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Providian Taps New CEO, President

Providian Financial (PVN) named Joseph Saunders as president and CEO, replacing Shailesh Mehta.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) raised 2001 guidance. Bear Stearns reiterates buy and raised estimates.

Banc of America upgraded Micromuse (MUSE) to buy from market perform.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Lucent Technology (LU) to neutral from outperform.

USB Piper says (AMZN) will benefit not just from core sales but also higher services revenues from Toys R Us and Target. Weekend sales were very strong. S&P keeps hold.

Goldman raised Q4 estimates on e-Bay (EBAY) and reiterates recommended list.

Ess Technology (ESST) sees $0.22-$0.24 Q4 EPS on $74M-$76M revenues, vs. prior guidance of $0.17-$0.33 EPS on $68M-$74M revenues and expects gross margins to be above previous guidance. S&P says still hold.

Frontline (FRO) reportedly has sold three very large crude carriers and booked a $6M profit.

CS First Boston upgraded J D Edwards (JDEC) to buy from hold.

Omnivision (OVTI) Prudential upgraded to buy from hold.

Constellation Brands (STZ) reportedly offered $1.9B for Carling, Britian's top brewer, putting it ahead of rival bidders.

EMC Corp. (EMC) Kim Goddwin of Amer Century Investments says she is buying companies such as EMC, Cisco and Dell because they are market-share leaders whose numbers starting to improve, according to press reports.

Wipro (WIT ) and Geometric Software Solutions entered into a pact to provide end-to-end IT solutions to industrial markets in U.S., Europe and Japan.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) reported record single-day sales for Nov. 23, 2001, of more than $1.25 billion at its domestic Wal-Mart stores, Supercenters, and Neighborhood Markets.

Intel Corp. (INTC) says its researchers have developed an innovative transistor structure and new materials that represent a dramatic improvement in transistor speed and power.

Yahoo! (YHOO) says that Yahoo! Shopping showed a sales volume increase of more than 75% over the same post-Thanksgiving Day weekend one year ago.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Lucent Technologies (LU) to neutral from outperform.

Banc of America upgraded Micromuse Inc. (MUSE) to buy from market perform.

CS First Boston upgraded J D Edwards (JDEC) to buy from hold.

Coinstar Inc. (CSTR) sees 2002 EBITDA of $44-$49 million on $142-$148 million in revenue. Excluding any contribution from new products, the company currently expects $51-$61 million 2003 EBITDA on $160-$172 million in revenue. The forecasts reflect the company's North American core business.

A California District Court temporarily stayed an action filed by Hynix Corp. against Rambus (RMBS) seeking declaratory relief that Hynix SDRAM and DDR SDRAM products do not infringe certain Rambus patents.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR) raised Q3 EPS guidance to $0.21-$0.23 from $0.19-$0.21. The company sees a 6%-8% November comparable-store sales rise.

Ultimate Electronics (ULTE) posted $0.15 vs. $0.30 Q3 EPS on 6% lower same store sales and lower gross margins. Total sales rose 13%.

LVMH (LVMHY) agreed to buy Prada's 25.5% stake in Fendi. Following the deal, LVMH will hold 51% of Fendi's share capital, alongside the Fendi family, who hold 49%.

Neopharm Inc. (NEOL) says its novel tumor-targeting agent, IL13-PE38, was granted orphan drug status from the FDA for treatment of malignant glioma.

Motorola's (MOT) Semiconductor Products Sector secured more than $1 billion in design wins from global automotive customers over the next five years for its high-performance 16-bit HCS12 microcontroller family.

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