business

Things Go Worse for Big Coke Bottler

Apria's Medicare claims could top $9 billion, plaintiffs say; Prudential removes Ventiv as 'best stock idea'; plus other stocks in the news

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE ) posted $0.16 vs. $0.29 Q2 EPS from operations despite a slight revenue rise, and sees $0.01-$0.05 2001 EPS from operations. S&P cut its estimates.

Inhale Therapeutic (INHL ) shares are down after its partner Pfizer says it appears likely additional data will be required for filing of NDA for Exubera (inhaled insulin). Robertson Stephens downgraded Inhale to market perform.

In an 8-K filing, Ventiv Health (VTIV ) says services provided to Bristol Myers under the current contract will cease. Jefferies downgraded and Prudential removed Ventiv as the single 'best idea' stock. Goldman cuts estimates.

Apria Healthcare (AHG ) shares are down following the news Monday that Medicare billing practice estimated claims agains Apria could be over $9B.

Meritage (MTH ) announced 44% higher Q2 revenue on an 18% rise in homes ordered and notes order backlog is up 57% from a year ago.

BTU International (BTUI ) posted a $0.04 Q2 loss from operations vs. $0.20 EPS on 41% lower sales, citing deteriorating business levels in almost all its markets.

Harsco Corp. (HSC ) reportedly posted better than expected $0.65 vs. $0.70 Q2 from operations on 14% revenue rise.

Keyspan (KSE ) sees $0.16 Q2 EPS, and cut the $2.70 2001 guidance to $2.50-$2.60. The estimates exclude a $0.22 special charge to the Energy Services business. S&P maintains hold.

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT ) posted better than expected $0.78 vs. $0.90 Q2 EPS despite slight revenue rise and maintains guidance for flat 2001 revenue growth.

ABN Amro downgraded Intel Corp. (INTC ) to reduce from hold, saying the company will likely miss Q2 estimates.

Pinnacle Systems (PCLE ) posted a lower than expected $0.13 Q4 loss (pro forma) on sales of about $49M. USB Piper reportedly downgraded to neutral. Morgan Keegan cut estimates and the target.

Main Street Bank (MBNK ) agreed to be acquired by Sovereign Bancorp (SOV ) in a deal valued at about $170M. Terms: Sovereign stock and cash equal to $16.10 per Main Street Bank share.

Electro Scientific (ESIO ) posted $0.43 vs. $0.61 Q4 EPS (pro forma) on 16% lower sales. CS First Boston and Needham cut estimates.

Sierra Wireless (SWIR ) posted a $0.18 Q2 loss vs. a $0.12 loss (pro forma) despite 70% revenue rise and sees a $0.25 Q3 loss on $12.5M revenue. BMO Nesbitt maintains market perform.

RW Baird initiated coverage on Adobe Systems (ADBE ) with market outperform.

JB Hunt (JBHT ) posted $0.24 vs. $0.31 Q2 EPS on a 12% revenue decline. DB Alex Brown upgraded to buy from market perform. S&P maintains avoid.

Innes Street Financial (ISFC ) agreed to be acquired by Gaston Federal (GBNK ) in an all-cash deal valued t $18.50 per Innes Street share, or a total of about $38M.

BB&T Capital cut the price target and estimates on Alcan (AL ). On Monday Alcan reported weaker than expected Q2 results.

Cognizant Technology (CTSH ) posted $0.29 vs. $0.20 Q2 EPS on 43% higher revenues. CIBC World reiterates strong buy. Jefferies reiterates buy.

Merrill Lynch cut estimates on IBM Corp. (IBM ).

Thomas Weisel cut estimates and maintains hold on Digex Inc. (DIGX ).

Mellon Financial (MEL ) will sell its mid-Atlantic consumer, small business, and certain middle market banking operations to Citizens Financial Group, the U.S. unit of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBSB ) for $2B.

Wells Fargo (WFC ) posted $0.67 Q2 EPS from operations on a 13% rise in core revenues. Including a charge for investment losses, the company posted a net loss of $87 million.

Knight Ridder (KRI ) posted $0.71 vs. $1.02 Q2 EPS from operations on a 8.4% revenue drop and notes national ad revenues and help wanted both remain soft, but it may have seen the "floor."

Mohawk Industries (MHK ) posted $0.88 vs. $0.87 Q2 EPS as higher gross profit offset a 3% sales decline, and believes Q3 and Q4 EPS will be in line with a year-ago's figures before charges. CS First Boston upgraded to buy from hold.

Symbol Technologies (SBL ) sees $0.03 Q2 EPS (including a provision) on flat revenues and expects to take a $70M Q2 inventory writedown. JP Morgan and CS First Boston downgraded.

Unisys Corp. (UIS ) posted $0.09 vs. $0.19 Q2 EPS from operations despite 3% revenue rise and sees $0.05-$0.10 Q3 EPS, and $0.25-$0.30 Q4. S&P and Goldman cut estimates.

Novellus Systems (NVLS ) posted $0.40 vs. $0.54 Q2 EPS despite a 3.6% revenue rise and sees Q3 shipments off 10% sequentially. Goldman cut estimates. S&P maintains hold.

Philips Electronics (PHG ) posted a EUR 0.60 Q2 loss per share vs. EUR 2.71 EPS on a 16% sales decline, and EUR 422M in special item charges. Philips sees 2001 net before special charges of breakeven to a small loss.

Airtran Holdings (AAI ) posted $0.38 vs. $0.33 Q2 EPS from operations on a 28% revenue rise.

Eastman Kodak (EK ) posted $1.12 vs. $1.65 Q2 EPS from operations on a 4% sales decline. Eastman sees $0.90-$1.20 Q3 EPS due to ongoing U.S. economic weakness, and possibly intensified weakness in other areas, especially Latin America.

St. Paul Cos. (SPC ) sees lower than expected $0.35-$0.40 Q2 EPS. The company cited losses from Tropical Storm Allison, and continued deterioration in the Health Care segment. The company sees $2.50-$2.75 2001 EPS from operations. UBS Warburg, Goldman Sachs and Lehman cut estimates.

Biogen Inc. (BGEN ) posted $0.47 vs. $0.47 Q2 EPS on 13% revenue rise and sees $0.42-$0.44 Q3 EPS due to significant milestone payments, $0.53-$0.55 Q4 EPS and $1.90-$1.92 2001 EPS. S&P maintains hold.

Maytag Corp. (MYG ) posted $0.32 vs. $0.92 Q2 EPS on higher selling, general and administrative costs, and 3% lower sales. Although business conditions remain challenging, Maytag expects improvement in the second half.

Pfizer (PFE ) posted $0.30 vs. $0.23 Q2 EPS from operations on a 10% revenue rise and reaffirmed $1.27-$1.30 2001 EPS guidance, and 2002 EPS of $1.56 or better.

PacifiCare Health (PHSY ) sees $0.45 Q2 EPS from operations and says results indicate its performance should result in continued compliance with its debt covenants. CIBC World says it is hesistant before Q2 results, while Goldman cut the 2002 estimates.

Peet's Coffee (PEET ) expects to meet planned Q2 revenue, and exceed EPS. Peet's announced several strategic partnerships.

Immunex Corp. (IMNX ) filed a fourth supplemental biologics license application with FDA for Enbrel, requesting approval of Enbrel for reducing signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. S&P maintains buy.

Corn Products (CPO ) posted $0.43 vs. $0.55 Q2 EPS as difficult comparisons against last year's more favorable energy costs, and by-product prices offset a slight sales rise. The company maintains $1.95-$2.05 2001 guidance.

Whirpool Corp. (WHR ) posted $1.30 vs. $1.10 Q2 EPS from continuing operations on flat sales and sees improvement in sequential EPS growth in Q3 and Q4, and 10%-15% growth in 2001.

Pinnacle Systems (PCLE ) posted a $0.13 Q4 loss (pro forma) on sales of about $49M; these preliminary results were lower than expected.

Sierra Wireless (SWIR ) posted a $0.18 Q2 loss vs. a $0.12 loss (pro forma) despite a 70% revenue rise. Sierra Wireless will reduce its workforce from 290 to 260 and sees a $0.25 Q3 loss on $12.5M revenue.

Supertex (SUPX ) posted $0.09 vs. $0.32 Q1 EPS on a 32% revenue decline.

Polaris Industries (PII ) posted $0.72 vs. $0.68 Q2 EPS on a 5.2% sales rise. Polaris reiterated guidance of 6%-8% 2001 sales growth and $3.80-$4.00 EPS.

Dover Corp. (DOV ) posted $0.25 vs. $0.67 Q2 EPS from operations on a 17% sales decline and says the electronics industry is unlikely to recover this year. Goldman and Lehman cut estimates. S&P maintains hold.

Lone Star Technology (LSS ) posted $0.65 vs. $0.36 Q2 EPS on a 18% revenue rise.

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