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Markets & Finance

WaMu Cuts Outlook

Washington Mutual (WM) cut its 2004 earnings per share guidance to a range of $3.00 to $3.60. The company cited a sustained increase in long-term interest rates. S&P downgraded its recommendation to hold from accumulate. Goldman Sachs reportedly downgraded its recommendation to underperform from in-line. The shares closed lower.

Jacobs Engineering Group (JEC) cut its third-quarter earnings per share guidance to a range of 50 cents to 54 cents, and fiscal 2004 earnings per share guidance to a range of $2.20 to $2.30. The company blamed the fact that one of its major customers cancelled a project and suspended work on several others, and continuing delays in significant work for government sector. S&P downgraded its recommendation to hold from accumulate. The shares closed lower.

Target (TGT) reportedly expects June same-store sales to be weaker than expected. Lazard Freres reportedly downgrades to hold from buy. The shares closed lower.

In recent days, staff at a Citigroup (C) unit have been working intensely on a potential deal to buy New York Community Bank (NYB), according to a Financial Times report. The shares of both companies closed slighty lower.

Gibralter Steel (ROCK) raised its second-quarter earnings per share guidance from a range of 56 cents to 61 cents, to a range of 72 cents to 75 cents. The company noted its ability to generate "exceptionally strong" results in a number of targeted high-growth areas. The shares closed higher.

Wachovia reportedly downgraded its recommendation for Wright Medical Group (WMGI) to market perform from outperform. The shares closed lower.

The SEC says it will charge Siebel Systems (SEBL) for another Regulation FD (for fair disclosure) violation and it will also charge CFO Ken Goldman, a senior officer, with aiding and abetting violations of Regulation FD. The shares closed lower.

CIBC World upgraded Allegheny Technologies (ATI) to sector outperform from sector perform. On June 28, the company forecasted second-quarter earnings per share in the range of 22 cents to 32 cents, including gain from special items. The shares closed higher.

Keybanc Capital reportedly upgraded its recommendation for both OM Group (OMG) and Hawk (HWK) to buy from hold. Shares for OM Group closed higher, and shares of Hawk closed slightly lower.

Euro Tech (CLWT) posted fiscal 2004 earnings per share of 12 cents, vs. 11 cents, on a 17% revenue rise. In order to increase liquidity of its shares, the company announced a stock dividend of 5 shares for every 10 shares held. The shares closed higher.

CS First Boston initiated coverage of Wireless Facilities (WFII) with an outperform rating and a 12-month price target of $11. The shares closed higher.

Chindex International (CHDX) posted a loss per share of 53 cents fiscal 2004, vs. 7 cents earnings per share a year ago, due to the negative impact of the SARS epidemic, the delayed opening of its hospital in Shanghai, and the delayed governmental approvals of financing programs. The shares closed lower.

OSI Pharmaceuticals (OSIP) announced that a new drug application for Tarceva has been accepted into the FDA's Pilot 1 Program for Continuous Marketing Applications. The company noted that its Pilot 1 Program is designed for products that have been designated with a Fast Track status. The shares closed higher. (FLWS) anticipates achieving fourth-quarter total revenue of about $161 million. The company also sees fiscal 2004 total revenue growth of about 7%. The shares closed lower.

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