Prudential Shares Climb in Trading Debut

Macromedia tumbles on profit warning; HotJobs.com rises on bid from Yahoo!; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Prudential Financial (PRU ) climbed more than $2 after its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Underwriters offered 110 million shares at $27.50 each.

Jack Henry (JKHY ) sees $0.14-$0.15 Q2 EPS, below Street estimates, and says software and hardware revenues from in-house core system installations were lower than expected. Pacific Crest downgraded to market perform.

Superconductor Technology (SCON ) received a follow-on purchase order for at least 1,000 of its SuperFiler systems from a major North American wireless carrier.

Bear Stearns says Ericsson's (ERICY ) near-term visibility remains limited.

Sotheby's (BID ) board reportedly will discuss the possible sale of the company with the Taubman family.

Ford placed a blanket purchase order with ID Systems (IDSY ) for its IVEC system for powered material handling vehicles.

Identix (IDNX ) is among the security equipment companies enjoying a run-up amidst expected increased demand for their products.

MFS, the manager MFS Special Value Trust (MFV ), will review the investment objectives of the fund; could lead to fund's liquidation.

Isis Pharmaceutical (ISIP ) and Amgen (AMGN ) entered a three-year collaboration to discover new antisense drugs.

Aetna (AET ) will cut its workforce by about 6,000, and take a 4Q after-tax charge of about $125M.

Macromedia (MACR ) lowered 3Q revenue guidance to $70M-$75M, citing tough economic conditions, and does not expect to return to profitability by end of fiscal 2002. Robertson Stephens, CS First Boston cut estimates.

Boeing (NA ) says based on current information and assessements, it expects to take a $700M non-recurring, after-tax 4Q charge for September 11 related events, minor charges at unit. Boeing will continue production of the 717 with a lower production rate.

Stanley Furniture (STLY ) lowered 4Q EPS from operations gudiance to $0.26-$0.31 on 15%-19% lower sales, and will close and consolidate certain facilities; cut 13% of workforce, take a $3M-$4M 4Q charge, and take the remainder of the cost in 2002.

United Technologies (UTX ) sees $3.81 2001 EPS, consistent with estimates, $4.32 for 2002, including a gain of $0.42 for FAS 142. The company does not anticipate improvements in its markets until the second half of the year.

QRS Corp. (QRSI ) says due to challenging economic conditions, it is lowering 4Q revenue guidance to $35M-$38M, and lowering 2001 guidance to $143M-$146M. QRS will also phase out certain products.

Charles Schwab (SCH ) reported total client daily average trades were 197,000 in Nov. 2001, down 18% from year ago, up 5% from Oct. 2001.

Tricon Global (YUM ) reaffirmed $3.18 2001 EPS guidance and sees $3.53-$3.63 2002 EPS from ongoing operationg, including a $0.13 benefit from FAS141/142.

E*Trade (ET ) agreed to acquire customer accounts from 2Cube, a joint ventue between JP Morgan, Pacific Century Cyberworks Ltd., in Hong Kong.) The deal is immediately accretive to both revenue and EPS.

Ashland (ASH ) says the energy outlook in 2002 is uncertain.

AOL Time Warner (AOL ) is in alliance with Univision Communications, for its content to be easily accessible across several AOL properties, and for Univision.com to feature AOL's email and instant messaging.

HJ Heinz (HNZ ) posted $0.59 vs. $0.69 2Q EPS from operations despite 11.7% sales rise. Heinz sees 3Q results slightly less than 2Q, and sees improved 4Q. S&P keeps hold.

Ciena (CIEN ) posted $0.05 vs. $0.09 4Q EPS from operation despite a 28% revenue rise, and says for short-term, given uncertainty in the market and the unpredictability of revenues, its sustained investment means it will incur operating losses.

Applied Materials (AMAT ) set a workforce reduction of about 10%, and will record a restructuring charge in 1Q. Lehman says shares are fully valued, and he remains cautious. S&P keeps hold.

Lucent Technologies (LU ) sees a $0.23-$0.26 1Q loss (pro forma, continuing operations) on $3.1M-$3.4M revenues. Lucent thinks 1Q will represent a low point in current downturn, and sees a sequential improvement in 2Q.

Hotjobs.com (HOTJ ) confirmed it has received a letter from Yahoo! proposing acquisition of all shares at $10.50 per share in cash and stock. HotJobs is currently in party to merge with TMP Worldwide.

CostCo Wholesale (COST ) posted $0.28 vs. $0.28 1Q EPS on a 5% same store sales rise, 11% total sales rise. CostCo noted 1Q fiscal 2002 EPS wasimpacted by $0.01 provision for closing costs.

El Paso Energy (EPN ) reaffirmed $12M-$17M 4Q earnings expectation, sees 2002 net income of about $70M.

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