IBM Soars on an Upgrade

GE affirms yearend targets; Household reportedly settles lending lawsuit; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Grupo TMM (TMM ) and Kansas City Southern (KSU ), owners of Grupo TFM, announced that a Mexican court ruled in favor of Groupo TFM, in its Value Added Tax lawsuit. Bear Stearns upgraded to outperform from peer perform.

Doral Financial (DORL ) posted $0.74 vs. $0.49 third quarter earnings per share on higher non-interest income. UBS Warburg upgraded to strong buy from buy.

Longs Drug (LDG ) cut the earnings per share estimate to $0.07-$0.11 for the third quarter, and to $0.51-$0.56 for the fourth quarter. Longs sees same-store sales growth at 3%-4% in the third quarter, vs. the former 4%-6% estimate. The compay posted 3.2% higher September same-store sales. S&P downgraded.

Prudential upgraded Kohl's (KSS ) to buy from hold. On Thursday the company posted 3.2% lower September same store sales and forecast $0.34-$0.35 third quarter earnings per share.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Household International (HI ) reported that the company is close to an agreement to pay almost $500 million to settle allegations that the company is engaged in predatory lending. Household is holding a call Friday to discuss the resolution of certain regulatory issues.

Banc of America upgraded Linens N Things (LIN ) to buy from market perform.

Lehman upgraded IBM Corp. (IBM ) to overweight from equal-weight

Kindred Healthcare (KIND ) will record about $55 million of additional costs for professional liability claims above its normal provision for third quarter. Kindred withdrew its previous guidance.

Monsanto (MON ) lowered the $1.50 2002 EPS guidance to $1.15-$1.23, citing a decline of Roundup herbicide in the U.S., and lower than expected sales in Argentina.

General Electric (GE ) posted $0.41 vs. $0.33 third quarter earnings per share on 11% higher revenues, and says the economy is in much tougher shape than planned; GE is maintaining its $1.65 2002 earnings per share target.

Express Scripts (ESRX ) sees better than expected $0.67-$0.69 third quarter earnings per share, and $2.53-$2.56 for 2002, citing strong growth in claims volume and increased generic utilization.

Lucent (LU ) says its fourth quarter loss per share will be significantly larger than the estimate of $0.45 due to additional charges. Lucent reaffirmed a 20%-25% sequential fourth quarter revenue decline. The company plans to cut 10,000 more jobs as it steps up its increase of its restructuring program.

Schering AG (SHR ) receives a Not Approvable Letter from the FDA concerning a new drug application on an estradiol/levonorgestrel transdermal combination patch for the continuous treatment of menopausal symptoms.

The FDA approved GlaxoSmithkline's (GSK ) Avandamet for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

American Electric Power (AEP ) said late Thursday that it plans to reduce its exposure to the speculative energy trading markets, and will downsize its trading and wholesale marketing operations.

Juniper Networks (JNPR ) posted a $0.03 third quarter loss vs. $0.10 earnings per share on 25% lower revenues. S&P maintains hold.

Powerwave (PWAV ) posted $0.02 third quarter earnings per share vs. an $0.08 loss on a 41% revenue rise.

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