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GE Profit Rises

General Electric (GE) posted second quarter earnings per share of 44 cents, vs. 36 cents one year earlier, on a 13% revenue rise. The conglomerate narrowed its EPS outlook to the high end of its original guidance for 2005; it now expects EPS of $1.80 to $1.83.

Hunt(J.B.) Transport (JBHT) posted second quarter EPS of 33 cents, vs. 27 cents, on 12% revenue rise.

Shares of Symbol Technologies SBL fell after the company cut its second quarter revenue guidance to $425 million to $430 million. Symbol named Sal Iannuzzi as CFO, effective immediately. S&P keeps strong sell. JP Morgan downgraded the shares to neutral from overweight.

Electronic Arts (ERTS) shares fell after word that the company was delaying release of the launch of its game based on The Godfather. S&P reiterates hold.

Tyson Foods (TSN) shares were seen higher after a U.S. appeals court lifted a ban on Canadian cattle imports. Merrill reportedly upgraded Tyson to buy from neutral and downgradeD Smithfield Foods (SFD) to neutral from buy.

Chiron CHIR shares fell after the cpompany cut its supply estimate for Begrivac for the 2005-06 flu season to 4 million doses outside the U.S. The FDA says Chiron's Pulminiq is "approvable" but requires additional study to confirm efficacy of the drug. S&P reiterates strong sell.

Investors Financial (IFIN) shares dropped Friday after the company posted second quarter EPS of 64 cents (including items), vs. 50 cents. It sees 10% growth in 2005 EPS (GAAP), but a flat 2006. The company cites a flatter-than-expected yield curve; narrower reinvestment spreads; and weaker market-sensitive revenues.

Rambus (RMBS) posted second quarter EPS of 5 cents, vs. 8 cents, on a 14% revenue rise.

MRO Software (MROI) posted third quarter EPS (GAAP basis) of 16 cents, vs. 12 cents, on a 15% rise in revenues. The company sees fourth quarter EPS (GAAP) of 18 cents to 21 cents on revenue of $52 million to $54 million. It sees 2006 GAAP EPS growth in the 15% to 25% range. Piper Jaffray reportedly downgraded the shares to market perform.

Citigroup (C) said that Robert B. Willumstad will step down from his positions of president, COO, and board member, to become CEO of a public company. S&P maintains its strong buy opinion on the shares.

Novartis (NVS) inked a deal to purchase Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY) U.S. and Canadian Consumer Medicines business and related assets for $660 million in cash.

Cintas (CTAS) posted fourth quarter EPS of 48 cents, vs. 42 cents, on 9.6% revenue rise. The company sees fiscal 2006 EPS of $1.95 to $2.05 on revenue of $3.35 billion to $3.45 billion.

Itron (ITRI) sees better-than-expected second quarter EPS (pro forma) of 38 cents to 42 cents on revenue of about $132 million to $135 million. It sees $175 million in second quarter new order bookings (excluding an order from Progress Energy announced July 15).

Smith (A.O.) (AOS) posted second quarter EPS from operations of 48 cents, vs. 58 cents, on flat sales and softer customer demand.

National City (NCC) posted second quarter EPS of 97 cents, vs. 83 cents, on lower loan loss provisions and higher net interest income. (PCLN) updated its second quarter EPS guidance to 36 cents to 40 cents (pro forma) from 34 cents to 40 cents on revenues of $265 million to $270 million. It sees 2005 EPS of $1.20 to $1.28, which reflects the acquisition of Bookings B.V. S&P reiterates its hold opinion.

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