Markets & Finance

Dell Meets Estimates


After the close of trading Thursday, Dell (DELL) posted 37 cents first-quarter earnings per share, vs. 28 cents one year earlier, on $13.4 billion in revenue. The company sees second-quarter earnings per share of 37 cents to 39 cents and second-quarter revenue of $13.6 billion to $13.8 billion.

Shares of discount retailer Target (TGT) moved higher during Thursday's regular session after the company posted 55 cents, vs. 47 cents first-quarter earnings per share on 6.2% same-store sales rise and a 13% total revenue rise.

Meanwhile, shares of rival discount merchant Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) fell after the company posted 58 cents, vs. 50 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 2.9% same-store sales rise and a 9.5% net sales rise. Wal-Mart says it missed its plan due to higher gasoline prices and a cooler, wetter spring than normal. It sees better results in the second half of the year.

U.S. Steel (X) shares declined Thursday after the company announced it will take the Gary Works No. 13 blast furnace off line in late May, rather than Aug. 1 as previously stated. The company sees second-quarter flat-rolled steel shipments 7% below the first quarter, and 2005 shipments lower than most recent projection of 14.5 million tons.

Sabre Holdings' (TSG) Sabre Inc. unit will acquire lastminute.com in a $1.08 billion (577 million pound) deal. The proposed acquisition is expected to be dilutive on GAAP basis and post-integration costs, to Sabre's 2005 and 2006 earnings per share. S&P reiterates hold.

Travelzoo Inc. (TZOO) was seen higher on Sabre's deal to acquire lastminute.com.

Napster Inc. (NAPS) posted a 60-cent fourth-quarter loss, vs. a 20-cent loss as higher costs and expenses offset sharply higher revenues. The company sees $19 million to 21 million in first-quarter revenue, reflecting more modest growth due to the start of typical summer seasonality.

Filtration product company CUNO Inc. (CUNO) agrees to be acquired by 3M (MMM) in a $1.35 billion deal. Terms of the agreement give $72 per CUNO share, including assumption of $60 million of net debt.

Information management company Acxiom Corp. (ACXM) posted lower-than-expected 16 cents, vs. 17 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share despite a 16% revenue rise. It notes reductions in credit card mailing volumes and international operation didn't meet expectations.

JP Morgan upgrades Dow Jones & Co. (DJ) to overweight from neutral.

Citigroup upgrades Network Appliances (NTAP) to hold from sell.

Helen Of Troy (HELE) posted 37 cents, vs. 23 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 13% sales rise. It anticipates another record year for earnings and sales in fiscal 2006.

Cephalon Inc. (CEPH) and H. Lundbeck A/S announce the discontinuation of their Phase 2/3 clinical trial of CEP-1347 in Parkinson's disease.

Movie Gallery (MOVI) posted 58 cents, vs. 54 cents on a 1.5% same-store sales rise and 15% net revenue rise.

Hospira Inc. (HSP) posted 49 cents, vs. 42 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 6.6% net sales rise. The company reaffirms $1.21 to $1.28 2005 earnings per share (including transition expenses and costs related to transaction with ICU Medical).

Napster Inc. (NAPS) posted a 60-cent fourth-quarter loss, vs. a 20-cent loss as higher costs and expenses offset sharply higher revenues. It sees $19 million to $21 million in first-quarter revenue and reflecting more modest growth due to the start of typical summer seasonality.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) posted 35 cents, vs. 18 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on 27% same-store sales rise and 37% total sales rise. It sees 32 cents to 33 cents second-quarter earnings per share.

Mylan Labs (MYL) posted 14 cents, vs. 27 cents fourth-quarter on 5.1% net revenue rise.

Murphy Oil (MUR) sets a 2-for-1 stock split.


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