Markets & Finance

Baidu.com Soars in IPO


American depositary shares of of China-based Internet outfit Baidu.com (BIDU) rocketed higher in their first day of U.S. public trading. An initial 4 million ADSs were offered at $27 per ADS; the closing price on Friday was $123.90.

Toll Bros. (TOL) shares fell Friday after the homebuilder said it remains on track with its previous outlook of about 70% net income growth in fiscal 2005. Wachovia reportedly downgraded the shares to market perform from market outperform.

Pixar (PIXR) posted second quarter earnings per share of 10 cents, vs. 32 cents one year earlier, on 60% lower total revenue.

Delphi (PIXR) shares fell after the company confirmed that it initiated the drawdown of $1.5 billion under its $1.8 billion revolving credit facility in connection with financing operations in context of its talks with unions and General Motors (GM) regarding consensual restructure of its U.S. operations.

Viacom (VIA.B) posted second quarter earnings per share from continuing operations of 47 cents, vs. 42 cents, on a 10% revenue rise. The media company says it is on track to deliver revenue growth in the mid-single digit percentage range and high-single digit operating income growth for 2005.

Goodyear (GT) shares gained after the company posted second quarter earnings per share of 34 cents, vs. 17 cents, on a 10% revenue rise.

Exelon (EXC) raised its 2005 earnings per share (GAAP) guidance to $3.05-$3.20, its adjusited (non-GAAP) operating earnings per share guidance to $3.00-$3.15. The company cites higher generation margins and load growth at its ComEd and PECO units.

Univision Communications (UVN) shares fell after the broadcaster posted second quarter earnings per share (excluding a charge) of 24 cents, vs. 24 cents, despite a 2.7% revenue rise. The company sees third quarter earnings per share of 21 cents to 22 cents. S&P reiterates buy. Legg Mason downgrades to hold from buy.

Shares of Audible (ADBL) dropped after the company reported second quarter earnings per share of 3 cents, vs. one cent, on a 90% revenue rise. The company backed its 2005 guidance. S&P thinks Friday's sell-off is an extreme overreaction and reiterates its strong buy.

Computer Sciences (CSC) posted first quarter earnings per share of 58 cents, vs. 49 cents, on an 8.6% revenue rise. The company sees fiscal 2006 earnings per share of $3.20-$3.30. Computer Sciences says it will no longer provide certain info technology to Nortel Networks (NT), and does not expect the related charge to exceed $80 million.

Cardinal Health (CAH) posted fourth quarter earnings per share from continuing operations (excluding special items) of 78 cents, vs. 97 cents, as higher SG&A costs offset a 15% revenue rise. The company sees fiscal 2006 earnings per share (excluding special items) of $3.30-$3.55.

Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) posted second quarter earnings per share of 87 cents, vs. 68 cents, on a 14% revenue rise. The company sees fiscal 2006 earnings per share of $3.30-$3.55 on a 25% revenue rise.

Standard & Poor's announced a number of changes to its U.S. equity indexes. Tyson Foods (TSN) will be added to the S&P 500 index on a date to be announced, replacing Unocal (UCL), which is being acquired. Murphy Oil (MUR) will be added to the S&P 500 on a date to be announced, replacing Nextel Communications (NXTL), which being acquired. Polo Ralph Lauren (RL) will be added to the S&P MidCap 400 index on a date to be announced, replacing Tyson. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600 index after the close of trading on Aug. 9, replacing Pinnacle Systems, which is being acquired.

Network Appliance (NTAP) sees lower-than-expected first quarter earnings per share of 15 cents to 16 cents on revenue of $446 million to $449 million. The company cites a product transition to its new midrange FAS3000 series. Piper Jaffray and Merrill each reportedly downgraded their rating on the shares.

ValueClick (VCLK) posted second quarter earnings per share of 10 cents, vs. 7 cents, on a 58% revenue rise. The company sees third quarter earnings per share of about 9 cents on revenue of $78 million to $79 million, and 2005 earnings per share of 41 cents to 43 cents on revenue of $269 million to $279 million.

Protein Design Labs (PDLI) posted second quarter earnings per share of 9 cents, vs. a 12-cent loss (pro forma), on sharply higher operating revenue. The company sees 2005 total operating revenue of $255 million to $271 million, and results ranging from a 5-cent loss to 2 cents earnings per share (pro forma). S&P reiterates its buy opinion.

Hartford Financial Services (HIG) posted second quarter earnings per share of $1.98, vs. $1.46, on 39% higher net income. The insurer raised its $7.40-$7.70 2005 earnings per share guidance to $7.55-$7.85.

Longs Drug Stores (LDG) posted flat preliminary July same-store sales and flat total sales.

Chiquita Brands (CQB) posted second quarter earnings per share of $1.36, vs. 73 cents, on a 20% sales rise.

Federal Signal (FSS) posted second quarter earnings per share of 23 cents, vs. a 14-cent loss, on an 8.6% revenue rise. The company notes the 2005 second quarter benefited from a $6 million reversal of income tax reserves triggered by completion of a five-year U.S. federal tax audit and a $1.6 million reduction in deferred taxes.


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