Advent Software Tumbles

IDEC halts trials on experimental drug; Skillsoft to merge with Smartforce; and more stocks in the news

A L.A. superior court jury votes to award the City of Hope (COH) about $300M in additonal royalties for a breach of pact; a jury will deliberate over damages, if any, to award. Deutsche Bank rates Genentech (DNA ) buy.

Nokia (NOK ) sees second quarter net sales decline of about 2%-6% to about 6.9 billion to 7.2 billion euros vs. earlier guidance of 2%-7% growth. Despite the sales shortfall, it expects EPS (pro forma) to be within earlier indicated range of 0.18-0.20 euros.

Wellpoint Health (WLP ) raised 2002 EPS guidance from $4.00 to $4.30, citing strong medical membership growth in key geographies; assumes continuation of current economic conditions. S&P reiterates buy.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK ) and the IRS are battling over allegations that the British company improperly avoided a significant portion of U.S. taxes due on billions of dollars in drug sales, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Merck (MRK ) reiterated its EPS guidance for 2002, and plans to refile an expanded NDA for Arcoxia with FDA in the second half of 2003.

As result of three events, Abbott Labs (ABT ) cut 2002 EPS from operations guidance to $2.06-$2.10, and second quarter EPS to $0.49-$0.51. The company cited impacts related to consent decree with FDA, global market disruption of Meridia/Reductil, and foreign exchange translations.

SkillSoft (SKIL ) agrees to merge with SmartForce (SMTF ). Terms: 2.3674 SMTF shares for each SKIL share. Thomas Weisel downgrades Skillsoft shares to market perform from attractive.

Tractor Supply (TSCO ) shares jumped after the company says it sees better than expected $1.83-$2.04 second quarter EPS from operations on sales of $360-$380 million, and EPS of $2.98-$3.30 in 2002 and $4.00-$4.25 in 2003.

Nextel Communications (NXTL ) confirms it is on-track to meet its 2002 guidance of at least $2.5 billion EBITDA, and about 2 million new subscribers from domestic operations. Goldman Sachs upgrades Cablevision (CVC ) to market outperform from market perform.

Numerical Technologies (NMTC ) cut second quarter guidance to breakeven (pro forma) on revenues of $11 million, 2002 guidance to $0.04 EPS (pro forma) on revenues of $46 million. Adams Harkness and CS First Boston downgraded the stock.

IDEC Pharmaceuticals (IDP ) halted clinical trials of its IDEC-131 drug (for psoriasis, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis and the blood condition ITC) due to safety concerns. The company announced a Medicare reimbursement for its Zevalin drug, but it won't start until October, which is later than hoped. S&P downgraded the stock to hold from buy, while Morgan Stanley cut estimates.

Tenet Healthcare (THC ) expects fourth quarter and fiscal year 2002 EPS from operations to comfortably exceed current consensus estimates of $0.90, $3.20, respectively. S&P raises estimates.

Arrow Electronics (ARW ) announces the resignation of Francis M. Scricco as president and CEO. Merrill reportedly downgrades to near term reduce from neutral, long term buy from strong buy.

JP Morgan reportedly downgrades Advent Software (ADVS ) to long term buy from buy. Yesterday, the company announced a pact to acquire Techfi Corp. for $23 million. CSFB says the combination of newly acquired products is expected to create near-term confusion; it cut estimates.

Nordstrom (JWN ) announced that's CEO Dan Nordstrom and President Mike Smith have resigned.

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