Intel Hikes Quarterly Revenue Forecast

McDonald's CEO set to retire; UAL shares plunge as bankruptcy looms; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Intel (INTC ) boosted its fourth quarter revenue targets and said its gross margin will be at the high end of its predicted range. Intel now expects sales of $6.8 billion to $7 billion. The company says Architecture, its server consolidation program, is performing beyond expectations.

McDonald's (MCD ) - news) chair and CEO Jack Greenberg will retire at the end of the year. He will be replaced by Jim Cantalupo, former vice chair and president of the company.

UAL Corp.'s (UAL ) United Airlines failed to secure a $1.8 billion U.S. government loan guarantee. Shares were halted, and the rejection sets the stage for a likely bankruptcy-law filing. The company has no plans to issue a statement. S&P reiterated avoid, and JP Morgan expects the shares to be worthless by the end of the month.

Merrill downgradedMorgan Stanley (MWD ) to neutral from buy, and cut the broker dealer/money center bank segment to market weight.

Limited Brands (LTD ) posted 2% lower November same store sales, and 3.3% higher total sales.

Humana (HUM ) plans to its cut workforce by about 2,300, or 17%, by Dec. 31 2003, resulting in a fourth quarter 2002 severance charge. The managed health care company now sees 78 cents to 91 cents 2002 earnings per share, and $1.22-$1.31 for 2003. S&P downgraded.

Boeing (BA ) shares are lower due to its exposure to United Airlines.

Costco Wholesale (COST ) posted 2% higher November same store sales, and 7% higher total sales. Goldman downgraded to in-line from outperform.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS ) posted 6.5% lower November consolidated same store sales, and 3% higher total sales. The company says its 56 cents fourth quarter First Call estimate is in the range of expectations. Pacific Growth and UBS Warburg cut estimates.

Women's apparel retailer J Jill (JILL ) sees 25 cents to 30 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on $102 million to $107.5 million sales, and notes its Best Seller catalog sales are significantly below plan. USB Piper downgraded to outperform from strong buy.

Synopsys (SNPS ) posted a fourth quarter pro forma loss of $1.31 vs. 33 cents earnings per share. Revenues rose to $309 million vs. $184 million. Earnings per share excluding charges were 96 cents vs. 39 cents. The company sees first quarter revenues between $262 million and $273 million, and $3.25 earnings per share before goodwill for fiscal 2003. SoundView downgraded to underperform from neutral. UBS Warburg raised estimates.

NetFlix (NFLX ) raised its fourth quarter EBITDA forecast to $6.5 million to $7.5 million, and upped revenue to $43 million to $46 million. NetFlix says if holiday sales of DVD players and new subscriber trials are more robust than expected, subscriber growth may exceed updated guidance.

Eastman Chemical (EMN ) says the fourth quarter was "shaping up to be challenging". The company estimates fiber sales would decline 4%-6% from the third quarter. S&P reiterates hold.

Gateway (GTW ) says weak demand and price pressures over Thanksgiving weekend put the PC maker's results in jeopardy, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Millennium Pharmaceutical (MLNM ) plans to file a new drug application with the NFDA to market Velcade as a treatment for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma by early 2003.

Merck (MRK ) sees $3.40-$3.47 consolidated 2003 earnings per share, and says its plan to separate its Medco Health unit in mid-2003 is unchanged. Merck reaffirmed guidance for 2002 earnings per share, on an as-reported basis, to be at the same level as 2001.

IBM Corp. (IBM ) will fund its U.S. pension plan through the contribution of cash and/or stock this year. IBM estimates a difference of $3 billion between the U.S. plan's assets and the projection of benefit obligations. IBM doesn't expect a change to 2003 earnings per share.

AOL Time Warner 's (AOL ) CEO hinted at job cuts in the next two months as he details his turnaround plans to top executives, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Wal-Mart (WMT ) posted 2.6% higher November total U.S. comparison store sales and 10.3% higher total sales.

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