Cox Communications Rises

First National Banks jumps; Corinthian Colleges drops on a profit warning; plus more of Monday's stocks in the news

Cox Enterprises rose after making a bid to acquire the outstanding publicly held minority interest (38%) in Cox Communications (COX ) for $32 per share in cash, or $7.9 billion. S&P reiterates the hold rating. CIBC World reiterates the sector-outperform rating, and Friedman Billings reiterates the outperform rating. Cablevision (CVC ) and Comcast (CMCSA ) are seen higher on the news.

First National Banks (FLB ) agreed to be acquired by Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB ) in a deal valued at about $1.58 billion, or $25 per share. Terms: 0.5065 Fifth Third share per First National share.

Corinthian Colleges (COCO ) says fourth-quarter results will be below forecast due to a revenue shortfall, and higher marketing, advertising, and education-services expenses. JP Morgan downgraded. Harris Nesbitt reportedly downgraded. S&P reiterates avoid. Career Education (CECO ) and Apollo (APOL ) are lower on Corinthian's warning.

Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL ) says data from day one of a Phase II clinical study showed its R112 reduced Global Nasal Allergy Symptom Score by 38%, vs. 29% for a placebo. Data from day two showed similar results. Needham reiterates the buy rating.

Synopsys (SNPS ) sees lower-than-expected 15 cents to 19 cents third-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on $279 million to $283 million in total revenue, citing lower-than-expected bookings and delays in certain customer purchasing decisions near the end of the quarter. S&P downgraded to avoid.

Administaff (ASF ) posted 10 cents, vs. 7 cents second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 6.2% revenue rise. The personnel management firm says it's on track to reach its goal of double-digit year-over-year unit growth by yearend. CL King downgraded to neutral.

Invacare (IVC ) agreed to acquire WP Domus GmbH fo 190 million euros ($230 million).

Procter & Gamble (PG ) posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 50 cents, vs. 34 cents one year earlier, on 19% higher net sales. P&G expects first-quarter volume and sales growth at a percentage rate in the low double-digits.

In its fiscal 2004 (ended May) Form 10-K filing, Nike (NKE ) reports current futures orders for footwear and apparel scheduled for delivery from June through November, 2004, were 11.3% higher than one year ago. The company cited increased orders primarily in the U.S. and Asia Pacific regions.

Invision Technologies (INVN ) says the Dept. of Justice and SEC may commence investigation with respect to allegations of certain possible offers of improper payments by distributors in connection with foreign sales activities.

Banc of America upgraded its rating on Qualcomm (QCOM ) to buy from neutral.

Nam Tai Electronics (NTE ) posted second-quarter earnings per share of $1.92, vs. 28 cents, on a 27% revenue rise and a cash gain of about $71.1 million from the recent IPO of Nam Tai Electronic & Electrical Products Limited. The company sees third-quarter earnings per share (including items) of $1.00 to $1.10 on $130 million to $140 million in revenue.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA ) posted a second-quarter loss per share of 18 cents, vs. a 12-cent loss, as higher operating expenses offset 23% higher total license revenue.

SPX Corp. (SPW ) posted second-quarter earnings per share of 72 cents, vs. 69 cents, on a 16% revenue rise. The company adjusted its 2004 earnings per share from continuing operations (GAAP basis) from a range of $3.41 to $3.60 to a range of $3.50 to $3.60.

Orbotech (ORBK ) posted second-quarter earnings per share of 26 cents, vs. 4 cents, on a 42% revenue rise.

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