High Court Rejects Microsoft's Appeal

First Data soars after posting higher earnings; plus more of today's stocks to watch

Microsoft (MSFT ) was lower after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the software maker's appeal over the antitrust case. S&P maintains a hold rating on the stock.

First Data (FDC ) shares rose after the company posted $0.69 vs. $0.58 Q3 EPS from continuing operations on a 13% revenue rise. JP Morgan upgraded the shares to buy from long term buy. S&P and CS First Boston raised estimates.

Blimpie International (BLM ) shares soared after the company agreed to be acquired by a private investor group. Terms: $2.80 cash per Blimpie share.

Rite-Aid (RAD ) was flat after the retail drugstore chain posted a 6.1% in September same store sales, and a 3.5% total sales rise.

Network Associates (NETA ) was down after Morgan Stanley cut the company to neutral from strong buy.

Burlington Resources (BR ) agreed to acquire natural gas company Canadian Hunter Exploration for $2.1 billion.

Nordstrom (JWN ) posted 9.4% lower September same store sales, and 6% lower total sales.

Pepsi Bottling (PBG ) posted a Q3 EPS of $0.96 vs. $0.82 from pro forma operations on a 7% rise in revenue. The company reaffirmed its 3% volume growth, and 3% revenue per case growth forecasts. The company also raised forecast for fiscal year 2001 EPS from operations to $1.86-$1.88.

Morgan Stanley cut Network Associates (NETA ) to neutral from strong buy.

Lehman cut CVS (CVS ) to buy from strong buy.

Birmingham Steel (BIR ) posted a Q4 loss from operations of $0.11 vs. $0.49 loss a year ago. The company said it expects shipments, pricing, and margins will be under pressure for the remainder of 2001, and for at least the first half of 2002.

Longs Drug Stores (LDG ) sees $0.11-$0.13 Q3 EPS on a 4% overall sales rise and a 3% increase in same-store sales. Results will below previous expectations. The company wll address Q4 and full-year 2001 estimates when Q3 results are released.

Microchip Technology (MCHP ) sees better than expected $0.17 Q2 EPS on revenue of about $141.5M. S&P maintains accumulate. CS First Boston raises estimates.

Myriad Genetics (MYGN ) discovered a novel drug target for treatment of a broad range of cancers. Thomas Weisel says this news validates Myriad's ProNet technology, and reiterates its buy rating on the shares.

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