Motorola Beats the Street

GM rises; Coach climbs; plus more of today's stocks in the news

After the close of trading Tuesday, Motorola (MOT ) posted first-quarter earnings per share of 25 cents, vs. 7 cents. Excluding one-time items, the mobile-phone maker posted 18 cents earnings per share, trumping the Street's consensus estimate of 7 cents. Revenue rose 42%, to $8.56 billion. Shares are set to rise Wednesday.

General Motors (GM ) posted first-quarter earnings per share of $2.25, vs. $1.84 a year ago. Revenue rose 3.1% to $47.8 billion. Analysts were expecting an average of $1.79 earnings per share. The automaker lifted its outlook for the full year to earnings per share of around $7, up from its previous guidance of between $6 and $6.50 per share.

Luxury handbag maker Coach (COH ) posted 30 cents, vs. 17 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 42% sales rise. It sees fiscal 2004 earnings per share of at least $1.32 on sales of more than $13 billion.

Check Point Software (CHKP ) posted 25 cents, vs. 24 cents, first-quarter earnings per share from operations on an 11% revenue rise.

Novastar Financial (NFI ) says the SEC notified the company last Friday that it is conducting an informal inquiry into certain business practices.

DirecTV (DTV ) will sell its 80.5% interest in U.S. satellite unit PanAmSat to private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for $3.55 billion, plus debt. The deal comes as News Corp. (NWS ), which acquired a 34% stake of DirecTV in December, seeks to focus on the satellite-TV service.

Lincare Holdings (LNCR ) posted 62 cents, vs. 49 cents first-quater earnings per share on a 16% revenue rise. Jefferies and Thomas Weisel raised their estimates and target. S&P maintains hold.

Janus Capital Group (JNS ) reportedly said that CEO Mark Whiston will step down, effective today. He will be succeeded as CEO by Steve Scheid, who will also remain chairman, Janus is currently in settlement talks with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer over allegations of improper trading activities.

Sprint (FON ) posted 34 cents, vs. 31 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations as lower operating costs offset 4% lower net operating revenue. S&P reiterates avoid.

Pfizer (PFE ), a Dow stock, posted first-quarter earnings per share of 30 cents, vs. 76 cents a year earlier, when it had a big gain from the sale of several businesses. Still, revenue rose 47% to $12.49 billion, due to Pfizer's Pharmacia acquisition. Excluding items, the drug giant posted 52 cents earnings per share, vs. 41 cents, a penny better than analysts' average estimates. S&P reiterates buy.

Lucent Technologies (LU ) posted 2 cents second-quarter earnings per share (GAAP), vs. a 14 cents loss as lower operating expenses offset a 9% revenue drop. Lucent expects annual revenue to increase on a percentage basis in the low single digits for 2004.

Black & Decker (BDK ) posted 93 cents, vs. 55 cents, first-quarter earnings per share on a 16% sales rise. It sees $1.20 to $1.25 second-quarter earnings per share, and $4.70 to $4.85 in 2004.

Mattel (MAT ) posted 2 cents, vs. 7 cents, first-quarter earnings per share as cost pressures, investment in growth, and improvement initiatives offset a 4.8% sales rise.

Kraft Foods (KFT ) posted lower-than-expected 33 cents, vs. 49 cents, first-quarter earnings per share as restructuring charges, increased marketing investment, and higher benefit costs offset a 4.5% revenue rise. Kraft sees 2004 earnings per share at the lower end of its earnings per share guidance range of $1.63 to $1.70.

Altria (MO ) posted $1.07 (including a 9 cents charge), vs. $1.07, first-quarter earnings per share on a 13% revenue rise. Altria, which operates the Philip Morris cigarette business, reaffirmed the $4.67 2004 earnings per share forecast, including the Kraft restructuring charge.

JDA Software (JDAS ) posted a 2 cents first-quarter loss (GAAP), vs. an 8 cents loss, on a 34% revenue rise.

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