Global Slump Puts Deere in the Headlights

Enron says auditor has not finalized consolidated financial statements; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Verisign (VRSN )was down after USB Piper downgraded the stock to buy from strong buy to reflect increased intermediate term risk.

Deere & Co. (DE ) was down after it posted $0.45 4Q loss vs. $0.30 EPS from operations on 5.8% decline in worldwide sales. Sees 1Q net sales down 3%-7%. Merrill expects fiscal year 2002 to be below consensus estimates. S&P keeps its hold rating on the stock.

Toys R Us was down after Jefferies downgraded the stock to accumulate from buy. On Monday, the company posted an $0.22 3Q loss.

Tellabs (TLAB ) was down after AG Edwards downgraded the stock to hold from strong buy.

Northfield Lab (NFLD ) was down after the FDA requested more information before accepting the company's BLA for blood substitute, PolyHeme.

Champion Enterprises (CHB ) was down after Wachovia downgraded the stock to market perform from buy.

BJ'S Wholesale (BJ ) was up after the company posted $0.40 vs. $0.37 3Q EPS from operations on 2.9% higher same club sales, 7.5% higher total sales. S&P downgraded the stock to hold from accumulate.

Jabil Circuit (JBL ) was down after Robertson Stephens cut its estimate and target.

Tyson Foods (TSN ) was up modestly after Merrill upgraded the company to near term accumulate from neutral, maintains long term buy.

Royal Caribbean (RCL ) agrees to merge with P&O Princess Cruises. P&O shareholders will have 50.7% voting, economic interest in the combined company. RCL will have 49.3%. One RCL share will have same interests as 3.46386 P&O shares.

Enron (ENE ) filed a Q3 Form 10-Q with the SEC, and says independent auditor, Arthur Andersen LLP, has not finalized Enron's consolidated financial statements because of investigation. It reduced previously reported Q3 EPS by $0.03.

Smithfield Food (SFD ) posted a $0.56 vs. $0.40 Q2 EPS on 17% higher sales. The company said its optimistic Q3 will be substantially better than last year, with Meat Processing Group providing the majority of profits for the quarter.

Ryder System (R ) sees $0.38-$0.40 Q4 EPS from operations. Based on current information, restructuring and other charges during Q4 could range from $28M-$35M, or $0.31-$0.39 per share.

Ross Stores (ROST ) posted $0.43 vs. $0.36 Q3 EPS on 5% higher same store sales, 16% higher total sales.

Limited (LTD ) posted $0.03 Q3 loss (adjusted) vs. $0.11 EPS on 7% lower same store sales, 12% lower total sales. It's comfortable with current First Call consensus EPS estimate for Q4, although the economic environment remains uncertain.

Staples (SPLS ) posted $0.20 vs. $0.18 (adjusted) Q3 EPS on 1.1% sales rise. It sees $0.25-$0.27 Q4 EPS.

Talbots (TLB ) recorded $0.58 vs. $0.54 Q3 EPS despite 8.2% lower same store sales, 1% lower total sales. It remains on track to open 14 stores in Q4. Anticipates about 85 new store openings in 2002. BJ'S Wholesale (BJ ) posted $0.40 vs. $0.37 Q3 EPS from operations on 2.9% higher same store sales, 7.5% higher total sales.

Cost Plus (CPWM ) posted $0.11 Q3 loss vs. $0.01 EPS on 7.4% same store sales drop, 11.4% total sales rise. It also sees $0.86-$0.92 Q4 EPS, $0.86 to $0.93 fiscal year 2002 EPS.

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