Markets & Finance

Verizon Revises Bid for MCI


Morgan Stanley (MWD) says its board of directors met Sunday and unanimously concluded that suggestions for management changes and corporate re-organization beyond the proposed spinoff of Discover Card operations would not be in the best interest of shareholders.

Verizon Communications (VZ) again revised its bid for MCI (MCIP). Underthe new terms, MCI shares will each be be exchanged for $5.60 in cash and about $20.40 in Verizon stock, totaling at least $26 per share. Verizon may elect to pay more cash and less stock.

American International Group (AIG) is to restate 2000 to 2003 results and all quarters in 2003 and 2004. The company says consolidated shareholders' equity at Dec. 4 will be reduced by about $2.7 billion. Says accounting for certain derivatives were incorrect. It expects to get unqualified audit opinions.

UBS Financial reportedly downgrades brokers Merrill Lynch (MER), Goldman Sachs (GS), and Lehman Brothers (LEH) to neutral.

Toys R Us (TOY) posted $1.18, vs. 72 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share despite a 1% sales decline.

OSI Pharmaceuticals (OSIP) and Genentech (DNA) announce OSI has submitted a supplemental new drug application with the FDA for use of Tarceva plus gemcitabine chemotherapy for treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer in patients with no previous treatment.

Neiman-Marcus Group (NMG.A) agreed to be acquired by a group consisting of Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus LLC for $100 per share, representing a transaction value of about $5.1 billion.

Avon Products (AVP) posted 36 cents, vs. 31 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 7% revenue rise. It raises 2005 earnings per share guidance to $2.12 to $2.17 from $1.95 to $2.00, reflecting a second-quarter benefit of about 17 cents relating to prior years' tax-audit settlements.

Humana (HUM) posted 67 cents, vs. 41 cents first-quarter earnings per share. It notes quicker-than-anticipated response to its new Medicare products and markets. The company says Medicare membership rose 19% year-to-date. It sees 47 cents to 50 cents second-quarter earnings per share and ups 2005 earnings per share guidance to $2.23 to $2.25.

Interdigital (IDCC) sees first-quarter revenue of $35.3 million to $35.7 million. It notes first-quarter revenue is associated with its agreement with General Dynamics will be $4.5 million to $4.9 million, above the high-end of previous guidance.

Accredo Health (ACDO) posted 40 cents, vs. 43 cents third-quarter earnings per share as narrowed gross profit margin offset a 26% revenue rise.

Bombay Co. (BBA) revises fourth-quarter results to 20 cents, vs. 33 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share due to adjustments relating to a pre-opening lease cost.


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