Oracle Boosts PeopleSoft Bid

Tyco results swing to profit; Merck shares under pressure; plus more of Monday's stocks in the news

Oracle (ORCL ) raised its $21 per share fully-financed cash offer for PeopleSoft (PSFT ) to $24 per share, which it says represents its best, final offer. PeopleSoft advised its shareholders to take no action at this time, as its board will review the offer. S&P rates PeopleSoft hold.

Humana (HUM ) posted 52 cents vs. 38 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 2.1% revenue rise. The company raised its 2004 earnings per share guidance to a range of $1.66 to $1.69. Humana sees $1.90 to $1.95 2005 earnings per share.

A Wall Street Journal report says Merck (MRK ) fought for years to keep safety concerns from destroying Vioxx's commercial prospects, according to company e-mail, documents, and outside scientists. Prudential reportedly downgraded its rating on the stock to neutral. The shares were lower.

Tyco International (TYC ) posted 22 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share vs. a 15-cent loss on a 13% revenue rise. The company sees 40 cents to 42 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations, with full fiscal 2005 earnings at $1.88 to $1.98. Videsh Sanchar Nigam will acquire the Tyco Global Network for $130 million.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY ) says treatment with its investigational chronic hepatitis B antiviral agent entecavir was associated with significantly greater improvements in liver histology (primary study endpoint).

Kinetic Concepts (KCI ) posted 46 cents third-quarter earnings per share vs. a 74-cent loss on a 30% revenue rise. The company sees 40 cents to 46 cents 2004 GAAP earnings per share ($1.61 to $1.67 non-GAAP). S&P reiterated its accumulate opinion.

Nam Tai Electronics (NTE ) posted 30 cents vs. 24 cents third-quarter earnings per share from operations on a 48% sales rise. The company sees fourth-quarter earnings per share of 21 cents to cents on $130 million to $135 million in sales.

JP Morgan upgraded Marvel Enterprises (MVL ) to overweight from neutral. On Oct. 29, the company posted 30 cents vs. 57 cents third-quarter earnings per share, and forecast earnings per share of 13 cents to 15 cents for the fourth quarter, 96 cents to 98 cents for 2004, and $1.07 to $1.12 for 2005.

Oregon Steel Mills (OS ) posted $1.87 third-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 79-cent loss on an 84% revenue rise. The company sees $1.05 to $1.15 fourth-quarter earnings per share on lower total shipments than the previous quarter and decreased margins.

Accredo Health (ACDO ) posted 26 cents vs. 36 cents first-quarter earnings per share despite a 24% revenue rise. Accredo cites declining reimbursement levels and a revenue mix of more products with lower margin profile than historical. The company reaffirmed its $1.45 to $1.53 fiscal 2005 earnings per share forecast.

Celeritek (CLTK ) declared an extraordinary cash dividend of $3.00 per share. Management will seek shareholder approval of a 4-for-1 reverse stock split.

Littelfuse (LFUS ) posted 49 cents vs. 19 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 44% revenue rise.

Lubrizol (LZ ) posted 61 cents vs. 47 cents third-quarter earnings per share on an 81% revenue rise. The company sees earnings per share of 35 cents to 40 cents for the fourth quarter and $1.74 to $1.79 for all of 2004. It says margin improvement remains a difficult challenge, and the availability of raw materials is also a growing concern.

Chalone Wine (CHLN ) agreed to be acquired by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR) for $11.75 per share in cash, which represents an increase of $2.50 per share over DBR's initial offer.

DoubleClick (DCLK ) hired Lazard Freres to explore strategic options for its business. S&P reiterates hold.

Ivax (IVX ) posted 17 cents vs. 9 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 22% revenue rise. The company expects to meet or exceed its 71 cents 2004 earnings per share guidance. Ivax received FDA approval for a New Drug Application for its patented HFA formulation of albuterol in metered dose inhaler for asthma. S&P, Merrill Lynch, and JP Morgan each downgradedtheir ratings on the stock.

Taser International (TASR ) and a unit of General Dynamics (GD ) signed an agreement to develop, market, and produce a family of non-lethal conducted energy devices.

Haemonetics (HAE ) posted 34 cents vs. 23 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 3.9% revenue rise. The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2005 guidance of mid-single digit revenue growth and earnings per share of $1.38 to $1.43. Given its performance year-to-date, the company believes earnings per share will be toward the high end of its guidance.

Valero L.P. (VLI ) and Kaneb Pipe Line Partners (KPP ) will merge. As part of the transaction, Valero will acquire all of Kaneb Services (KSL ) equity for cash. The general partner of the combined partnership will continue to be owned by an affiliate of Valero Energy (VLO ); Kaneb Services and Kaneb Pipe Line will become units of Valero Energy.

Martin Marietta (MLM ) posted $1.09 vs. 93 cents third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 1.3% revenue rise. The company sees 53 cents to 73 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share and $2.42 to $2.62 for all of 2004.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE