Forest Labs Drug Hits a Snag

Wavecom drops on weaker demand; Qualcomm shares advance; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Forest Labs (FRX ) says the FDA will require the company to conduct additional clinical trials in order to approve the dosing regimen of lercanidipine that was requested by Forest Labs.

Wavecom (WVCM ) now sees 132 million euros to 140 million euros in fourth quarter revenue, citing the cancellation of certain handset module orders by TCL Mobile of China, and suspended deliveries to a major Korean customer. SoundView downgraded to neutral from outperform.

Qualcomm (QCOM ) expects to ship at least 28 million MSM phone chips in first quarter, exceeding its previous estimate of 25 million to 28 million. The company expects to ship about 24 million to 27 million MSM chips in the second quarter, up from a previous estimate of more than 20 million.

Tyson Foods (TSN ) cut its first quarter earnings per share from operations estimate to 14 cents to 18 cents, and cut the fiscal 2003 estimate to $1.00 to $1.10. Tyson will close two poultry operations, and is in talks for the possible sale of a third plant. S&P, Prudential and Merrill cut their estimates.

Brinker (EAT ) posted 6.3% higher November same store sales. Due to strong comparison sales in October and November, the operator and franchiser of Chili's Grill and Bar and other restaurants raised its fiscal 2003 earnings per share estimate by a penny to the 42 cents to 43 cents range.

Oxford Health Plan (OHP ) raised its 2003 earnings per share guidance to $4.00 to $4.10. UBS Warburg reiterates strong buy.

Inco (N ) plans to undertake a comprehensive review of its 85% owned Goro nickel-cobalt project based upon latest cost data and trends. Morgan Stanley, Goldman and Prudential downgraded the shares.

Jefferies downgraded Investment Tech Group (ITG ) to hold from buy. On Thursday the company said it planned to cut workforce by about 10%. The company will incur a $6 million pre-tax charge, or nine cents a share after tax for the fourth quarter.

Wendy's (WEN ) tightened its 2002 earnings per share growth goal to $1.88 to $1.90, saying it faces some short-term challenges and believes it is prudent to tighten its annual growth goal for earnings per share to 14% to 15% vs. the previous 15%-16% guidance.

Salomon downgraded Silicon Labs (SLAB ) to in-line from outperform. Wachovia downgraded to hold from buy. Both cite a fourth quarter revenue shortfall anticipated by key customer Wavecom.

Salomon downgraded Protective Life (PL ) to in-line from outperform, citing well-above average losses in the company's specialty credit insurance line and other factors.

Supervalu (SVU ) sees 42 cents to 44 cents third quarter earnings per share and 55 cents to 60 cents for the fourth quarter, citing a continued soft economic environment and deflation in certain food product categories. The company notes third quarter comparison sales are negative 2.3%.

IBM Corp. (IBM ) agreed to acquire Rational Software (RATL ) in a $2.1 billion deal. Terms: $10.50 cash per Rational share. Salomon reportedly downgraded IBM on valuation. S&P maintains accumulate on IBM and upgraded Rational Software to hold.

Intel (INTC ) raised its $6.5 billion to $6.9 billion fourth quarter revenue guidance to $6.8 billion to $7 billion, saying its Architecture business is performing above expectations primarily due to higher sales in Asia. S&P maintains avoid. Prudential raised estimates.

Oakley (OO ) sees lower than expected three cents fourth quarter earnings per share, before a restructuring charge, on about $100 million sales, and notes sales are about 9% below previous expectations.

Hoover's (HOOV ) agreed to be acquired by Dun & Bradstreet for $7.00 per share cash. Dun & Bradstreet says it expects its 2002 and 2003 earnings per share to be in line with the current range of First Call estimates.

Rainbow Technologies (RNBO ) will cut its global workforce by 8%; as a result, its expects to move its eSecurity division to profitability in 2003. Rainbow reaffirmed guidance for a profitable fourth quarter.

Mandalay Resorts (MBG ) posted 55 cents vs. 33 cents third quarter earnings per share from operations on slightly higher revenue.

CSK Auto (CAO ) posted 24 cents vs. 19 cents third quarter earnings per share on 7% higher same store sales, and expects its same store sales increase to remain in the mid-single digit range for the rest of the year. As a result, CSK sees 20 cents fourth quarter earnings per share.

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