Red Hat Drops as Top Exec Departs

Circuit City Stores loss narrows; Boeing-led team gets $3.9 billion Navy contract; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Red Hat's (RHAT ) chief financial officer Kevin Thompson has resigned from the company to pursue other interests. CS First Boston upgraded its recommendation on the shares to outperform from neutral and Prudential downgraded its recommendation to neutral from overweight. Shares were down.

WR Hambrecht believed investors may be taking their money out of Red Hat and putting it into Novell (NOVL ) on belief that Novell might be a better Linux platform. Shares were up.

Due to weaker sales in Germany, Sonic Innovation (SNCI ) sees second quarter revenues of $24 million to $25 million, and earnings per share of 2 cents to 4 cents. Piper Jaffrey has downgraded its recommendation to market perform from outperform. First Albany cut its estimates and target. Shares were down sharply.

Affymetrix (AFFX ) converted its non-exclusive license to Oxford Gene Technologies's patents to its fully paid-up license in return for a one-time payment. As result, the company raised its 50-cent 2004 earnings per share forecast to 60 cents. Baird reportedly upgrades its recommendation. Shares were up sharply.

QLT (QLTI ) has been upgraded by UBS Financial to buy from neutral. Raymond James has also reportedly upgraded its recommendation for QLT to outperform from market perform. Yesterday the company agreed to acquire Atrix Labs for $855 million in a cash and stock deal. Shares were up.

In a form 8-K filing, Sabre Holdings (TSG ) said it sees second quarter revenue in the forecasted $540 million to $560 million range, and earnings per share (GAAP basis) much better than 29 cents to 34 cents. The company cited lower operating costs and expense controls. S&P raises its estimates and target. Shares were up.

Hanger Orthopedics (HGR ) said it has been made aware of alleged billing irregularities at one of its patient care centers. In conjunction with its outside counsel, the company said it had initiated a prompt and thorough investigation of these allegations. Shares were down.

Quiksilver (ZQK ) posted second quarter earnings per share of 47 cents vs. 40 cents on a 23% total revenue rise. The company raised its third quarter forecast to $300 million to $305 million in revenue and 28 cents to 29 cents earnings per share, and its fourth quarter projection to $315 million to $320 million in revenue and earnings per share of 36 cents to 37 cents. It sees $1.27 to $1.29 fiscal 2004 earnings per share. S&P keeps its buy recommendation and Piper Jaffray ups estimates and target. Shares were up.

Nucor (NUE ) raised second quarter earnings per share guidance to $2.75 to $2.95, vs. the previous $2.00 to $2.20 forecast. S&P reiterates its accumulate recommendation. Shares were up.

Commscope (CTV ) has transferred all equity ownership interest in OFS BrighWave LLC to Furukawa in exchange for 7.656 million shares of CTV owned by Furukawa. Commscope and Furakawa also renewed an optical fiber supply arrangement. Shares were up.

AT&T (T ) plans to stop offering local service in some states in the wake of a court decision striking down competition rules, according to Shares were up.

The U.S. Navy has awarded an industry team led by Boeing (BA ) a $3.89 billion contract to build a Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA). The total program estimated value is about $15 billion over a 10-year production run. Shares were up slightly.

Gateway (GTW ) sees a 13 cent to 14 cent second quarter operating loss, vs. a previous $0.15 loss estimate. Shares were up sharply.

Herley Industries (HRLY ) posted lower than expected 26 cents, vs. a third quarter earnings per share mark of 23 cents on a 12% sales rise. Shares were down.

Advanced Medical (AVO ) expects combined 2005 revenue from its existing business and from acquired PFE ophthalmic surgical business to be between $800 million and $830 million. The company anticipates a combined 2005 earning per share (pro forma) to be between $1.50-$1.70. Shares were up.

Yellow Roadway (YELL ) raised its second quarter earnings per share guidance from a range of 70 cents to 75 cents to a range of 85 cents to 90 cents. S&P reiterates its accumulate recommendation. Shares were up.

Chief executive officer Gary Mulloy left ADVO (AD ). AG Edwards downgrades its recommendation to hold from buy. Shares were lower.

ATA Holdings (ATAH ) sees a second quarter loss, vs. a previous forecast of a profit. The company noted that in May demand for military chartered flights was sharply lower than forecasted, and the company was not successful in increasing revenue from its scheduled service business. Shares were down.

Circuit City Stores (CC ) posted a 3-cent first quarter loss per share from continuing operations (including items), vs. a loss of 14 cents, on 6.4% higher comparable-store sales and 6.9% higher total sales. Shares were up.

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