due to a greater-than-expected decline in handset demand. S&P cuts estimates and reiterates buy.


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