Merrill Raises Worldcom Group to Near-Term Accumulate

Several energy companies report earnings; plus more of today's stocks to watch

Worldcom Group (WCOM ) was trading higher after Merrill upgraded the stock to near term accumulate from neutral. On Thursday, the company posted $0.24 vs. $0.35 3Q EPS from operations.

Applied Micro Circuits was off after Robertson Stephens downgraded shares of the company to market perform from buy on valuation.

Digital Insight (DGIN ) was higher after it posted narrower than expected $0.02 3Q loss vs. $0.19 loss (pro forma) on a 49% increase in revenue.

Lockheed Martin (LMT ) posted a $0.41 3Q EPS from operations vs. $1.74 loss. It increased 2001 EPS outlook to about 35% increase from $1.07 2000 EPS, vs. 30%-35% previous guidance.

JDS Uniphase (JDSU ) reported $0.20 1Q loss vs. $0.18 EPS (pro forma) on 58% revenue revenue decline, and sees $0.01-$0.02 2Q loss (pro forma) on 10%-15% sequential revenue decline. Robertson Stephens downgraded the stock to market perform.

Verisign( VRSN ) recorded $0.28 vs. $0.17 3Q EPS (pro forma) on 47% revenue rise. Bear Stearns downgraded the stock to neutral from attractive. Baker Hughes (BHI ) recorded a $0.41 vs. $0.20 3Q EPS on 6.1% revenue rise, and sees $0.34-$0.37 4Q operating EPS, rising to $1.27-$1.30 in 2001.

Allegheny Energy (AYE ) posted $1.32 vs. $0.69 3Q EPS from operations on sharp revenue rise. The company says performance in 3Q, so far in 2001 puts it on clear path toward delivering EPS within guidance of $3.80-$4.10 for 2001.

Eastman Chemical (EMN ) posted $0.55 vs. $1.05 3Q EPS from operations on flat revenue, lower capacity utilization, unfavorable product mix. Expects 4Q EPS from operations to be lower than 3Q.

AES (AES ) reported $0.27 vs. $0.32 3Q EPS from operations despite 14% revenue rise. It sees $1.25-$1.35 2001 EPS, $1.50-$1.65 2002. S&P maintains an avoid rating on the energy company.

Kenneth Cole (KCP ) posted $0.29 vs. $0.59 3Q EPS on 9% revenue decline. The retailer sees $0.05-$0.10 4Q EPS on revenue of $85M-$90M. Robertson Stephens downgraded the company's shares to market perform from buy.

HOTJOB.COM (HOTJ ) recorded $0.02 3Q loss vs. $0.21 loss (pro forma) from operations on 4.6% lower revenue.

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