Black & Decker Drops

Walgreen posts stronger earnings; Lowe's and Home Depot get hammered; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Black & Decker (BDK ) reiterates its comfort with $1.01 fourth quarter earnings per share and $3.19 2002 earnings per share estimates. S&P tied the weakness to a warning by important customer Home Depot that the fourth quarter hardware and power tool sales were less than expected. S&P reiterates hold.

Walgreen (WAG ) posted 21 cents vs. 18 cents first quarter earnings per share on 14% higher sales. The current quarter excludes a gain. Walgreen posted 8% higher December same store sales, and 14% higher total sales.

Lowe's (LOW ) reconfirmed the fourth quarter and fiscal 2003 sales and earnings per share estimates, saying its quarter-to-date comparison store sales are within the previous guidance of 2%-4%. Banc of America downgraded Lowe's to market perform from buy.

Home Depot (HD ) cut its $1.57 fiscal 2003 earnings per share guidance to $1.53-$1.55 due to slowing sales in December. Deutsche Bank and Bear Stearns reportedly downgraded the shares. Lehman cut estimates. S&P reaffirms hold.

AdTran (ADTN ) sees 30 cents to 32 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on $88 million in revenue, citing revenue at the high end of guidance, higher gross margins, and lower than expected operating expenses. S&P reiterates hold.

Continental Air (CAL ) estimates a 9%-11% increase in December systemwide mainline jet passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) vs. a year ago. Merrill narrowed its loss estimates.

In letter to employees posted on the company's website, PolyMedica's (PLMD ) CEO says the FBI will contact some employees regarding the investigation of the company's units, Liberty Medical Supply and Liberty Home Pharmacy.

Cadence Design (CDN ) sees two cents to four cents fourth quarter earnings per share from operations, and 32 cents to 34 cents (GAAP) earnings per share on $272 million to $278 million in revenue. The company sees 50 cents to 55 cents 2003 earnings per share (pro forma) earnings per share. Adams Harkness reportedly downgraded the shares.

Kenneth Cole (KCP ) believes it is likely to report fourth quarter revenues of about $117 million to $118 million, and earnings per share of at least 36 cents. The results would exceed prior guidance.

UBS Warburg reportedly downgraded Extended Stay (ESA ) to hold from buy.

Scansource (SCSC ) says revenue for the second quarter were slightly above the midpoint of $235 million to $255 million range previously provided.

Jones Lang (JLL ) will take a $12.5 million total fourth quarter pre-tax charge as the result of a 4% workforce reduction, and an impairment charge for discontinued land investment. Jones Lang continues to expect 2002 earnings per share from operations to be at the low end of the $1.00-$1.20 range.

Southwest Air (LUV ) says it flew 3.9 billion revenue passenger miles in Dec. 2002, a 9.7% increase from 2001, but says its year to date load factor was 65.9%, vs. 68.1%.

Biovail (BVF ) recieved FDA approval for Zovirax cream, a topical medication used for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis in adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older.

Forest Labs (FRX ) expects to exceed the third quarter consensus earnings per share estimate of 77 cents by at least 15%, citing strong net sales volume, primarily driven by the company's anti-depressant franchise. Deutsche Bank reportedly upgraded.

Guidant (GDT ) says preliminary results of a trial comparing the paclitaxel-coated Achieve Drug Eluting Coronary Stent (made by Cook Inc.) to Guidant's Multi-Link Penta Stent indicate its objectives won't be met. S&P reiterates hold. CIBC World reiterates sector underperform.

Buca (BUCA ) sees lower than expected 14 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on sales of $63.5 million.

CNA Surety (SUR ) reached a settlement with J.P. Morgan in litigation relating to surety bonds furnished on behalf of Enron and its subsidiaries. CNA will pay $40.7 million.

RadioShack (RSH ) sees 58 cents to 60 cents fourth quarter earnings per share vs. the 63 cents to 68 cents previously forecast. RadioShack notes below-plan sales, with gross margin trends aggravating the earnings per share picture.

Starbucks (SBUX ) posted 7% higher December comparison store sales, and 22% higher total sales.

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