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Markets & Finance

Caterpillar Shares Rise

Goldman upgraded industrial-equipment maker and Dow componentCaterpillar (CAT) to outperform from in-line, and downgraded Eaton (ETN) to in-line from outperform.

Possis Medical (POSS) cut the fiscal 2005 estimate to 70 cents to 82 cents earnings per share on $85 million to $95 million revenue, from 83 cents to 96 cents earnings per share on $92 million to $98 million revenue. Possis cited disappointing study results involving its AngioJet blood clot remover. First Albany downgraded.

Sanderson Farms (SAFM) posted lower-than-expected $1.69, vs. 78 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 27% revenue rise. Sanderson says market prices for corn and soybean meal, its primary feed ingredients, increased 15.8% and 46%, respectively. Sanderson cut the fiscal 2004 earnings per share estimate to $4.85 to $5.35.

Perry Ellis (PERY) posted a 29-cent second-quarter loss, vs. a 36-cent loss on a 36% revenue rise. The apparel maker expects fiscal 2005 results to be in line with the previous guidance.

Schwab Soundview upgraded Synaptics (SYNA) to outperform from neutral.

Prudential downgraded Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) to neutral from overweight.

H.J. Heinz (HNZ) posted 55 cents, vs. 53 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 5.3% revenue rise. Analysts had expected 55 cents earnings per share, on average.

General Electric (GE) plans to expand its retail banking operations in emerging European and Asian markets, and is becoming a more formidable rival for Citigroup (C), according to The Wall Street Journal.

Cognos (COGN), the largest Canadian software maker, bid $52.2 million to acquire Frango, a Stockholm-based company specializing in consolidation and financial-reporting solutions.

Transportation and trucking company Yellow Corp. (YELL) says overall business trends remain consistent with its internal forecast for the third quarter. It expects third-quarter earnings per share to be at least within the previously guided range of $1.20 to $1.25.

Infineon Technologies (IFX) sees the global semiconductor market growing over 22% this year. The head of U.S. operations told German newspaper Die Welt that there are plans to expand in the U.S., particularly in the memory-chip sector, according to Standard & Poor's European MarketScope.

The government of Ecuador reportedly may terminate Occidental Petroleum's (OXY) right to drill in that country.

Hair-salon chain Regis (RGS) posted 59 cents, vs. 50 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 1.5% higher same-store sales and 13% higher consolidated revenue. Regis maintains the fiscal 2005 guidance for $2.43 to $2.47 fiscal 2005 earnings per share on a 1% to 2% same-store sales rise and 7% to 8% higher revenue.

Interstate Bakeries (IBC) says due to a recent decision to close two bakeries, it estimates it will take about a $7.7 million to $9.9 million first-quarter restructure charge.

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