Adobe Tops Earnings, Revenue Targets

EDS and Bank of America in $4.5 billion deal; Amgen advances on 2003 outlook; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Adobe Systems (ADBE ) posted pro forma 25 cents earnings per share on $295 million in revenues -- beating expectations by two cents. Net income was 17 cents earnings per share. The software maker sees first quarter 2003 earnings per share in a range of 21 cents and 23 cents on revenue in a range of $275 million and $290 million.

Electronic Data Systems (EDS ) signed a $4.5 billion deal to provide voice and data network services to Bank of America.

Amgen (AMGN ) increased 2002 total product sales guidance to the low 40% range, which will result in $1.37-$1.39 2002 earnings per share (adjusted). The biotech company sees $1.70-$1.80 2003 earnings per share (adjusted) on $6.7 billion to $7.2 billion total product sales.

Drug giant Bristol-Myers (BMY ) used a number of accounting maneuvers to meet financial targets in recent years, say current and former executives, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Prudential upgraded newspaper publishing company Pulitzer (PTZ ) to buy from hold. On Wednesday the company forecast 2003 advertising and total revenue growth of 4% to 5.5%, and earnings per share growth of at least 10%.

Ballard Power (BLDP ) plans to offer 7.7 million shares at $13.016 each. S&P downgraded. Wedbush Morgan downgraded to sell from hold.

Salomon Smith Barney upgraded National Processing (NAP ) to in-line from underperform.

Tenet Healthcare (THC ) boosted its buyback authorization by 16.3 million shares. S&P reiterates hold.

Autozone (AZO ) posted $1.04 vs. 76 cents first quarter earnings per share on a 4.5% same store sales rise and 3.6% total sales rise.

Online lottery company GTECH (GTK ) posted 57 cents vs. 37 cents third quarter earnings per share despite a 2.7% revenue decline, and raised the fiscal 2003 earnings per share guidance to $2.30-$2.35.

Procter & Gamble (PG ) expects fourth quarter sales growth in the mid-to-high single digit range, and core earnings per share growth in the high-single digit range, above the current consensus estimates.

Coca-Cola (KO ) named Steven Heyer as president and COO.

Telecom equipment maker Ciena (CIEN ) posted a $1.75 fourth quarter loss (GAAP) vs. a $5.51 loss as lower expenses offset an 83% revenue drop. The company says first quarter fiscal 2003 revenue could increase as much as 10% sequentially, and believes it can achieve growth in 2003.

Oil producer and explorer Halliburton (HAL ) says it's close to an agreement with plaintiffs' attorneys representing more than 300,000 claimants that will resolve all asbestos-related personal injury claims against the company for about $4 billion in cash in stock.

Sprint (FON ) raised its 34 cents to 36 cents fourth quarter earnings per share forecast range to 37 cents to 39 cents due to cost management initiatives and favorable industry settlement on payphone access charges. Sprint sees $1.35 to $1.37 2002 earnings per share, and $1.40 to $1.45 2003 earnings per share.

Global media company Vivendi's (V ) offices in Paris were raided by French investigators in connection with alleged financial irregularities under former chairman Jean-Marie Messier, judicial sources said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Genentech (DNA ) and Roche announced preliminary positive results from a clinical study evaluating Herceptin, paclitaxel and carboplatin in first-line HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer patients.

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