American Express Net Climbs

Halliburton will take a large asbestos charge; BellSouth profits fall, plus more of today's stocks in the news

American Express (AXP ) posted $0.51 vs. $0.13 Q2 EPS on 13% revenue rise (GAAP). The company says 2002 EPS is not likely to exceed current consensus.

Halliburton (HAL ) plans to announce an estimated total number and value of potential future asbestos claims on July 24. Halliburton says the charge will be substantial, with an impact on continuing and discontinuing operations. The company also will exit the pipe coating business.

UbS Warburg raised Clorox (CLX ) to buy; upgraded the U.S. Household Products weighting to overweight from sector weighting; and upgraded Proctor & Gamble (PG ) and Gillette (G ) to strong buy.

BellSouth (BLS ) posted $0.53 vs. $0.56 Q2 EPS (normalized) on a 1.6% revenue decline, and noted weak demand for communication services in the U.S. and Latin America, and market share loss in U.S., as well as currency devaluations.

Novo-Nordisk (NVO ) suspended the clinical development of its dual-acting insulin sensitizer ragaglitazar due to findings of urine bladder tumors in one mouse and a number of rats that were treated with the drug. Dr. Reddy's (RDY ) licensed the medicine to Novo-Nordisk.

Hasbro (HAS ) posted a $0.15 Q2 loss vs. an $0.11 loss as higher costs offset a 7% revenue rise. Results included a non-cash after tax charge, and a charge related to the adoption of FAS 142.

Maximus (MMS ) increased its stock buyback program by $30 million.

Williams (WMB ) sees a wider than expected $0.35-$0.40 Q2 loss, citing conditions affecting the marketing and risk management business. Williams cut the $0.20 Q3 dividend to $0.01, and seeks a secure financing package.

Lear (LEA ) posted $1.27 vs. $1.06 Q2 EPS from operations on a 5.1% sales rise, and sees $0.75-$0.85 Q3 EPS, and $4.20-$4.50 2002 EPS from operations.

Worldcom (WCOME ) filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

3M (MMM ) posted $1.36 vs. $1.12 Q2 EPS from operations on 2.1% higher sales and operating efficiencies. 3M sees $5.15-$5.30 2002 operating EPS but cautions about Q3 business conditions.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the National Association of Securities Dealers is set to take action against Citigroup's (C ) Salomon Smith Barney unit and analyst Jack Grubman, alleging violations of securities rules. The Journal also reported that Citigroup arranged unusual financing techniques that enabled Enron to appear cash rich.

Procter & Gamble (PG ) plans to increase its level of stock purchases in fiscal 2002 and 2003 under its previously announced share repurchase program. The company remains confident about its business and will use its free cash flow to purchase shares.

The FDA approved Amgen's (AMGN ) Aranesp for anemia associated with chemotherapy.

UBS Warburg upgraded Anheuser-Busch (BUD ) to buy from hold.

Lexmark (LXK ) posted $0.67 vs. $0.65 Q2 EPS on a 7.3% revenue rise, and sees $0.58-$0.68 Q3 EPS.

According to The Wall Street Journal, AOL Time Warner (AOL ) Comcast (CMCSK ) and AT&T (T ) are nearing a accord to unwind the Time Warner Entertainment alliance, likely resulting in an IPO of AOL's cable-TV concern: The Wall Street Journal.

Comverse Technology (CMVT ) will reduce its workforce by about 1,200 people in response to ongoing weakness in telecom network operators' capital spending.

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