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H-P Misses Targets

After the close of trading Tuesday, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) posted third-quarter proforma earnings per share of 23 cents, vs. 14 cents, missing analysts' average estimates for 26 cents a share. H-P's net profit rose to 10 cents earnings per share, vs. a loss of 67 cents per share a year ago. Revenue rose to $17.4 billion, from $16.5 billion, but was a bit short of expectations.

Broadcom (BRCM) raised the 5.9% to 8.5% third-quarter sequential revenue growth guidance to 10%. CIBC World and Thomas Weisel upgraded. S&P raised its estimates, and reiterates hold.

Staples (SPLS) posted 18 cents vs. 13 cents second-quarter earnings per share on an 18% sales rise. The office-supplies chain raised the fiscal 2004 earnings per share guidance to $1.09 (pro forma) vs. the $1.05 consensus. USB Piper upgraded to strong buy from outperform. S&P reiterates buy.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, National Semiconductor (NSM) says it reduced the number of stock options it grants as compensation to 3.9% of shares outstanding in fiscal 2003 from 5.4% in fiscal 2002, and 6.6% in fiscal 2001. Also, the company says it will examine how it pays its executives.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) says president and CEO James McNulty will step down on Dec. 31 when his contract expires, and will be replaced as CEO by Craig Donohue. Jefferies sees no change in the company's fundamentals, and maintains its hold rating.

Home Depot (HD) posted 56 cents vs. 50 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 2.2% same store sales rise, and an 11% total sales rise. The home-improvement retailer reaffirmed the 9% to 14% 2003 earnings per share growth, and 9% to 12% sales growth guidance.

Agilent Technologies (A) posted a $3.28 third-quarter loss per share vs. a 48-cent loss on a 2.5% revenue rise. Agilent notes the third-quarter fiscal 2003 results included a $1.4 billion charge. The company sees $1.50 billion to $1.60 billion in fourth-quarter revenue, and breakeven to 10 cents operating earnings per share before restructuring and amortization charges. J.P. Morgan raised its estimates. S&P keeps hold.

Genentech (DNA) presented positive preliminary six-month data from a Phase Ib/II study for its lucentis in age-related macular degeneration.

BJ's Wholesale (BJ) posted 32 cents vs. 50 cents second-quarter earnings per share despite a 6.6% rise in same-store sales, and a 14% rise in net sales.

SoundView upgraded Mercury Interactive (MERQ) to outperform.

GameStop (GME) posted 11 cents vs. 10 cents second-quarter earnings per share despite a 4.7% same-store sales drop, and an 11% total sales rise. GameStop sees -5% to flat third-quarter same-store sales, 16 cents to 18 cents earnings per share, and $1.02 to $1.06 earnings per share in fiscal 2004.

Jo-Ann Stores (JAS.A) posted an 11-cent second-quarter loss vs. 10 cents earnings per share despite a 2.4% same-store sales rise, and a 1.6% total sales rise. Jo-Ann reiterated the $2.00 to $2.10 fiscal 2004 earnings per share guidance.

Antigenics (AGEN) says in a Phase II trial of its cancer vaccine Oncophage for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, more than half of the 29 patients who received the drug demonstrated a significant immunological response.

Liberty Media will acquire all outstanding UnitedGlobalCom (UCOMA) Class B shares from the founding shareholders. Terms: Liberty stock and a cash payment of about 50% of the founders' estimated federal and state income tax liability from the deal.

J.P. Morgan upgraded Allied Waste (AW) to overweight from neutral.

Banc of America upgraded PSS World Medical (PSSI) to buy from neutral.

Alkermes (ALKS) intends to offer up to $100 million of convertible subordinated notes in a private placement.

Broadcom (BRCM) raised the 5.9% to 8.5% third-quarter sequential revenue growth guidance to 10%. CIBC World and Thomas Weisel upgraded. S&P raised estimates, and reiterates hold.

Merrill upgraded Sicor (SCRI) to buy from neutral.

Wells Fargo reportedly upgraded Flextronics (FLEX) to buy from hold. SoundView raised its estimates. On Monday the company reportedly reiterated the second-quarter and third-quarter outlook at its mid-quarter update.

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