Pharmaceutical Resources Rival Wins Key Drug Approval

IDEC gets FDA approval for cancer treatment; Computer Associates hit by accounting concerns; plus more of today's stocks to watch

Avant Immunotherapy (AVAN ) says its TP10, a lead complement inhibitor, failed to meet its objectives in a Phase II study in adult patients undergoing high risk cardiac surgery.

Matria Healthcare (MATR ) posted $0.04 vs. $0.13 Q4 EPS as higher costs offset a 24% revenue rise. Matria also noted greater than expected seasonal decline in Women's Health Division.

Pharmaceutical Resource (PRX ) says another generic competitor has received FDA approval to market megestrol oral suspension, a drug that improves appetite in patients with advanced cancer and HIV. Bear Stearns cut estimates and the target.

York International (YRK ) posted $0.63 vs. $0.60 Q4 EPS despite a 2.1% sales decline. S&P keeps sell, and says 2002 sales prospects are glum.

IDEC Pharmaceutical (IDPH ) says Zevalin has been approved for marketing by the FDA for the treatment of transformed B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Salomon SB upgraded to buy from outperform.

Salomon SB downgraded TRW Inc. (TRW ) to neutral from buy. On Tuesday the company announced the resignation of CEO David Cote, who will become CEO of Honeywell. The company also reaffirmed $3.30 2002 EPS from operations guidance.

In response to an article in Newsday, Computer Associates (CA ) says it hasn't been contacted by authorities about any investigation, and adds that its reporting of financial results has "always been in accordance with all applicable accounting principles."

Pall Corp. (PLL ) sees $0.14-$0.16 4Q EPS, citing decreased sales volume caused by continued weakness in the U.S. industrial marketplace, a prolonged global slump in semiconductor industry, and the effects of weak yen.

TMP Worldwide (TMPW ) posted $0.24 vs. $0.31 Q4 EPS excluding merger costs on a 14% decline in total commissions and fees, and cut the 2002 EPS guidance to $1.35-$1.40. UBS Warburg and Robertson Stephens cut estimates.

Agilent Technologies (A ) posted a $0.29 Q4 loss vs. $0.50 EPS (pro forma) on 44% revenue decline, and sees $1.45B-$1.55B Q2 revenue, and a $0.20-$0.30 loss before goodwill. S&P keeps hold.

Robertson Stephens raised estimates and reiterates strong buy on Cytyc Corp. (CYTC ). On Tuesday the company agreed to acquire Digene Corp. for about $554M in cash and stock.

Goldman reiterated recommended list on Overture Services (OVER ), saying Google's new AdWords Select service launched last evening is more attractive than before but not as compelling as Overture's service.

Osca (OSCA ) agreed to be acquired by BJ Services for $28 per share cash. S&P upgraded to hold from avoid.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF ) posted $0.78 Q4 EPS as tight inventory and expense control offset a 9% same store sales decline. The company sees Q1 and Q2 flat with a year ago. S&P keeps hold. Wachovia upgraded to buy.

Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS ) raised Q1 revenue growth guidance to flat from down 3%-5%. S&P maintains buy.

Lehman Brothers downgraded AOL Time Warner (AOL ) to market perform from buy.

Merrill Lynch upgraded Circuit City Stores (CC ) to near- and long-term strong buy from buy.

DaimlerChrysler (DCX ) expects Group operating profit for 2002 to exceed twice 2001 level by "a very significant amount," and posted a EUR5M Q4 operating profit on EUR$40M sales.

General Electric (GE ) says it will change the way it makes disclosures in its financial reports, including providing more detail about specific businesses in its GE Capital unit, accorrding to press reports.

Too Inc. (TOO ) posted $0.77 vs. $0.66 4Q EPS on a 4% sales rise. The company notes 2% lower 4Q same-store sales, in line with guidance. It targets 13%-15% 2002 sales growth and 20% net income growth.

Banc of America upgraded Oracle Corp. (ORCL ) to buy from market perform.

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