business

Trails Ablaze for Winnebago

Interlogix climbs on news of GE merger deal; ESS Technology raises guidance; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Winnebago ( WGO ) posted $0.51 vs. $0.40 Q1 EPS on a 9.1% revenue rise.

General Electric (GE ) says it is comfortable with analysts' profit target of $0.39 EPS for Q4 and $1.41 EPS for 2001, in line with lowered guidance. GE expects 2002 EPS of $1.65 to $1.67, up 18% vs. 2001. Also, the company will acquire wireless security systems maker Interlogix (ILXI ). Terms: $38.86 for each ILXI share consisting of 50% cash, 50% GE stock.

USB Piper upgraded Take Two (TTWO ) to strong buy from outperform. Morgan Keegan upgraded to outperform from market perform. Monday the company forecast Q1 EPS in excess of $0.70 $200M+ sales.

American Greetings (AM ) posted $0.64 vs. $0.50 Q3 EPS from operations (basic) despite 7.9% lower sales and suspended its quarterly dividend.

Morgan Stanley says Viropharma's (VPHM ) Phase III trial data for Picovir shows good efficacy and safety, and reiterates outperform.

Banc of America raised software estimates on Siebel Systems (SEBL ) and reiterates buy. S&P maintains buy.

Priceline.com (PCLN ) says its travel products will be available across several of AOL's America Online brands. Goldman reiterates market outperform. S&P reiterates hold.

Documentum (DCTM ) sees a $0.10-$0.13 Q1 loss on $46M- $48M revenues, $0.04-$0.06 '02 EPS on $212M-$218M revenues. Dresdner Kleinwort reiterates buy, raises estimates.

Sonus Networks (SONS ) announced the launch of direct operations in China through establishment of regional office in Beijing, partnership with Chinese systems integrator Photonic Bridges.

Thomas Weisel initiated coverage of Leap Wireless (LWIN ) with attractive. JP Morgan initiated coverage with buy. Monday the company said its Cricket local wireless service now serves over 1M customers.

Axa (AXA ) sees EUR 1.2B 2001 cash earnings, citing the impact of September 11 attacks, permanent impairments of assets, lower investment results. Merrill downgraded to near-term neutral from strong buy.

ESS Technology (ESST ) raised Q4 EPS guidance to $0.26-$0.30, and raised revenue to $77M-$80M. ESS attributed growth to strong consumer demand for DVD players. S&P upgrades to accumulate.

Optimal Robot (OPMR ) announces Loblaw Cos. Ltd. will purchase and install Optimal's U-Scan self-checkout systems in its stores.

RBC Dain Rauscher initiated coverage of Inspire Pharmaceutical (ISPH ) with strong buy.

Lennar (LEN ) says Q4 EPS will exceed $1.81 First Call consensus by more than 25%.

Sabre Holdings (TSG ) sees breakeven-$0.05 Q4 EPS from operations on $415M-$430M revenue, with a forecast at the high end of expectations. Sabre sees $1.80-$1.90 2002 EPS from operations on a 1%-5% revenue rise. S&P still says hold.

JP Morgan downgraded Research In Motion (RIMM ) to market perform from long term buy.

Pfizer (PFE ) forecast EPS $1.30 or better this year and between $1.56 and $1.60 EPS for 2002, a 20% increase in growth and in line with forecasts. The drug maker also says it will spend $5.3B on R&D in 2002 and is increasing its quarterly dividend $0.02 to $0.13.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT ) agreed to pay $6.8M to settle a lawsuit alleging it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Gap Stores (GPS ) says EBITDA required to maintain its debt covenant as per its bank facilities at the end of 4Q is $730M-770M, not $1.084B reported by Grant's Investor Inc.

Prize Energy (PRZ ) agreed to be acquired by Magnum Hunter Resources. Terms: $24.00 per PRZ share payable in 2.50 MHR shares plus $0.25-$5.25 cash.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR ) posted $0.26 vs. $0.24 3Q EPS on 5.1% same store sales rise and revised 4Q guidance to $0.40-$0.42 from $0.37-$0.38 consensus.

Solectron (SLR ) posted $0.05 vs. $0.31 1Q cash EPS on a 45% revenue drop, and sees $2.7B-$3.2B 2Q sales, break-even to $0.03 loss from operations.

Micron Technology (MU ) will buy Toshiba's Dominion Semiconductor unit in Virginia. Toshiba exits the commodity DRAM business.

Progenics Pharmaceutical (PGNX ) says repeated doses of its experimental drug, PRO 140, reduced and maintained viral loads at undetectable levels for duration of therapy in well-recognized animal model of HIV infection.

Metro-Goldwyn (MGM ) sees 4Q EPS of at least $0.12, significantly higher than previous expectations, citing an accounting change, and better than expected performance from its film library.

Kos Pharmaceutical (KOSP ) gets FDA approval to market Advicor for treatment of cholesterol disorders. Additionally, Kos reached an agreement with Bristol Myers for a $45M payment in connection with termination of co-promotion arrangement for Advicor.

Crown Cork (CCK ) says Pennsylvania has signed into law a bill that limits asbestos liabilities of Pennsylvania-based companies that incurred liabilities because they are successors by merger to companies involved with asbestos.

Cree (CREE ) will be added to S&P MidCap 400 on date to be announced, replacing Dean Foods, which is being acquired by Suiza.

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