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Cisco Net Tops Forecasts

After the close of trading Tuesday, Cisco Systems (CSCO) reported Q4 EPS (pro forma) of $0.14 on revenue of about $4.83 billion. The earnings topped analysts' estimates, but revenue was a bit shy of forecasts.

Needham upgraded Dell Computer (DELL) to buy from hold. The firm has a $33 price target on the stock. Separately, Dell says Sears has chosen Dell to provide hardware and deployment services in 870 full-line stores.

Xcel Energy (XEL) signed a deal with lenders to eliminate cross-default provision in two lines of credit. Merrill upgrades to NT neutral from reduce/sell. S&P reiterates hold.

Sharper Image (SHRP) posted a 9% same store sales rise, and a 34% total sales rise. The company narrowed its $0.08-$0.12 Q2 loss forecast to a $0.07-$0.09 loss. WR Hambrecht raised estimates.

Fair Isaac (FIC) With the acquisition of HNC Software now completed, the company sees a $0.52-$0.55 Q4 loss (including costs) on revenues of $132 million to $134 million; and $1.90-$1.95 fiscal 2003 EPS on $625 million to $635 million revenues. S&P keeps accumulate.

JP Morgan reiterates buy onCitigroup (C), saying it is incrementally positive on the medium-term outlook for the company following its visit to Citigroup's operations in Japan.

Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) says it recalled one lot number of cheesecake made for Olive Garden restaurants due to potential contamination of listeria monocytogenes. Thomas Weisel sees a buying opportunity.

Merrill upgraded Philips (PHG) to near term strong buy from buy, and keeps long term buy.

A John Harland unit agreed to acquire Interlinq Software (INLQ) for $6.25 per share.

Omnicom Group (OMC) posted $1.00 vs. $0.91 Q2 EPS on a 9.7% revenue rise.

J M Smucker (SJM) expects Q1 EPS, excluding merger charges for the purchase of Crisco, to exceed the consensus estimate of $0.40 by about 10%. S&P reiterates buy.

Gilead Science (GILD) was halted pending news. An FDA advisory panel is expected to issue a decision to the FDA Tuesday on Gilead's adefovir dipivoxil tablets for chronic hepatitis B.

Mercury Computer (MRCY) posted $0.24 vs. $0.37 Q4 EPS on a 12% revenue decline. The company sees EPS of $0.16-$0.20 for Q1 and $0.90-$1.00 for all of fiscal 2003. CIBC World upgraded the shares to buy. S&P cut its estimates.

MetLife (MET) posted $0.69 vs. $0.54 Q2 operating EPS on 14% higher total premiums and fees. The company sees $2.43-$2.53 2002 EPS. Morgan Stanley cut its estimates.

Salomon SB downgraded Hanover Compressor (HC) to neutral from outperform. On Aug. 5, the company posted a $0.70 Q2 loss (including items); and restated its 2000 and 2001 results following an investigation by an independent committee.

Salomon SB reportedly downgraded Interpublic Group (IPG) to neutral from buy. On Aug. 5, the company delayed release of Q2 results to accommodate its Audit Committee.

Cephalon (CEPH) posted $0.25 Q2 EPS vs. a $0.19 loss per share (excluding extraordinary items) on a sharp total revenue rise. The company sees $0.27 Q3 EPS and raised its 2002 guidance for EPS to $1.08-$1.10 and for product sales to $430-$435 million.

Qiagen (QGENF) posted $0.05 vs. $0.08 Q2 EPS, excluding one-time charges, despite a 10% sales rise. The company says Q2 results suffered from a significant contraction of U.S. pharmaceutical research spending.

MSC Industrial (MSM) discovered incorrect accounting entries related to inventory purchases that overstated net income by about $8.3 million over the past 4 years; the company will restate results for 1999, 2000, 2001, and year-to-date 2002.

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