AEP Skids on Downgrade
American Electric Power (AEP ) shares fell after Gerard Klauer downgraded them to underperform from neutral. On Friday, the company posted fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations of 52 cents, vs. 32 cents a year ago, on a 31% revenue rise. The utility company cut 2003 EPS guidance to $2.50 to $2.70 and lowered its dividend.
Lear (LEA ) posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.76, vs. $1.49 (excluding charges) a year ago, on a 10% sales rise. The auto parts maker sees 90 cents to $1.00 first-quarter earnings per share on a 6% to 8% sales rise. S&P reiterated its buy ranking on the shares. The shares rallied Monday.
Schering-Plough (SGP ) shares were lower on news that Andrx (ADRX ) and Perrigo (PRGO ) plan to manufacture and supply a generic version of allergy drug Claritin. SG Cowen reportedly downgraded SGP to market perform from outperform.
CS First Boston downgraded Beazer Homes (BZH ) to neutral from outperform. CSFB analyst Ivy Zelman expects below average same-store order growth and tough comps begining in April. On Friday, the company posted first-quarter EPS of $2.75, and reiterated its $12.25 fiscal year 2003 EPS guidance.
Ross Stores (ROST ) shares fell after Gerard Klauer downgraded them to underperform from netural. Pacific Growth views the weakness in the stock price as buying opportunity.
Avid Technology (AVID ) shares were down. The company and Wall Street sources tell S&P MarketScope they are hearing rumors of a report from OffWallStreet.com. USB Piper Jaffray reiterated its outperform rating.
Tyson Foods (TSN ) shares were down after the company posted first-quarter earnings per share of 15 cents (before one-time charges), vs. 36 cents, on a 1.1% revenue decline. The food company sees operating EPS of 10 cents to 14 cents in the second quarter and 90 cents to $1.00 in fiscal year 2003. S&P reiterated buy ranking.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ ) says it will take a fourth-quarter charge to reimburse Amgen (AMGN ) for its reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in a license dispute between the two companies.
Kimberly-Clark (KMB ) posted 76 cents, vs. 82 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share from operations on flat revenue. The company expects first quarter earnings per share from operations to be similar to or slightly better than the fourth quarter 2002; 2003 will be, at minimum, equal to 2002.
Scansoft (SSFT ) shares fell after the company trimmed its operating EPS guidance for 2002 from 26 cents to 25 cents on revenue of $106.5 million to $107 million. The company noted sluggish purchasing in corporate and VAR markets in North America. It sees operating EPS for 2003 of 33 cents to 35 cents.
Ace Ltd. (ACE ) shares rose after the company says it sees fourth-quarter operating EPS of 92 cents. The company says it will take a $354 million after-tax charge in the fourth quarter for asbestos reserve. It says total asbestos reserves are now at the high end of the range calculated by internal analysis.
Action Performance (ATN ) shares fell after the company reported first-quarter earnings per share of 44 cents, vs. 46 cents a year ago, as higher costs and expenses offset a 2% sales rise. The company sees EPS of 44 cents to 56 cents in the second-quarter and $2.85 to $3.00 in fiscal year 2003. USB Piper Jaffray downgraded the stock to outperform from strong buy.
Bear Stearns upgraded Yellow Corp (YELL ), Arkansas Best (ABFS ), and Roadway (ROAD ), to peer perform from underperform. On Friday, Yellow posted fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations of 50 cents. Hilton Hotels (HLT ) reported fourth-quarter earnings per share of 11 cents, vs. 1 cent a year ago, on 7.9% revenue rise. With visibility remaining low for the lodging industry, the company now sees first-quarter earnings per share of 5 cents on $930 million in revenues, and mid-to-high 40 cents range for 2003 EPS on $4 billion in revenues.
UBS Warburg reportedly upgraded BellSouth (BLS ), Verizon (VZ ), and SBC Communications (SBC ) to neutral from reduce.
Safeco (SAFC ) posted 42 cents, vs. 6 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on 7.4% higher net premiums written.
Trimble Navigation (TRMB ) sees 26 cents to 27 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (13 cents to 14 cents GAAP) on $124 million in revenue vs. previous its guidance for 18 cents to 20 cents earnings per share on $113 to $115 million in revenue.
Peet's Coffee (PEET ) expects fourth-quarter earnings per share to be at the high end of analysts' 15 cents to 17 cents estimates on about an 11% sales rise. The company sees 2002 earnings per share at the high end of the 35 cents to 40 cents range.
Idexx Labs (IDXX ) posted 36 cents, vs. 28 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on an 11% revenue rise. Idexx sees 30 cents to 31 cents first-quarter earnings per share. The company raised its $1.50 2003 earnings per share guidance to $1.55.
Energizer (ENR ) posted 95 cents, vs. 76 cents, first-quarter earnings per share despite flat sales.
Beckman Coulter (BEC ) posted 90 cents (before litigation related charge), vs. 75 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 3% sales rise. Beckman sees a 2% to 4% first quarter 2003 sales rise, 5.5% to 6.5% 2003 sales growth (depending on currency moves), and operating earnings per share growth of 11% to 14%
International Flavors (IFF ) posted 41 cents, vs. 30 cents (including amortization), fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 5% sales rise. The company sees 47 cents to 50 cents first-quarter earnings per share on flat sales (local currency), and $2.12-$2.20 2003 earnings per share from operations.
Emcor Group (EME ) sees $4 billion in 2002 revenue and $4.07 earnings per share. The company sees $4.4 billion to $4.6 billion in 2003 revenue and $4.25 to $4.60 earnings per share.
Unilever (UN ) expects 2002 underlying sales in its leading brands to have grown by 5.4%, vs. 4.5% to 5.0% prior forecast.