Markets & Finance

Starwood Hotels Sees $2 Bln to $4 Bln Asset Sale


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) posted 58 cents vs. 40 cents third quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 12% revenue rise. It sees 64 cents fourth quarter earnings per share and $2.27 in 2005 (excluding items.) Over the next 12 months, it sees the sale of $2 billion to $4 billion of assets.

Boeing (BA) posted $1.26 vs. 56 cents third quarter earnings per share despite a 4% revenue drop. It noted that third quarter 2005 earnings per share include a 62 cents benefit from tax settlements and adjustments. It raised its $2.75 to $2.85 2005 earnings per share guidance to between $2.95 and $3.05, and its $3.00 to $3.20 2006 guidance to between $3.10 and $3.30.

Amazon.com (AMZN) posted 12 cents (excluding legal settlement) vs. 13 cents third quarter earnings per share despite a 27% sales rise. It sees fourth quarter sales of between $2.86 billion and $3.16 billion. Citigroup and Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock.

Sprint Nextel (S) posted 41 cents vs. 31 cents third quarter adjusted earnings per share (pro forma) on an 8.3% rise in net operating revenue.

Janus Capital (JNS) posted better than expected 15 cents vs. 20 cents third quarter GAAP earnings per share. It says third quarter 2005's long term net inflows represent the highest level in five years, the first quarter with positive flows since the second quarter of 2003. S&P reiterated its strong sell on the stock.

The Estee Lauder Companies (EL) posted 28 cents vs. 41 cents first quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on slightly lower sales (excluding foreign exchange). It sees 7 cents to 12 cents in the first half of fiscal year 2006, which reflects costs associated with expensing stock-based compensation.

RF Micro Devices (RFMD) posted 3 cents second quarter earnings per share vs. 4 cents loss (GAAP) on a 19% revenue rise. It expects third quarter revenue of between $205 million and $212 million, an increase of 16% to 20% sequentially. S&P reiterated a buy on the stock.

Flextronics (FLEX) posted 17 cents vs. 17 cents second quarter earnings per share (excluding items) on a 4.9% sales drop. It sees 18 cents to 20 cents third quarter earnings per share on $4 billion to $4.2 billion revenue. S&P reiterated a buy on the stock, while Credit Suisse First Boston downgraded the stock to neutral.

St. Jude Medical (STJ), Medtronic (MDT), and Guidant (GDT) received subpoenas from the US Attorney's Office in Boston requesting information on their industry practices related to pacemakers, ICDs, leads, and related products. S&P kept its opinions on the cardio device names.

Officemax (OMX) posted a 7 cents third quarter loss vs. 64 cents earnings per share on a 37% sales drop. It says the third quarter underperformed expectations primarily due to weakness in retail.

GSI Commerce (GSIC) postponed its third quarter report to allow for more time to complete the evaluation of two issues. It sees $84 million to $85 million revenue vs. guidance of between $79 million and $84 million. It sees net loss of between $4.2 million and $4.5 million (about 10 cents per share) vs. $2.5 million and 3 million guidance.

Taser International (TASR) posted a breakeven third quarter vs. 9 cents earnings per share on 38% lower revenue.

Sealed Air (SEE) posted 68 cents vs. 66 cents third quarter earnings per share on an 8% sales rise. It anticipates 2005 earnings per share to be toward the lower end of the $2.65 to $2.80 range, given the additional impact of Hurricane Rita and higher raw material costs.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) said it expects fourth quarter results toward the high end of financial target ranges previously provided, as well as revenue of between $490 million and $510 million and earnings per share of between 27 cents and 29 cents.

Monarch Casino & Resort (MCRI) posted 37 cents vs. 30 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 9% rise in revenue.

Royal Caribbean (RCL) posted $1.64 vs. $1.26 third quarter earnings per share on a 8.4% revenue rise. The current quarter includes a 19 cents gain, related to the redemption of the company's investment in First Choice Holidays PLC.

Synopsys (SNPS) Magma Design Automation (LAVA) sued Synopsys, claiming that the company's Astro and IC Compiler products infringe Magma Design's patents. Magma Design's complaint is in response to Synopsys' suit filed Sept. 26 vs. Magma Design, which now seeks an award of treble damages.

MGM Mirage (MGM) posted 38 cents vs. 28 cents third quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on 74% higher net revenue. It noted earnings driven by the accretive acquisition of the Mandalay Resort Group properties, as well as continued strength in core hotel and gaming operations.

Chubb (CB) posted better-than-expected 89 cents vs. $1.72 third quarter operating earnings per share on flat net written premiums. The results were adversely affected by pre-tax costs of $511 million related to Hurricane Katrina. S&P kept its buy on the stock.

Gander Mountain (GMTN) said it expects third quarter same-store sales to be down 9% to 10%. It no longer expects to meet fiscal year 2006 guidance for $850 million revenue, amid flat same-store sales and pretax income of at least $16 million. Piper Jaffray downgraded the stock.

Agere Systems (AGR) posted 4 cents fourth quarter earnings per share vs. 74 cents loss. It named Richard L. Clemmer as its new CEO and set a $200 million stock buyback.

Libbey (LBY) posted 32 cents vs. 34 cents third quarter earnings per share from operations despite a 2% sales rise. It sees 3 cents to 8 cents fourth quarter loss, excluding special charges, due to planned inventory alignment and higher supply chain operating costs.

Century Aluminum (CENX)posted 62 cents third quarter loss vs. 50 cents loss on slightly lower revenues. Bear Stearns downgraded the stock to peer perform from outperform.

F5 Networks (FFIV) posted 47 cents vs. 20 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (pro forma) on a 61% revenue rise. It sees 44 cents to 45 cents first quarter earnings per share (pro forma). S&P kept its hold on the stock.

Doral Financial (DRL) said it no longer expects to file its amended annual report in its 10-K for 2004 by November 10. It set its 8 cents dividend, which represents a reduction of about 56% from the previous quarterly dividend.

Acacia Research (CBMX) Launched influenza DNA microarray, which are services for typing influenza strains. It says this new microarray can identify H5N1 bird flu and all other strains of Influenza A.

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) posted 38 cents vs. 35 cents first quarter earnings per share on 10% revenue growth. Due to positive results and trends in the first quarter, it raises fiscal year 2006 earnings per share guidance to between 22% and 25% growth, and also confirms high-single digit revenue growth guidance. S&P kept its strong buy on the stock.


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