SmartForce Remains Lower

Russian poultry embargo hurts Smithfield Food; SEC inquires into Williams Co; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Merrill says a recent Russian embargo of U.S. poultry products is having a negative impact on Smithfield Food (SFD ), and cut estimates.

According to press reports, the SEC is looking into accounting methods at Williams Cos. (WMB ). S&P keeps hold.

According to press reports, Dynegy (DYN ) reportedly used energy trades through a partnership to increase its 2001 cash flow. S&P downgraded to avoid from hold.

SmartForce (SMTF ) sees a $0.26-$0.27 Q1 loss on $42M-$43M revenues and ended a merger with Centra Software (CTRA ). Smartforce will take a $2M-$2.5M Q1 charge. DB Alex Brown, Banc of America downgraded.

Adelphia Communication (ADLAC ) confirmed that the SEC is conducting an informal inquiry into its previously disclosed co-borrowing pacts. Earlier Goldman removed Adelphia from its recommended list, the stock is now not rated.

Sanford Bernstein upgraded Circuit City (CC ) to outperform from market perform. On Tuesday the company posted $0.67 vs. $0.46 Q4 EPS (excluding EPS attributed to reserved Circuit City Stores-CarMax shares).

Robert Half International (RHI ) sees $0.05-$0.06 Q1 EPS on $465M-$475M revenues. Salomon and Lehman downgraded. Wachovia cut estimates. S&P maintains accumulate.

Salomon SB downgraded Parker Hannifin (PH ) to neutral from outperform. JP Morgan downgraded to long term buy from buy.

Merrill downgraded International Game Technology (IGT ) to near term buy from strong buy.

Sybase (SY ) reaffirmed its first quarter guidance of $0.21 EPS on $210 million in revenue.

Jones Apparel (JNY ) expects to exceed its $0.62-$0.64 first quarter EPS from operations guidance. The company will take $0.24 in first quarter charges. CIBC World upgraded Cott (COTT ) to strong buy from buy, citing incremental growth from bottled water.

Salomon Smith Barney downgraded Parker Hannifin (PH ) to neutral from outperform. JP Morgan reportedly downgraded the shares to long term buy from buy.

Interwoven (IWOV ) sees a $0.10-$0.12 first quarter loss per share (pro forma) on $32-$33 million in revenue. CS First Boston cut its estimates. S&P maintains its hold opinion.

According to press reports, the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into accounting methods at some of the largest U.S. companies -- including Adelphia Communications (ADLAC ) and Williams Cos. (WMB ) -- broadening the scope of its inquiry beyond issues in the Enron probe. Goldman Sachs removed Adelphia from its recommended list.

Lehman Brothers downgraded Worldcom (WCOM ) to market perform from strong buy.

Robert Half (RHI ) sees $0.05-$0.06 first quarter EPS on $465-$475 million in revenues. The company expects revenues from temporary staffing and consulting activities to show a 7%-8% sequential decline.

Skechers (SKX ) says first quarter EPS should exceed the $0.34 First Call consensus by at least 25% on sales in excess of $235 million.

i2 Technology (ITWO ) sees a $0.07-$0.08 first quarter loss per share (pro forma). The company cites continued weak market conditions.

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