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Rumors of SEC Probe at IBM Hit Shares

IBM Corp. (IBM) is seen lower on rumors of an SEC investigation. S&P maintains accumulate. IBM won't comment.

Merrill Lynch (MER) is seen down on an approaching deadline set by a court to disclose details about its investment banking business.

Specialty Labs (SP) posted $0.09 vs. $0.15 Q1 EPS on flat revenue. Leerink Swann downgrades to hold from attractive.

CS First Boston cut estimates on JD Edwards (JDEC).

Target Corp. (TGT) posted 6.8% higher March same store sales, and 16% higher total sales. Target says it is confident its will "meaningfully" outperform prior Q1 EPS expectations.

Network Associates (NET) posted $0.10 Q1 EPS vs. a $0.35 loss on a 32% revenue rise, and sees $0.11-$0.13 Q2 EPS (pro forma); and raised 2002 EPS (pro forma) guidance to $0.50-$0.55.

Dow Jones (DJ) posted $0.08 vs. $0.17 Q1 EPS from operations on 15% lower reported revenue. Dow Jones expects linage at The Wall Street Journal to be down 10%-20% in Q2, with EPS from operationss in the range of $0.20-$0.30.

GE (GE) posted $0.35, before accounting changes, in line with the Wall Street consensus forecast, vs. $0.30 Q1 EPS on flat revenue. , and posted $0.26 Q1 EPS, after accounting changes.

Yahoo! (YHOO) posted $0.02 Q1 GAAP EPS vs. a $0.02 loss on a 6.9% revenue rise, and sees Q2 revenue of $205M-$225M, and $870M-$910M for 2002. Merrill downgraded to near term neutral from buy.

Merrill downgraded Verizon (VZ) to near term neutral from strong buy, and long term buy from strong buy.

Joseph A. Bank (JOSB) posted 12% higher March same store sales, and 24% higher total sales.

Herbalife (HERBB) agreed to be acquired by two private equity firms in deal valued at $19.50 cash per HERB Class A and Class B share for total value of $685M. (MCAF) posted $0.08 vs. $0.11 Q1 EPS (pro forma) despite a 46% revenue rise.

Andrx (ADRX) says the FDA approved marketing of its Abbreviated New Drug Application for potassium chloride extended release tablets, bioequivalent to Schering Plough's brand name product, K-Dur, for treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Nordstrom (JWN) posted a 1.1% March same store sales decline, and 1.7% total sales rise.

b>MDC Holdings (MDC) posted $1.16 vs. $1.09 Q1 EPS on an 8.7% revenue rise, and posted 10% higher March same store sales. MDC sees $0.18-$0.20 Q1 EPS, up from $0.16 recent consensus.

First Data (FDC) posted $0.65 Q1 EPS from recurring operations vs. $0.54 (pro forma) on a 6.8% revenue rise.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR) posted $0.51 vs. $0.38 Q4 EPS on a 10% same store sales rise.

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