Calpine Moves to Strengthen Finances

Peregrine soars on analyst upgrade; Starbucks plans Latin American excursion; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Calpine (CPN ) shares were higher after the company said it is finalizing discussions with lenders regarding a new, expanded, secure credit facility that would significantly improve the company's cash position.

ZymoGenetics (ZGEN ) shares rose after Merrill Lynch began coverage with near-term and long-term strong buy ratings, and Pacific Growth started the stock with a buy recommendation. The company was unavailable for comment.

NetBank (NTBK ) gained after ST Robinson Humphrey upgraded the stock to buy from outperform.

ImClone Pharmaceuticals (IMCL ) shares rose as the company and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY ) meet with the FDA concerning ImClone's cancer drug Erbitux.

MCSI Inc. (MCSI ) shares sank after the company posted $0.31 vs. $0.29 fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations despite a 29% sales decline, which was worse than expected. MCSI posted a $0.24 loss including charges.

DB Alex Brown upgraded Peregrine Systems (PRGN ) to strong buy from buy. The shares were trading higher.

Pharmanetics (PHAR ) shares jumped after the company reported fourth quarter loss per share of $0.28, versus a $0.58 loss per share a year ago, on sharply higher revenues.

Banc of America downgraded Williams-Sonoma (WSM ) to market perform from buy. Yesterday, the retailer raised its $1.25-$1.28 FY 2002 EPS guidance to $1.31-$1.32, and set $1.52-$1.56 FY 2003 guidance.

Shares of Whirlpool (WHR ) shot higher after the appliance maker said it expects to exceed the current range of analysts' estimates for first quarter core EPS. It expects to purchase Vitro's remaining 51% stake in the Vitromatic joint venture for $150 million in cash and assume 100% of the venture's existing $220 million debt.

Home Depot (HD ) posted $0.30 vs. $0.20 fourth quarter earnings per share on 5% higher same-store sales and 29% higher total sales. The company expects to meet the Wall Street consensus estimate of $0.32 first quarter EPS.

Federated Department Stores (FD ) posted $1.90 vs. $2.23 fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations on 6% lower same-store sales. It sees $0.25-$0.30 first quarter EPS, and $0.50-$0.60 for the second quarter. The company also sees 2%-3% lower first quarter same-store sales, with a flat second quarter.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR ) says February sales are trending well above forecast, and that it sees at least a 10% increase in comparable-store sales on the month. The company raised its fourth quarter earnings per share forecast to $0.48-$0.49 vs. the $0.45 Wall Street consensus estimate. Lehman raised its estimates on Pier 1.

Flextronics (FLEX ) sees fourth quarter revenues in line with expectations, with EPS at the lower end of the $0.13-$0.16 Wall Street range. S&P, Banc of America, Goldman cut estimates. AG Edwards downgraded the shares.

Starbucks (SBUX ) reaffirmed fiscal 2002 EPS guidance of $0.52-$0.53 (excluding a $0.02 gain), and sees 20% higher revenues. The company plans to enter the Latin American and Indonesian markets; and to grow its businesses in Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Toll Brothers (TOL ) posted $1.20 vs. $1.10 first quarter EPS on a 3.6% revenue rise. The company says with estimated fiscal 2003 revenues of over $2.5 billion, it believes EPS could reach $6.00 or better, well above the current analysts' consensus forecast.

A lawsuit reportedly has been filed against AOL Time Warner (AOL ) alleging AOL charged thousands of customers for merchandise they didn't buy.

Macrovision Corp. (MVSN ) posted $0.23 vs. $0.19 fourth quarter EPS (pro forma) on a 9% revenue rise. The company sees EPS of $0.14-$0.16 for the first quarter and $0.84-$0.88 for all of 2002.

Microsoft (MSFT ) will deliver Microsoft Customer Relationship Management (CRM), its first business solution built on its .NET platform, later this year.

Northwest Airlines (NWAC ) filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the initial public offering of its regional airline subsidiary, Express Airlines I, Inc., which will be renamed Pinnacle Airlines Corp.

Xcel Energy (XEL ) announced the pricing of a 20 million share commons stock offering at $22.50 per share.

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