Smucker Soars

Pfizer jumps; AT&T drops; plus more of today's stocks in the news

J.M. Smucker (SJM ) posted 51 cents, vs. 39 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share from operations on an 87% sales rise. Smucker sees $2.25-$2.30 fiscal 2004 earnings per share on a 6% revenue rise. S&P downgraded to hold from accumulate.

Pfizer (PFE ) sees $2.13 2004 adjusted earnings per share on $54 billion revenue (including recently acquired Pharmacia.) Seperately, the drugmaker is raising the curtain on an experimental drug to help smokers quit that analysts say could become a blockbuster, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Merrill Lynch downgraded AT&T (T ) to sell from neutral, questioning the No. 1 long-distance telephone company's prospects in business services.

A number of analysts and investors are betting the shares of struggling footwear retailer Footstar (FTS ) are poised to step up to new level, says The Wall Street Journal.

Bear Stearns downgraded Trimeris (TRMS ) to peer perform from outperform on valuation.

USB Piper reportedly upgraded Ilex Oncology (ILXO ) to outperform from market perform.

USB Piper raised its estimate and target, and reiterates outperform on LeapFrog Enterprises (LF ).

Payless ShoeSource (PSS ) expects low double-digit negative second-quarter same-store sales, with considerable pressure on margins, and net earnings per share of a nominal loss to a slight profit. S&P downgraded to avoid from accumulate.

Biomira (BIOM ) and Merck KGaA announcd that a pivotal Phase III trial of Theratope vaccine for women with metastatic breast cancer did not meet two pre-determined objectives of time-to-disease progression and overall survival.

WR Hambrecht sees Monday's news from DaimlerChrysler that it plans to offer a navigation system from Alpine Electronics as a negative for Garmin (GRMN ).

Banc of America downgraded Harley-Davidson (HDI ) to neutral from buy, and cut its price target to $39.

American Healthways (AMHC ) and Cigna's health-care unit are in a deal to extend and expand their relationship. The new deal consolidates existing multiple arrangements into one five-year agreement.

CS First Boston raised video-game software maker's THQ 's (THQI ) target to $22, and reiterates outperform.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR ) posted 21 cents, vs. 23 cents first-quarter earnings per share on 3.6% lower same-store sales. The home-furnishing retailer sees 21 cents to 25 cents second-quarter earnings per share on -2% to 2% same-store sales growth, and $1.45 to $1.50 fiscal 2004 on 1% to 3% same-store sales growth.

Consumer-electronics chain Circuit City (CC ) posted a 21-cent first-quarter loss vs. a 1-cent loss from continuing operations on 10% lower same-store sales.

Vivendi Universal (V ) posted a 319 million euro ($376 million) first-quarter loss, vs. and 815 million euro loss, on a 4% revenue rise. Vivendi notes improved operating income in retained businesses. It sees strong 2003 operating income growth, improved cash flow from operations, and a return to profit excluding non-recurring items and goodwill.

Cell Therapeutic (CTIC ) will acquire Novuspharma. Terms: 2.45 shares of Cell Therapeutics for each share of Novuspharma. Pre-clinical trials show Novuspharma's chemotherapy agent Pixantrone may exhibit lower cariotoxicity and greater activity than its peers' products.

Lehman reportedly upgraded Northwest Airlines (NWAC ) to overweight from equal-weight, and reportedly downgraded Delta Air Lines (DAL ) to equal-weight from overweight.

Goldman reportedly downgraded Bausch & Lomb (BOL ) to in-line from outperform.

Tyco (TYC ) will restate results for prior fiscal periods in connection with a previously announced review of its periodic filings by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Tyco will reduce reported results for fiscal 1998 through fiscal 2001, and increase the results for fiscal 2002 and the first half of fiscal 2003.

Zimmer Holdings (ZMH ) will launch a hostile bid for orthopedics maker Centerpulse, setting up a rare takeover battle for a Swiss firm, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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