Rumors of SEC Probe at IBM Hit Shares

Merrill Lynch falls; Specialty Labs drops on lower results; plus more of today's stocks in the news

IBM Corp. (IBM ) is seen lower on rumors of an SEC investigation. S&P maintains accumulate. IBM won't comment.

Merrill Lynch (MER ) is seen down on an approaching deadline set by a court to disclose details about its investment banking business.

Specialty Labs (SP ) posted $0.09 vs. $0.15 Q1 EPS on flat revenue. Leerink Swann downgrades to hold from attractive.

CS First Boston cut estimates on JD Edwards (JDEC ).

Target Corp. (TGT ) posted 6.8% higher March same store sales, and 16% higher total sales. Target says it is confident its will "meaningfully" outperform prior Q1 EPS expectations.

Network Associates (NET ) posted $0.10 Q1 EPS vs. a $0.35 loss on a 32% revenue rise, and sees $0.11-$0.13 Q2 EPS (pro forma); and raised 2002 EPS (pro forma) guidance to $0.50-$0.55.

Dow Jones (DJ ) posted $0.08 vs. $0.17 Q1 EPS from operations on 15% lower reported revenue. Dow Jones expects linage at The Wall Street Journal to be down 10%-20% in Q2, with EPS from operationss in the range of $0.20-$0.30.

GE (GE ) posted $0.35, before accounting changes, in line with the Wall Street consensus forecast, vs. $0.30 Q1 EPS on flat revenue. , and posted $0.26 Q1 EPS, after accounting changes.

Yahoo! (YHOO ) posted $0.02 Q1 GAAP EPS vs. a $0.02 loss on a 6.9% revenue rise, and sees Q2 revenue of $205M-$225M, and $870M-$910M for 2002. Merrill downgraded to near term neutral from buy.

Merrill downgraded Verizon (VZ ) to near term neutral from strong buy, and long term buy from strong buy.

Joseph A. Bank (JOSB ) posted 12% higher March same store sales, and 24% higher total sales.

Herbalife (HERBB ) agreed to be acquired by two private equity firms in deal valued at $19.50 cash per HERB Class A and Class B share for total value of $685M. (MCAF ) posted $0.08 vs. $0.11 Q1 EPS (pro forma) despite a 46% revenue rise.

Andrx (ADRX ) says the FDA approved marketing of its Abbreviated New Drug Application for potassium chloride extended release tablets, bioequivalent to Schering Plough's brand name product, K-Dur, for treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Nordstrom (JWN ) posted a 1.1% March same store sales decline, and 1.7% total sales rise.

b>MDC Holdings (MDC ) posted $1.16 vs. $1.09 Q1 EPS on an 8.7% revenue rise, and posted 10% higher March same store sales. MDC sees $0.18-$0.20 Q1 EPS, up from $0.16 recent consensus.

First Data (FDC ) posted $0.65 Q1 EPS from recurring operations vs. $0.54 (pro forma) on a 6.8% revenue rise.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR ) posted $0.51 vs. $0.38 Q4 EPS on a 10% same store sales rise.

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