Markets & Finance

GM Gains


General Motors (GM) is higher on a Wall Street Journal article indicating the UAW union may be willing to bend to management demands to give back some benefits.

In a mid-quarter update, Intel Corp. (INTC) raised its $8.6 billion to $9.2 billion second-quarter sales guidance to $9.1 billion to $9.3 billion. The world's largest chipmaker expects gross margin of 57% of sales. S&P raises estimates, but keeps hold.

Citigroup (C) agrees to a settlement in the Enron class action litigation, whereby Citigroup will make a pre-tax payment of $2 billion to settlement class.

Nortel Networks (NT) announces the resignation of Gary Daichendt, president and COO of the company and Nortel Networks LTD. Bill Owens, vice chairman and CEO, will assume these responsibilities. S&P maintains hold.

Harris Corp. (HRS) raised fiscal 2006 earnings per share guidance to $1.73 to $1.78. The company cites higher-than-expected orders for its Falcon II tactical radios used by U.S. armed forces and allied military forces.

Toys "R" Us (TOY) posted a 19-cent first-quartet loss, vs. a 13-cent loss on slightly lower same-store sales at Toy Store unit and 3.6% total net sales rise. S&P maintains hold.

S&P says RealNetworks Inc. (RNWK) is lower following unconfirmed News.com story that Microsoft MSFT might be readying a subscription online-music service. S&P downgrades RealNetworks to hold from buy.

Gaming-industry product manufacturer Shuffle Master (SHFL) posted 19 cents, vs. 15 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 35% total revenue rise. The company sees 21 cents to 22 cents third-quarter earnings per share and 77 cents to 79 cents fiscal 2005 earnings per share.

Diversified industrial concern Trinity Industries (TRN) raised its 25 cents to 32 cents second-quarter earnings per share guidance to 35 cents to 42 cents.

Prudential upgrades Boston Beer (SAM) to overweight from neutral.

Optimal Group (OPMR) raised $7.05 million second-quarter underlying earnings before income taxes and non-controlling interest guidance to momre than $8.3 million. The company cites better-than-expected performance across all sectors of payments business and increased demand for certain products.

Keybanc upgrades Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) to buy from hold.

SSA Global Technologies (SSAG) posted a $2.05 third-quarter loss, vs. a $2.95 loss on a 9.7% total revenue rise.

Polo Ralph Lauren (RL) posted 81 cents, vs. 79 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (adjusted) on a 10% revenue rise. The company expects first-quarter consolidated revenues to increase more than 20%. It reiterates its $2.75 to $2.85 fiscal 2006 earnings per share guidance.

McKesson Corp. (MCK) agrees to sell McKesson BioServices unit to Fisher Scientific (FSH) for approximately $60 million. The company expects an after-tax gain of about $13 million to $15 million for the quarter in which the deal closes.

MDU Resources Group (MDU) reaffirms $1.80 to $2.00 2005 earnings per share guidance despite a Federal District Court's order to halt operations at Badger Hills Project. The company buys 7 Oregon companies with cash and stock. Terms were not disclosed. A deal is expected to be accretive to 2005 earnings per share.

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