Vascular Solutions Shares Surge

Intergraph resolves patent infringement claims; PepsiCo boosts dividend; plus more of today's stocks to watch

Shares of Vascular Solutions (VASC ) moved sharply higher Tuesday after the company received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its D-Stat Dry 3x3 hemostatic bandage.

Intergraph (INGR ) shares advanced after the company said it resolved patent infringement claims and will get $225 million in a patent settlement. The settlement resolves OEM claims against Dell (DELL ) and an outstanding Intel (ADSK ) PIC patent dispute.

Matria Healthcare (MATR ) shares were lower after the company cut its first quarter earnings per share guidance to 8 cents to 12 cents. Matria cited weak performance in its Women's & Children's Health segment. Southwest Securities cut its estimates, but reiterated its strong buy rating on the stock.

Aladdin Knowledge (ALDN ) shares moved higher after the company raised its first quarter revenue outlook to $15.9 million to $16.3 million due to strong sales and expanded penetration across all product lines. Dougherty raised its estimates and price target on the stock.

Raymond James upgraded Spinnaker Exploration (SKE ) to outperform from market perform. The company was unavailable for comment.

JP Morgan reportedly upgraded Hanover Compressor (HC ) to overweight from underweight. On Mar. 29, in an SEC filing of its delayed annual report, Hanover posted a $1.34 2003 loss per share, vs. a 94-cent loss from continuing operations.

Autodesk (ADSK ) sees first quarter earnings per share (GAAP) of 23 cents to 28 cents on revenue of $265 million to $275 million and fiscal 2005 earnings per share of $1.06 to $1.15 on revenue of $1.05 billion to $1.07 billion. Autodesk cites increased demand across all geographies and industries, particularly in its Design Solutions Group.

Silicon Storage (SSTI ) raised its $94 million to $100 million first quarter revenue forecast to $100 million to $104 million, its 31% to 33% gross margin forecast to 36% to 39%, and its 8 cents to 10 cents earnings per share projection to 10 cents to 14 cents.

PepsiCo (PEP ) sees first quarter earnings per share of about 46 cents on 10% revenue growth. It expects 2004 earnings per share to be at the high end of the $2.27 to $2.29 range. PepsiCo raised its dividend 44% and authorized an additional buyback of up to $7 billion in stock.

CarMax (KMX ) posted fourth quarter earnings per share of 21 cents, vs. 18 cents one year earlier, on an 18% revenue rise. It sees earnings per share of 33 cents to 35 cents in the first quarter and $1.21 to $1.26 for fiscal 2005.

California Pizza Kitchen (CPKI ) sees first quarter earnings per share of 19 cents to 20 cents on a better than expected first quarter comparable-restaurant sales increase of about 6.2%.

Accenture (ACN ) posted second quarter earnings per share of 22 cents (including a 7-cent pre-tax restructuring charge), vs. 25 cents one year earlier, on a 17% net revenue rise. In its report, the company included EPS figures on a Standard & Poor's Core Earnings basis of 20 cents, vs. 20 cents. It sees third quarter revenue of $3.40 billion to $3.55 billion, and is comfortable with the consensus EPS estimate of 30 cents (GAAP). Accenture sees fiscal 2004 earnings per share of $1.13 to $1.15. Joe Forehand will step down as Accenture CEO on Sept. 1, but will retain the position of chairman.

Cell Genesys (CEGE ) announced that it has developed an oncolytic (cancer cell-killing) virus with the potential ability to target and kill over 85% of cancer types in preclinical studies.

NPS Pharmaceutical (NPSP ) says a Phase III study of PREOS successfully met the primary endpoint of reducing vertebral fractures in postmenopausal women with mild to moderate osteoporosis. The company plans to submit an application later this year to the FDA for approval.

Pepsi Bottling (PBG ) reported that worldwide physical case volume grew 5% in the first quarter. The company confirmed that first quarter earnings per share should come in at the high end of it 15 cents to 18 cents guidance. It reiterated its 2004 earnings per share outlook of $1.62 to $1.70.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, General Motors (GM ) is forecasting improved sales results for March, after a sluggish start to the year led to concerns over rising inventories and the potential for costly clearance efforts.

Goldman upgraded Federated Dept. Stores (FD ) to outperform from in-line.

Pioneer Natural (PXD ) expects first quarter production will be near the top end of its prior guidance range, averaging about 180,000 to 183,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Motorola (MOT ) will acquire Quantum Bridge Communications, a leading provider of FTTP solutions, in an all-cash transaction. Terms were not disclosed.

Banc of America initiated coverage of EMC Corp. (EMC ) with a buy rating.

Railamerica (RRA ) inked a deal to sell 100% of its ownership of Freight Australia for $214 million to Pacific National, an Australian rail freight logistics concern.

Cosi (COSI ) posted a fourth quarter loss of 34 cents per share, vs. a $1.23 loss on 3.9% higher comparable-restaurant sales and 7.5% higher total sales. The company sees 2004 comp sales growth of 4% to 5%. It signed a deal with Federated Dept. Stores to open restaurants in 10 Macy's stores.

Biolase (BLTI ) will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600 index after the close of trading Apr. 1, replacing Thor Industries (THO ), which is being added to the S&P MidCap 400 index at that time. Thor replaces Affiliated Computer Services (ACS ) in the "400", as Affiliated is being added to the S&P 500 index after the close of trading Apr. 1. There it is to replace Travelers Property Casualty, which is being acquired.

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