Microsoft Posts Higher Net

Siebel Systems reports a loss on revenue drop; Aetna raises 2005 guidance; plus more of Thursday's stocks in the news

After the close of trading Thursday, Microsoft (MSFT ) posted 23 cents, vs. 12 cents third-quarter earnings per share on $9.62 billion revenue. The software giant missed analysts' $9.83 billion revenue estimate.

Shares of Molson Coors (TAP ) tumbled Thursday after the brewer posted a 74-cent first quarter loss per share loss, vs. 13 cents EPS one year earlier, as $40.7 million in charges related to the recent merger that froemd the company and lower sales volume in key markets offset a 15% net sales rise. S&P downgraded the shares to sell from hold.

Shares of Martek Biosciences (MATK ) dropped sharply Thursday after the company cut its third-quarter revenue guidance to $38 million to $42 million and anticipates fiscal 2005 earnings per share to be "materially" lower than the current estimate. S&P maintains buy, and places estimates under review pending this morning's conference call.

DaimlerChrysler (DCX ) posted 31 cents (28 euro cents) first-quarter earnings per share, vs. 53 cents (41 euro cents) on a 30% lower revenues. The U.S.-Germany auto manufacturer lost $1.23 billion with falling sales and quality problems in its Mercedes division amid and restructuring of its Smart operation.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK ) posted 40 cents (21.1 pence) vs. 34 cents (18.0 pence) first-quarter earnings per share on 3.7% higher turnover. Says on track to deliver its guidance of earnings per share growth in low double-digit range.

Aetna (AET ) posted $1.39, vs. $1.14 first-quarter earnings per share on a 13% revenue rise. The company raises $4.38 to $4.45 2005 operating earnings per share guidance to $4.52 to $4.57.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT ) posted 36 cents, vs. 16 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 15% revenue rise. The company sees second-quarter earnings per share of 64 cents and $2.09 2005 earnings per share. The company, Lehman Brothers, and Starwood Capital are to make a bid for Le Meridien.

Siebel Systems (SEBL ) posted a 1-cent first-quarter loss, vs. 6 cents earnings per share on 9% lower revenue. The company says license revenue declined 41% from year ago. S&P reiterates sell.

Starbucks (SBUX ) posted 24 cents, vs. 19 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 22% revenue rise. The company raises fiscal 2005 earnings per share guidance to $1.17 to $1.19. S&P reiterates hold.

Ask Jeeves (ASKJ ) posted 26 cents, vs. 23 cents first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on a sharp revenue rise. The online search portal sees 21 cents second-quarter earnings per share. It forecasts 90 cents to $1.05 2005 earnings per share on $380 million to $395 million revenue.

Alcatel (ALA ) posted 12 cents, vs. 26 cents first-quarter earnings per ADS despite a 3.7% revenue rise. The company sees low- to mid-single-digit growth rate in the second-quarter and 2005 revenues year-over-year, and says 2005 earnings should grow at a double-digit rate.

Sanmina-SCI (SANM ) posted 6 cents, vs. 5 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a slight sales rise. S&P cuts estimate and target.

Estee Lauder (EL ) posted 46 cents, vs. 43 cents third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on 8% revenue rise. Current quarter earnings per share are below expectations. With lower sales growth this quarter, it now expects $1.87 to $1.90 fiscal 2005 earnings per share from continuing operations.

Tenet Healthcare (THC ) receives "Wells Notice" from staff of the SEC regarding the adequacy of the company's disclosures in its financial reports relating to Medicare outlier reimbursements and stop-loss payments under managed care contracts.

Bowne & Co (BNE ) posted 11 cents, vs. 8 cents first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) as lower expenses offset a 2.5% revenue drop.

Fair Isaac (FIC ) posted 45 cents, vs. 39 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 13% revenue rise. The credit scoring company sees 44 cents third-quarter earnings per share on revenue of $205 million.

Chiron (CHIR ) posted a 5-cent first-quarter loss from continuing operations (GAAP), vs. 14 cents earnings per share as higher research and development and selling, general, and administrative costs offset a 7% revenue rise. The company sees $1.06 to $1.16 2005 earnings per share (GAAP) on $2 billion in revenue.

Marvel Enterprises (MVL ) posted 25 cents, vs. 27 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 15% sales drop. The company notes first-quarter 2005 results include a $10 million one-time charge (6 cents per share) for resolution of all past and future payments claimed by Stan Lee. It maintains $1.07 to $1.12 2005 earnings per share guidance.

Biogen Idec (BIIB ) posted 30 cents, vs. 40 cents first-quarter earnings per share (pro forma) as higher research and development and selling, general, and administrative costs offset a 9% revenue rise. S&P reiterates hold. Deutsche Bank reportedly upgrades to hold from sell.

Applebee's International (APPB ) posted 38 cents, vs. 35 cents first-quarter earnings per share on 3.7% higher system-wide comparable sales. It now expects to open more than 135 new restaurants in 2005, system-wide comparable sales to increase by at least 3%, and earnings per share to be in the $1.49 to $1.52 range.

Cadence Design Systems (CDN ) posted a breakeven first-quarter, vs. a 3-cent loss (GAAP) on a 10% revenue rise. The company sees 27 cents to 35 cents 2005 earnings per share on $1.24 billion to $1.30 billion in revenue.

Stanley Works (SWK ) posted 78 cents, vs. 66 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 6% revenue growth (excluding acquisitions). S&P maintains hold.

Nautilus Inc. (NLS ) posted 28 cents, vs. 19 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 20% sales rise. The company sees 9 cents to 10 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and 25% sales growth. The company raises 2005 earnings per share guidance to $1.17 to $1.19 on 15% sales growth.

Skechers U.S.A. (SKX ) posted 25 cents, vs. 18 cents first-quarter earnings per share on an 11% revenue rise. It sees 21 cents to 26 cents second-quarter earnings per share on $245 million to $255 million in revenue.

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