TRW Plans to Spin Off Auto Unit

Intel leads tech stocks lower; FDA says more trials needed for Corixa drug; plus more of today's stocks in the news

TRW Inc. (TRW ) said it plans to spin off its auto parts business instead after twice rejecting Northrop Grumman's (NOC ) bid to be acquired for $47 per share, calling the bid financially inadequate.

CIBC World sees Photronics (PLAB ) hovering in the low $30s range until a March 20 analyst meeting provides more color on new management's strategy after the surprise resignation by the CFO.

Amdocs (DOX ) announced CFO Dov Baharav will succeed as president and CEO on Oct. 1. CS First Boston says selling pressure is related to Comverse Technology's comments on its EPS call Tuesday night.

United Auto Group (UAG ) offered six million shares at $22 each and completed a private placement of $300M of senior notes due 2012.

JP Morgan turned cautious on Advanced Micro Devices (AMD ) due to an anticipated price cut, and cut its estimates.

S&P says shares of Calpine (CPN ) fell over 10% in trading Tuesday, and on Wednesday, one credit agency cut the debt rating to "BB." S&P puts the debt rating on credit watch negative.

Goldman initiated coverage of Wendy's (WEN ) and added to its recommended list.

Computer Associates (CA ) announced a proposed private offering of $500M in senior notes, convertible into stock, and expects the terms will include an option for up to additional $100M of notes.

Foot Locker (Z ) posted $0.28 vs. $0.26 Q4 EPS (adjusted) on 2.1% higher same store sales, and sees $0.25-$0.27 Q1 EPS, in line with current estimates, and expects 10% higher fiscal 2003 EPS growth.

JP Morgan cut its 2002 EPS estimate on Intel (INTC ) due to slumping prices and growing inventories of unused chips. Intel maintains its long term buy.

Cree (CREE ) says due to product delays at its UltraRF biz and lower short term LED demand, it now targets $32M-$34M Q3 revenue; with Q4 revenue to increase at least 5% from Q3. CIBC World and S&P cut estimates.

Morgan Stanley downgraded KLA-Tencor (KLAC ) to outperform from strong buy.

The European Commission approved Amgen's (AMGN ) Kinaret for the treatment of rheumatoid arthiritis.

Talbot's (TLB ) posted $0.53 vs. $0.51 on a 5.5% same store sales drop and an 8.4% total sales drop. Talbot's maintains its $0.63-$0.65 Q1 fiscal 2003 EPS forecast, and plans for a minimum of 15% fiscal 2003 EPS growth over fiscal 2002.

Comverse Technology (CMVT ) posted $0.06 vs. $0.41 Q4 EPS on 24% lower sales, and cut the Q1 guidance. Lehman reportedly downgraded to buy from strong buy. Robertson Stephens cut estimates.

FDA says Corixa's (CRXA ) response to its Complete Review letter did not provide sufficient evidence of safety or show a net clinical benefit of Bexxar. Additionhal clinical studies will be required to provide such evidence.

Technitrology (TNL ) sees a $0.11-$0.13 Q1 loss from operations, citing weaker than anticipated January and February Pulse revenue, particularly in the telecom area.

Microchip Technology (MCHP ) expected Q4 EPS to be at the upper end of the previous range, or about $0.18, and says sales are tracking towards the upper end of earlier $145M guidance. S&P maintains buy.

Lucent Technology (LU ) plans to make a private offering of cumulative convertible trust preferred securities; and expects to raise $1.5B through the transaction.

Ikos Systems (IKOS ) agreed to be acquired by Mentor Graphics (MENT ) for $11.00 per share.

Sports Authority (TSA ) posted $0.50 vs. $0.46 Q4 EPS from operations on a 1% same store sales rise. The retailer sees a Q1 same store sales increase in the mid-single-digits, and raised the fiscal 2003 EPS guidance to $0.60.

Tesma International (TSMA ) decided not to proceed with a merger transaction with the Magna Steyr group of Magna International Inc.

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