Providian Taps New CEO, President

Constellation Brands reportedly bids for Britian's top brewer; Taiwan Semiconductor raises guidance; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Providian Financial (PVN ) named Joseph Saunders as president and CEO, replacing Shailesh Mehta.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM ) raised 2001 guidance. Bear Stearns reiterates buy and raised estimates.

Banc of America upgraded Micromuse (MUSE ) to buy from market perform.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Lucent Technology (LU ) to neutral from outperform.

USB Piper says Amazon.com (AMZN ) will benefit not just from core sales but also higher services revenues from Toys R Us and Target. Weekend sales were very strong. S&P keeps hold.

Goldman raised Q4 estimates on e-Bay (EBAY ) and reiterates recommended list.

Ess Technology (ESST ) sees $0.22-$0.24 Q4 EPS on $74M-$76M revenues, vs. prior guidance of $0.17-$0.33 EPS on $68M-$74M revenues and expects gross margins to be above previous guidance. S&P says still hold.

Frontline (FRO ) reportedly has sold three very large crude carriers and booked a $6M profit.

CS First Boston upgraded J D Edwards (JDEC ) to buy from hold.

Omnivision (OVTI ) Prudential upgraded to buy from hold.

Constellation Brands (STZ ) reportedly offered $1.9B for Carling, Britian's top brewer, putting it ahead of rival bidders.

EMC Corp. (EMC ) Kim Goddwin of Amer Century Investments says she is buying companies such as EMC, Cisco and Dell because they are market-share leaders whose numbers starting to improve, according to press reports.

Wipro (WIT ) and Geometric Software Solutions entered into a pact to provide end-to-end IT solutions to industrial markets in U.S., Europe and Japan.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT ) reported record single-day sales for Nov. 23, 2001, of more than $1.25 billion at its domestic Wal-Mart stores, Supercenters, and Neighborhood Markets.

Intel Corp. (INTC ) says its researchers have developed an innovative transistor structure and new materials that represent a dramatic improvement in transistor speed and power.

Yahoo! (YHOO ) says that Yahoo! Shopping showed a sales volume increase of more than 75% over the same post-Thanksgiving Day weekend one year ago.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Lucent Technologies (LU ) to neutral from outperform.

Banc of America upgraded Micromuse Inc. (MUSE ) to buy from market perform.

CS First Boston upgraded J D Edwards (JDEC ) to buy from hold.

Coinstar Inc. (CSTR ) sees 2002 EBITDA of $44-$49 million on $142-$148 million in revenue. Excluding any contribution from new products, the company currently expects $51-$61 million 2003 EBITDA on $160-$172 million in revenue. The forecasts reflect the company's North American core business.

A California District Court temporarily stayed an action filed by Hynix Corp. against Rambus (RMBS ) seeking declaratory relief that Hynix SDRAM and DDR SDRAM products do not infringe certain Rambus patents.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR ) raised Q3 EPS guidance to $0.21-$0.23 from $0.19-$0.21. The company sees a 6%-8% November comparable-store sales rise.

Ultimate Electronics (ULTE ) posted $0.15 vs. $0.30 Q3 EPS on 6% lower same store sales and lower gross margins. Total sales rose 13%.

LVMH (LVMHY ) agreed to buy Prada's 25.5% stake in Fendi. Following the deal, LVMH will hold 51% of Fendi's share capital, alongside the Fendi family, who hold 49%.

Neopharm Inc. (NEOL ) says its novel tumor-targeting agent, IL13-PE38, was granted orphan drug status from the FDA for treatment of malignant glioma.

Motorola's (MOT ) Semiconductor Products Sector secured more than $1 billion in design wins from global automotive customers over the next five years for its high-performance 16-bit HCS12 microcontroller family.

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