SeaChange Takes a Dive

Sandisk makes gains; Overture Services is higher; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Thomas Weisel says a source that confirms privately held nCube has won AOL's video on demand contract for Manhattan. The firm doesn't see it as major negative for rivals SeaChange International (SEAC ) and Concurrent Computer (CCUR ) as there still is significant VOD buildout remaining at Time Warner. Weisel is keeping its attractive rating on Concurrent and its buy recommednation on SeaChange. Concurrent had no comment on the news, but noted the Weisel comments.

Morgan Stanley upgraded Sandisk (SNDK ) to outperform from neutral.

RW Baird downgraded Tetra Technology (TTEK ) to market outperform from strong buy.

USB Piper believes Overture Service (OVER ) is likely to exceed estimates, and reiterates strong buy.

CS First Boston initiated coverage on Bottomline Technologies (EPAY ) with buy.

Morgan Stanley upgraded Fox Entertainment (FOX ) to outperform from neutral.

Lehman initiated coverage on US Airways (U ) with strong buy.

Genesis Micro (GNSS ) wins an auction in bankruptcy court to acquire substantially all assets of VM Labs Inc. for $13.6M cash. Pacific Growth says it is "positive".

Merrill upgraded Gap (GPS ) to near-term strong buy from neutral.

United Nation Foods (UNFI ) posted $0.27 vs. $0.14 Q2 EPS on a 17% sales rise. The company notes the current quarterly results excluded items, on sales above 10%-14% growth guidance, United Nation Foods also raised the fiscal 2002 EPS guidance to $1.08-$1.12, and raised the Q3 guidance to $0.27-$0.29; both forecasts exclude items.

Dillard's (DDS ) posted $1.20 vs. $0.69 Q4 EPS from operations as lower costs offset 1% lower same store sales. Dillard's set a stockholder rights plan.

OfficeMax (OMX ) posted a $0.12 Q4 loss vs. a $0.12 loss from operations on 11% lower sales. The company expects to be profitable in 2002, with substantial year over year Q1 improvements.

Verizon Communications (VZ ) plans to eliminate equivalent of 10,000 jobs this year, after cutting the equivalent of 29,000 jobs in 2001, according to press reports. CS First Boston downgraded Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF ) to hold from buy.

Chico's FAS (CHS ) posted $0.23 vs. $0.14 Q4 EPS on 18% higher same store sales, and 39% higher total sales.

Costco Wholesale (COST ) posted $0.41 vs. $0.38 Q2 EPS on a 13% revenue rise.

Morgan Stanley upgraded Intel (INTC ) to strong buy from outperform.

During a keynote talk at a conference, Texas Instrument (TXN ) CEO Tom Engibous reconfirmed Q1 guidance of about breakeven net on sequentially flat revenue, and says the Q1 book-to-bill ratio could be close to one.

Staples (SPLS ) posted $0.29 vs. $0.20 Q4 EPS (adjusted) despite 4% lower same store sales, and 6% lower total sales. Staples raised the fiscal 2003 EPS guidance to the $0.76-$0.80 range.

The FDA Circulatory System Devices Advisory Panel recommended that the agency approve, with conditions, Thoratec's (THOR ) PMA Supplement for destination therapy based on results of a REMATCH trial. (TVLY ) says its Special Committee calls Sabre's proposed $23 cash per share tender offer inadequate.

Orbital Sciences (ORB ) says Boeing has selected Orbital for a contract, valued at $900M or more over the next eight years, to develop, test and produce ground-based boost vehicles for America's ballistic missile defense system.

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