Krispy Kreme Climbs

Choice Hotels advances; Cyberonics tumbles; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD ) posted 22 cents vs. 15 cents first-quarter earnings per share on an 11% system-wide same store sales rise, and a 34% total revenue rise -- above analysts' average estimates of 20 cents a share. Krispy Kreme sees 20 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and 90 cents for fiscal 2004. It sees 10% higher fiscal 2004 system-wide same store sales. Thomas Weisel raised its estimates.

UBS Warburg upgraded Choice Hotels (CHH ) to buy from neutral on valuation.

Cyberonics (CYBX ) posted 17 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share vs. a 32-cent loss on a 37% sales rise. The medical device maker sees at least 8 cents first-quarter earnings per share, and 45 cents fiscal 2004 earnings per share. First Albany downgraded to buy from strong buy, citing disappointing fourth-quarter results from sales of its device for the treatment of epilepsy.

Semtech (SMTC ) posted 11 cents vs. 13 cents first-quarter earnings per share on 11% lower sales. It notes the largest decline in new orders was in Desktop Power Management. The chipmaker sees 9 cents to 10 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 2% sequential sales rise. Kaufman Bros. and First Albany cut their estimates.

The FDA cleared VaxGen 's (VXGN ) investigational new drug application for its candidate anthrax vaccine.

ATI Technologies (ATYT ) launched ALL-IN-WONDER Encode, software MPEG2 encoder for PCs running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition.

XM Satellite Radio (XMSR ) is now selling selling Delphi XM SKYFi Radio in Wal-Mart Stores stores nationwide.

Merrill downgraded Argosy Gaming (AGY ) to neutral from buy.

The U.S. District Court dismissed with prejudice a consolidated amended complaint in a shareholder suit against Rambus (RMBS ) .

Some investors wonder if the worst is over for the long suffering airline sector. Delta Air Lines (DAL ) shares have doubled since early March, but a take off could be premature, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Costco Wholesale (COST ) posted 33 cents vs. 28 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 6% same store sales rise, and an 11% net sales rise. The results beats analysts' average estimates of 31 cents a share. USB Piper upgraded to strong buy from outperform.

Greka Energy (GRKA ) is in a deal with the chairman and CEO, President Randeep Grewal, to acquire all Greka shares he does not already own. Terms: $6.25 cash per Greka share.

First Albany initiated coverage on Xoma (XOMA ) with buy.

Deutsche Bank reportedly initiated coverage of Ask Jeeves (ASKJ ) with buy. Kaufman Bros raised its target, and reiterates buy.

Medarex (MEDX ) says pre-clinical studies showed rabbits given an antibody developed by the company survived lethal exposure to anthrax, whereas those in the control group died.

Toll Brothers (TOL ) posted 72 cents vs. 69 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 10% revenue rise. The homebuilder sees at least $3 billion fiscal 2004 homebuilding revenue.

Office Depot (ODP ) sees 16 cents to 18 cents second-quarter earnings per share (excluding the adoption of EITF 02-16), and 14 cents to 16 cents (GAAP). Office Depot sees second-quarter comps in the negative 3%-4% range, up from negative 7% in the first quarter. It sees continued improvement in sequential comps throughout 2003.

Industrial products maker JLG Industries (JLG ) posted 5 cents vs. 2 cents third-quarter earnings per share as lower costs and expenses offset a 1.4% sales drop.

Autozone (AZO ) posted $1.30 vs. 96 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 2.8% same store sales rise, and a 5.2% total sales rise.

Electrical and industrial supplies chain Hughes Supply (HUG ) posted 51 cents vs. 52 cents first-quarter earnings per share on slightly lower sales. It expects second-quarter earnings per share to be above a year ago's level.

Camco Financial (CAFI ) set a 5% stock buyback.

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