Cisco Net Tops Forecasts

Citigroup turns higher; Dell shares gain; plus more of today's stocks in the news

After the close of trading Tuesday, Cisco Systems (CSCO ) reported Q4 EPS (pro forma) of $0.14 on revenue of about $4.83 billion. The earnings topped analysts' estimates, but revenue was a bit shy of forecasts.

Needham upgraded Dell Computer (DELL ) to buy from hold. The firm has a $33 price target on the stock. Separately, Dell says Sears has chosen Dell to provide hardware and deployment services in 870 full-line stores.

Xcel Energy (XEL ) signed a deal with lenders to eliminate cross-default provision in two lines of credit. Merrill upgrades to NT neutral from reduce/sell. S&P reiterates hold.

Sharper Image (SHRP ) posted a 9% same store sales rise, and a 34% total sales rise. The company narrowed its $0.08-$0.12 Q2 loss forecast to a $0.07-$0.09 loss. WR Hambrecht raised estimates.

Fair Isaac (FIC ) With the acquisition of HNC Software now completed, the company sees a $0.52-$0.55 Q4 loss (including costs) on revenues of $132 million to $134 million; and $1.90-$1.95 fiscal 2003 EPS on $625 million to $635 million revenues. S&P keeps accumulate.

JP Morgan reiterates buy onCitigroup (C ), saying it is incrementally positive on the medium-term outlook for the company following its visit to Citigroup's operations in Japan.

Cheesecake Factory (CAKE ) says it recalled one lot number of cheesecake made for Olive Garden restaurants due to potential contamination of listeria monocytogenes. Thomas Weisel sees a buying opportunity.

Merrill upgraded Philips (PHG ) to near term strong buy from buy, and keeps long term buy.

A John Harland unit agreed to acquire Interlinq Software (INLQ ) for $6.25 per share.

Omnicom Group (OMC ) posted $1.00 vs. $0.91 Q2 EPS on a 9.7% revenue rise.

J M Smucker (SJM ) expects Q1 EPS, excluding merger charges for the purchase of Crisco, to exceed the consensus estimate of $0.40 by about 10%. S&P reiterates buy.

Gilead Science (GILD ) was halted pending news. An FDA advisory panel is expected to issue a decision to the FDA Tuesday on Gilead's adefovir dipivoxil tablets for chronic hepatitis B.

Mercury Computer (MRCY ) posted $0.24 vs. $0.37 Q4 EPS on a 12% revenue decline. The company sees EPS of $0.16-$0.20 for Q1 and $0.90-$1.00 for all of fiscal 2003. CIBC World upgraded the shares to buy. S&P cut its estimates.

MetLife (MET ) posted $0.69 vs. $0.54 Q2 operating EPS on 14% higher total premiums and fees. The company sees $2.43-$2.53 2002 EPS. Morgan Stanley cut its estimates.

Salomon SB downgraded Hanover Compressor (HC ) to neutral from outperform. On Aug. 5, the company posted a $0.70 Q2 loss (including items); and restated its 2000 and 2001 results following an investigation by an independent committee.

Salomon SB reportedly downgraded Interpublic Group (IPG ) to neutral from buy. On Aug. 5, the company delayed release of Q2 results to accommodate its Audit Committee.

Cephalon (CEPH ) posted $0.25 Q2 EPS vs. a $0.19 loss per share (excluding extraordinary items) on a sharp total revenue rise. The company sees $0.27 Q3 EPS and raised its 2002 guidance for EPS to $1.08-$1.10 and for product sales to $430-$435 million.

Qiagen (QGENF ) posted $0.05 vs. $0.08 Q2 EPS, excluding one-time charges, despite a 10% sales rise. The company says Q2 results suffered from a significant contraction of U.S. pharmaceutical research spending.

MSC Industrial (MSM ) discovered incorrect accounting entries related to inventory purchases that overstated net income by about $8.3 million over the past 4 years; the company will restate results for 1999, 2000, 2001, and year-to-date 2002.

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