Profits Dry Up for Oil Giants

Microsoft makes a tentative pact with government; SEC formalizes Enron investigation; plus more of today's stocks to watch

Mitchell Energy (MND ) posted $0.54 vs. $1.35 Q3 EPS from operations on a 20% revenue drop, and notes sharply lower energy prices and higher operating expenses.

Devon Energy (DVN ) posted $0.68 vs. $1.22 Q3 EPS from operations on a 19% revenue drop, and notes the revenue drop was due to lower oil, gas and natural gas liquids prices.

According to press reports, Microsoft (MSFT )and the government reached a tentative antitrust pact that would require virtually no changes in design of Windows software, and leave Microsoft's market power largely undiminished. CIBC World maintains buy.

According to press reports, the SEC has elevated to a formal investigation an inquiry into Enron's (ENE )financial dealings with partnerships led by its former finance chief. Merrill downgraded to neutral.

American Eagle (AEOS ) says October same store sales are trending above prior guidance and now expects them to be in the positive mid-single digit range. Robertson Stephens reiterates buy.

Boeing Company (BA ) is in a pact with El Al Israel Airlines to study the feasibility of creating joint venture to establish world-class security, safety business for airlines, airports, governments worldwide.

FMC Corp. (FMC ) posted $1.10 vs. $1.79 Q3 EPS (pro forma) on flat sales. As indicated last month, FMC sees 2001 EPS from continuing operations of $3.05-$3.15. Given global uncertainties, providing 2002 guidance is "problematic" at this point.

Morgan Stanely initiates coverage of IBM Corp. (IBM ) with neutral.

Providian Financial (PVN ) hired Salomon SB and Goldman Sachs to assist in analysis, evaluation, consideration of alternatives. Retains Russell Reynolds to assist in search for CEO, replacing Shailesh Mehta, who will step down.

NPS Pharmaceutical (NPSP ) earned a $1M milestone payment from Forest Labs due to achievement of certain events related to Forest's preclinical work with ALX-0646 for treating migraine.

Immunogen (IMGN ) announced very favorable safety data from initial 27 patients enrolled in human clinical trial of its Tumor-Activated Prodrug, for treatment of colorectal, pancreatic and certain non-small-cell lung cancers.

Globespan (GSPN ) posted $0.04 Q3 loss vs. $0.18 EPS (pro forma) on a 58% revenue decline.

Charles River (CRL ) posted $0.26 vs. $0.12 Q3 EPS from operations on a 64% sales rise, and sees $0.23-$0.24 Q4 EPS on sales of $117M-$120M.

Lantronix (LTRX ) posted $0.01 vs. $0.02 Q1 EPS (pro forma) despite a 40% revenue rise, and sees $0.02-$0.03 Q2 EPS, and $0.20-$0.24 for fiscal 2002.

Alltel (AT ) posted $0.74 vs. $0.67 Q3 EPS on a 2% revenue rise.Alltel will purchase 101 local telephone exchanges, about 596,000 telephone lines in Kentucky from Verizon for $1.9B.

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