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Global Slump Puts Deere in the Headlights

Verisign (VRSN)was down after USB Piper downgraded the stock to buy from strong buy to reflect increased intermediate term risk.

Deere & Co. (DE ) was down after it posted $0.45 4Q loss vs. $0.30 EPS from operations on 5.8% decline in worldwide sales. Sees 1Q net sales down 3%-7%. Merrill expects fiscal year 2002 to be below consensus estimates. S&P keeps its hold rating on the stock.

Toys R Us was down after Jefferies downgraded the stock to accumulate from buy. On Monday, the company posted an $0.22 3Q loss.

Tellabs (TLAB) was down after AG Edwards downgraded the stock to hold from strong buy.

Northfield Lab (NFLD) was down after the FDA requested more information before accepting the company's BLA for blood substitute, PolyHeme.

Champion Enterprises (CHB ) was down after Wachovia downgraded the stock to market perform from buy.

BJ'S Wholesale (BJ) was up after the company posted $0.40 vs. $0.37 3Q EPS from operations on 2.9% higher same club sales, 7.5% higher total sales. S&P downgraded the stock to hold from accumulate.

Jabil Circuit (JBL) was down after Robertson Stephens cut its estimate and target.

Tyson Foods (TSN ) was up modestly after Merrill upgraded the company to near term accumulate from neutral, maintains long term buy.

Royal Caribbean (RCL ) agrees to merge with P&O Princess Cruises. P&O shareholders will have 50.7% voting, economic interest in the combined company. RCL will have 49.3%. One RCL share will have same interests as 3.46386 P&O shares.

Enron (ENE ) filed a Q3 Form 10-Q with the SEC, and says independent auditor, Arthur Andersen LLP, has not finalized Enron's consolidated financial statements because of investigation. It reduced previously reported Q3 EPS by $0.03.

Smithfield Food (SFD) posted a $0.56 vs. $0.40 Q2 EPS on 17% higher sales. The company said its optimistic Q3 will be substantially better than last year, with Meat Processing Group providing the majority of profits for the quarter.

Ryder System (R) sees $0.38-$0.40 Q4 EPS from operations. Based on current information, restructuring and other charges during Q4 could range from $28M-$35M, or $0.31-$0.39 per share.

Ross Stores (ROST) posted $0.43 vs. $0.36 Q3 EPS on 5% higher same store sales, 16% higher total sales.

Limited (LTD ) posted $0.03 Q3 loss (adjusted) vs. $0.11 EPS on 7% lower same store sales, 12% lower total sales. It's comfortable with current First Call consensus EPS estimate for Q4, although the economic environment remains uncertain.

Staples (SPLS) posted $0.20 vs. $0.18 (adjusted) Q3 EPS on 1.1% sales rise. It sees $0.25-$0.27 Q4 EPS.

Talbots (TLB ) recorded $0.58 vs. $0.54 Q3 EPS despite 8.2% lower same store sales, 1% lower total sales. It remains on track to open 14 stores in Q4. Anticipates about 85 new store openings in 2002.

BJ'S Wholesale (BJ) posted $0.40 vs. $0.37 Q3 EPS from operations on 2.9% higher same store sales, 7.5% higher total sales.

Cost Plus (CPWM ) posted $0.11 Q3 loss vs. $0.01 EPS on 7.4% same store sales drop, 11.4% total sales rise. It also sees $0.86-$0.92 Q4 EPS, $0.86 to $0.93 fiscal year 2002 EPS.

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