Subscriber Growth View Cut on Sprint PCS

Halliburton denies bankruptcy rumors; Travelocity sees fourth quarter revenue guidance below previous estimates; plus other stocks in the news

Merrill Lynch lowered its fourth quarter subscriber growth numbers for wireless company Sprint PCS (PCS ) as well as for other wireless carries. Merrill thinks the fourth quarter was tough for these companies, given the slowing economy and competitive pricing.

Oil services company Halliburton (HAL ) says there is no basis for talk that the company has filed for bankruptcy in response to recent rumors. The company also says that the large asbestos verdict against it is unfounded. On Thursday, S&P maintained its avoid rating.

Online travel company sees fourth quarter revenues at $68 million or about 9% below previous guidance, citing slow sales of airline tickets during holiday season. Prudential is cutting its target on the company. S&P maintains its hold rating.

S&P recommends holding document company Xerox (XRX ) saying the shares are down on Moody's announced review of the company's long-term debt for possible downgrade.

Car maker DaimlerChrysler (DCX ) was trading higher after saying it is in line to achieve its $1.1 billion operating profit target despite increasingly difficult market conditions.

Management software products company BMC Software (BMC ) was delayed for trading after Merrill Lynch upgraded to near, long term strong buy from near term neutral, long term buy.

Storage-related hardware, software and service products maker EMC Corp. (EMC ) was up after Banc of America raised its target to $20. He believes the company is near an inflection point and that fundamentals are poised for improvement over next several quarters.

Adobe Systems (ADBE ) was trading higher after JP Morgan upgraded to buy from long term buy.

Tenet Healthcare (THC ) was delayed after posting second quarter earnings per share of $0.77 vs. $0.54 on 16% higher net operating revenue. Given continued strength of operations, the company raised fiscal year 2002 earnings per share guidance to $3.10. S&P maintains strong buy.

Merrill Lynch (MER ), the brokerage firm, was trading higher after Prudential upgraded Merrill and several other financial services firms to buy from hold.

Coffee chain Starbucks (SBUX ) is trading higher after posting 3% higher December same-store revenues and 22% higher total revenues. Merrill Lynch raised its investment rating on the company while Lehman raised earning estimates.

Food products company Tyson Foods (TSN ) sees better than expected first quarter earnings per share of $0.34 to $0.36 1Q EPS, citing strength in its markets despite the economic turndown.

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