Markets & Finance

Merck Wins Vioxx Trial


Merck (MRK) the jury found that Merck did not commit consumer fraud in its marketing of Vioxx.

Guidant (GDT) New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer reportedly filed a lawsuit against Guidant, claiming the company concealed from public a design flaw in one of its surgically implanted heart defibrillators.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) posted 4.3% higher total US same-store sales and 11% higher total sales. It sees US November same-store sales up 3% to 5%.

Advanced Power Technology (APTI) agreed to be acquired by Microsemi (MSCC) at $2.00 cash and 0.435 per Microsemi share for each Advanced Power Technology share, which, based on Nov. 2 closing prices, values Advanced Power Technology stock at $12.20.

Qualcomm (QCOM) posted 32 cents vs. 23 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 40% revenue rise. It sees 36 cents to 38 cents first quarter earnings per share (pro forma).

Prudential Financial (PRU) posted $1.46 vs 93 cents third quarter operating earnings per share (after tax, adjusted) on an 18% revenue rise. It sees $4.85 to $4.95 2005 operating earnings per share.

Priceline.com (PCLN) posted 47 cents vs. 28 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 9.7% revenue rise. It sees 24 cents to 28 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (pro forma) and $1.33 to $1.37 in 2005. It set a $50 million stock buyback.

Costco Wholesale (COST) posted 10% higher October same-store sales and 12% higher total sales.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) posted 31% higher October same-store sales and 41% higher total sales.

Alliance Gaming (AGI) sees $480 million to $490 million fiscal year 2005 revenue, and 40 cents to 44 cents loss from continuing operations, which includes charges and inventory obsolescence. Its report for the first quarter of fiscal year 2006 will be delayed to allow for the completion of annual financial statements.

Fair Isaac (FIC) posted 53 cents vs. 19 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 6.8% revenue rise. It sees about $207 million first quarter revenue and earnings per share of about 50 cents, $860 million to $900 million fiscal year 2006 revenue, and earnings per share of $2.15.

MCI (MCIP) posted 82 cents third quarter earnings per share vs. 10.65 loss (including an impairment charge) as new products and cost reduction initiatives offset a 12% revenue drop.

Comcast (CMCSA) posted 10 cents vs. 10 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 9.4% revenue rise. It expects a 13% increase in 2005 consolidated operating cash flow, vs. previous 14% to 15% growth guidance, due to costs incurred with the launch of National Hockey League games.

Sunoco (SUN) posted lower-than-expected $2.60 vs. 85 cents third quarter earnings per share (excluding items) on 41% higher revenue. It says a rapid increase in retail prices, combined with some temporary disruptions to the supply chain, led to lower September demand.

Scientific-Atlanta (SFA) has hired two investment banks to explore a sale that could value the company at more than $4 billion, according to the New York Post.

Univision (UVN) posted 23 cents vs. 21 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 4% revenue rise. It sees 23 cents to 24 cents fourth quarter earnings per share, excluding items, on revenue growth in the high single digits. The compay plans to reduce its workforce by about 5.9%.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) posted 17% higher October same-store sales and 23% higher total sales. It raised its 43 cents to 44 cents third quarter earnings per share forecast to between 45 cents and 46 cents.

Peet's Coffee (PEET) posted 15 cents vs. 14 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 24% revenue rise. It sees fourth quarter earnings per share of 24 cents on a 12% to 13% revenue rise.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) posed a 64 cents third quarter loss vs. 32 cents loss on ongoing investment in Nexavar Tablets, an anticancer compound that the company is codeveloping with Bayer Pharmaceuticals. For the third quarter of 2005 and 2004, Onyx reported no revenue.

Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) posted 3 cents vs. 16 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 7.2% sales rise. Due to the adoption of FAS 123R "Share-Based Payment," it sees $340 million to $350 million second quarter sales and $1.06 to $1.11 reported earnings per share. It sees $1.20 to $1.26 2005 reported earnings per share.

Amgen (AMGN) and Abgenix (ABGX) say a Phase 3 study of panitumumab met the primary endpoint of improving progression-free survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who failed standard chemotherapy.

Claire's Stores (CLE) posted 8% higher October same-store sales and a 9.3% total sales rise. It raised third quarter earnings per share guidance to between 33 cents and 35 cents.

Anntaylor Stores (ANN) posted 1.2% higher October same-store sales and 12% higher total sales. It says it is comfortable with previous $1.17 fiscal year 2006 earnings per share guidance.

CVS (CVS) posted 30 cents vs. 20 cents third quarter earnings per share on 5.7% higher same-store sales.

Jos.A. Bank Clothiers(JOSB ) posted 16% higher October same-store sales and 28% total sales rise.

Guess (GES) posted 46 cents vs. 27 cents third quarter earnings per share on 8.9% higher same-store sales and 34% higher total revenue.

Stage Stores (STGS) posted 15% higher October same-store sales and 18% higher total sales. It expects to meet or exceed the upper end of previously provided third quarter earnings per share guidance of 28 cents.

Jacobs Engineering Group (JEC) posted 72 cents vs. 53 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 25% rise in revenue. It sees fiscal year 2005 (ending September) earnings per share in line with its growth rate goal of 15% before the effects of adopting an employee stock-options program.

Saks (SKS) posted 4.6% higher October same-store sales and 11% lower total sales. It noted that a Saks Fifth Ave. store in New Orleans suffered substantial damage related to Hurricane Katrina, and the location is removed from its comparable store sales calculation.

Tesoro (TSO) posted $3.20 vs. 93 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 53% revenue rise. It raises its quarterly dividend 100% and set a $200 million stock buyback.

Dominion Resources (D) posted 4 cents vs. $1.02 third quarter earnings per share (GAAP) as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita delayed natural gas and oil production, offsetting a 39% rise in revenue. It sees 60 cents to 70 cents vs. $1.22 fourth quarter operating earnings per share and approximately $4.11 to $4.21 2005 operating earnings per share.

Cabot (CBT) posted 91 cents fourth quarter loss vs. 23 cents earnings per share as a rapid rise in energy costs and weak market conditions facing the Supermetals business offset a 12% rise in revenue.

Talbots (TLB) posted 0.3% lower October same-store sales and 3% higher total sales. It raises its third quarter earnings per share guidance to 35 cents to 36 cents, due to better-than-expected October same-store sales.

J.C. Penney (JCP) posted 2.4% higher October department same-store sales. It expects November department same-store sales to increase in the low-single digits, following an increase of 12.2% in year ago period.

Amerisourceberge (ABC) posted 20 cents vs. 82 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (GAAP) as higher operating costs offset a 4% revenue rise. It sees $3.95 to $4.25 fiscal year 2006 earnings per share, and 6% to 8% operating revenue growth.

PMI Group (PMI) posted 97 cents vs. 99 cents third quarter earnings per share as several charges and increases in loss reserves related to Hurricane Katrina offset a 2% revenue rise.

SRA International (SRX) posted 25 cents vs. 22 cents first quarter earnings per share on a 38% rise in revenue.

Zale (ZLC) sees 46 cents to 49 cents first quarter loss (including items). It posted "disappointing" 1.2% lower third quarter same-store sales.

Montpelier Re Holdings (MRH) posted $12.47 third quarter loss vs. 96 cents loss (comprehensive) as catastrophe losses offset a 39% rise in net premiums written.


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