Amazon.com Declines

Verizon earnings beat estimates; Aflac net climbs; plus more of Wednesday's stocks in the news

Verizon Communications (VZ ) posted 63 cents first-quarter earnings per share, vs. 43 cents a year ago, on 6.6% operating revenue rise, beating analysts' estimates of 60 cents.

InfoSpace (INSP ) posted 45 cents, vs. 15 cents, first-quarter earnings per share, excluding a gain from a litigation settlement, on an 81% revenue rise. The company sees 36 cents to 39 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and $1.75 to $1.95 2005 earnings per share. First Albany reportedly downgraded to neutral from buy.

Amazon.com (AMZN ) posted 18 cents, vs. 26 cents, first-quarter earnings per share as $56 million income tax expense offset a 24% sales rise. The online retailer sees second-quarter sales of $1.675 billion to $1.825 billion, and operating income of $50 million to $80 million. It also sees $8.175 billion to $8.675 billion in 2005 sales and operating income of $395 million to $510 million.

European chipmaker STMicroelectronics (STM ) posted a 3-cent first-quarter loss, vs. 8 cents earnings per share, despite a 2.7% revenue rise. The company notes revenue at the lower end of guidance as stronger seasonal factors and price pressure impacted several application markets. It sees second-quarter sales up 1% to 7% from first-quarter.

Aflac Inc. (AFL ) posted 66 cents, vs. 55 cents first-quarter operating earnings per share on 8.5% higher total revenue. S&P reiterates buy. Citigroup upgrades to hold from sell.

Visteon Corp. (VC ) posted a $1.49 first-quarter loss, vs. 16 cents earnings per share, on higher steel, aluminum, copper, resin costs, and flat revenue.

Oil-services company Baker Hughes (BHI ) posted 53 cents, vs. 28 cents, first-quarter earnings per share on a 19% revenue rise. The company sees 51 cents to 53 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and $2.20 to $2.30 2005 earnings per share.

Corning (GLW ) posted 17 cents, vs. 4 cents, first-quarter earnings per share on a 24% revenue rise. The company sees 17 cents to 19 cents second-quarter earnings per share on sales of $1.08 billion to $1.13 billion.

Gilead Sciences (GILD ) says preliminary results from a bioequivalence study of 1st formulation of Truvada-Sustiva indicate efavirenz levels in blood are lower than those of 600 mg dose of Sustiva alone, do not meet definition of bioequivalence.

Plantronics (PLT ) posted 56 cents, vs. 42 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 22% revenue rise. The company sees first-quarter earnings per share of 43 cents to 46 cents. S&P maintains buy.

WellPoint (WLP ) posted $1.97, vs. $2.08, first-quarter earnings per share on sharply higher revenue. He notes first-quarter 2004 earnings per share including 32 cents in tax benefits, and 15 cents in net realized investment gains. It raises $1.90 second-quarter earnings per share forecast to $1.92, and $7.75 2005 earnings per share to $7.94.

VCA Antech (WOOF ) raises 2005 guidance to 87 cents to 89 cents earnings per share on revenue of $779 million to $788 million. The company sees 25 cents to 26 cents second-quarter earnings per share on revenue of $200.4 million to $203.7 million. S&P reiterates strong buy.

Netease.com (NTES ) posted 53 cents first-quarter earnings per ADS on a 58% revenue rise. First-quarter net profit rose on a 48% rise.

Manhattan Associates (MANH ) posted in-line 18 cents, vs. 20 cents, first-quarter earnings per share (adjusted) as higher costs offset a 9.7% total revenue rise. The company sees second-quarter earnings per share of 22 cents to 26 cents, and 2005 earnings per share of 88 cents to 94 cents. S&P keeps hold, raises estimate.

Security systems manufacturer OSI Systems (OSIS ) sees a 17-cent to 19-cent third-quarter loss per share after Spacelabs-related retention and amortization expenses of about 4 cents. The company says all business units are expected to achieve operating profits, with the exception of the Security unit.

Station Casinos (STN ) posted 59 cents first-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 48-cent loss, on a 14% revenue rise. The company sees 61 cents to 65 cents second-quarter earnings per share, 50 cents to 54 cents third-quarter earnings per share, and 61 cents to 65 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share. It sees $2.67 to $2.86 2006 earnings per share.

Specialty mattress company Select Comfort (SCSS ) posted 22 cents, vs. 18 cents, first-quarter earnings per share on a 23% sales rise. The company raises 2005 earnings per share guidance to 98 cents to $1.06.

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