Tyco CEO Kozlowski Resigns

Casino shares fall on gaming tax hike; El Paso exec commits suicide; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Tyco International (TYC ) CEO and chairman Dennis Kozlowski resigned. John Fort is to assume primary executive responsibilities until a replacement is named. Kozlowski is under criminal investigation over the avoidance of New York sales tax. He also resigned from his position on Raytheon's board, according to press reports. Salomon Smith Barney downgraded, while S&P keeps hold.

Calpine (CPN ) says it did not engage in any "roundtrip" or "wash" power trading activities for the purpose of increasing volumes or revenue, impacting market prices, or for any other improper business purpose.

SBS Broadcasting (SBTV ) agreed to sell its 33% equity stake in TVN Sp.z o.o. to ITI Holdings S.A. for $150 million in cash and 666,666 SBS common shares currently owned by ITI Holdings.

On its June quarter update, Xilinx (XLNX ) forecasted an 8% sequential revenue rise. Some expected the company to raise estimates. Merrill reiterates near term and long term strong buy. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Alpharma (ALO ) filed an 8K disclosing that the SEC has issued a formal investigation order on the company relating to its revenue recognition practices regarding the previously reported revisions to financial results completed in 2001.

Viacom (VIA.B ) is higher after a press report that demand is stronger than expected in the pre-season ad-sales market for the fall TV season. Goldman keeps recommended list, Barrington Resources keeps strong buy.

El Paso Corp. (EP ) senior vice president and treasurer Charles Rice committed suicide. Separately, the company denied it engaged in "round trip" trades. CEO William Wise says that while the death of corporate treasurer Rice has been a great loss to the corporation, the market reaction has been unwarranted. S&P reiterates sell.

The state of Illinois raised the tax rate on gaming revenue. Merrill says the Argosy Gaming 's (AGY ) 2003 EPS could be negatively impacted by $0.48. In light of this news, Bear Stearns downgraded Harrah's Entertainment (HET ) and Hollywood Casino (HWD ). Merrill says Hollywood Casino's 2003 earnings could be negatively impacted by $0.48 per share.

Knight Trading (NITE ) says it identified and is working to correct a glitch in software in its trading system that has affected only Knight's stock.

USA Interactive (USAI ) plans to begin exchange offers with some of its publicly traded units, including Expedia (EXPE ), Ticketmaster (TMCS ) and Hotels.com (ROOM ). USA Interactive wants to increase its equity holdings to up to 100% and would issue about 156 million new shares to complete the deals.

Sotheby's Holding 's (BID ) majority shareholder, A. Alfred Taubman, fileed a Schedule 13D with the SEC regarding his interest in the company.; he says he will work with Sotheby's to explore the possible sale or merger of the company, or the sale of his stake.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Kraft Foods (KFT ) to equal weight from over-weight.

Merrill downgraded US Cellular (USM ) to near term reduce from neutral.

AdvancePCS (ADVP ) acknowledged that a meeting did occur to discuss retail network contracting issues with regard to North Carolina's state employee medical plan program. First Albany upgraded to strong buy from buy.

SoundView says mid-quarter checks indicate that Check Point Software (CHKP ) firewall demand has weakned from Q1.

b>Williams (WMB ) responds to a June 2 press report, denying that it had a strategy to drive up natural gas prices in California by "cornering the market," nor did it act in such a way to cause that to happen.

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