Cisco Inches Past Targets

Cytyc gets slammed; EchoStar advances; plus more of today's stocks in the news

After the close of trading Tuesday, Cisco Systems (CSCO ) posted third-quarter operating earnings per share of 15 cents, vs. 11 cents, a penny better than Wall Street expected. On a GAAP basis, Cisco reported 14 cents earnings per share, vs. 10 cents. Revenue fell 4.2%, to $4.62 billion. Cisco, a maker of networking gear for the Internet, completed its acquisition of network security software developer Okena in the third quarter.

S&P says Cytyc's (CYTC ) stock is down on news that the FDA approved enhanced labeling for rival TriPath Imaging's (TPTH ) liquid-based cytology system. S&P reiterates hold on Cytyc. Wells Fargo downgraded Cytyc to hold from buy. H.C. Wainwright reiterates outperform on TriPath.

Cable and pay television company EchoStar Communications (DISH ) posted 12 cents first-quarter earnings per share vs. a loss of 20 cents (including an accounting charge) on a 23% revenue rise. SG Cowen reiterates strong buy, noting subscriber growth continues at unprecedented levels.

Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI ) posted 44 cents vs. 34 cents first-quarter earnings per share (pro forma) on 18% higher net revenue. It says it's on target to launch 12 products in 2003. Watson sees 43 cents to 45 cents second-quarter earnings per share on $330 million to $350 million revenue. Merrill upgraded Watson to buy from neutral.

WebMD (HLTH ) posted 10 cents vs. 5 cents first-quarter earnings per share from operations on a 4% revenue rise. It appointed Roger C. Holstein as CEO. Although the health-information web site is comfortable with its previous 2003 guidance, it could be at the lower end of guidance in the second quarter. Thomas Weisel and WR Hambrecht cut their estimates.

XM Satellite (XMSR ) and Wal-Mart will team up to offer Delphi Corp's XM SKYfi satellite radio receiver. SG Cowen rates outperform.

ReHab Group (RHB ) posted lower than expected 25 cents vs. 22 cents first-quarter earnings per share on slightly higher operating revenue. S&P put its estimates under review, and reiterates accumulate.

Broadwing (BRW ) posted 16 cents first-quarter earnings per share vs. a 17-cent loss from continuing operations on an 11% revenue rise. S&P reiterates avoid.

KOS Pharmaceuticals (KOSP ) posted 35 cents first-quarter earnings per share vs. a 79 cents loss on sharply higher revenues (including a $11 million benefit). Excluding the effect of a change in product return estimates, KOS posted 8 cents first-quarter earnings per share. It raised the 2003 earnings per share forecast to 65 cents to 75 cents. The company's lead product, Niaspan, is used to treat cholesterol disorders.

Party City (PCTY ) posted an 11-cent third-quarter loss vs. a 1-cent loss on 2.4% lower same store company-owned sales. The retailer of party supplies sees flat to low single-digit fourth-quarter same store sales growth. It withdrew its previous fiscal 2003 guidance due to the weak economy and an organizational transition.

CompuCredit (CCRT ) posted 67 cents vs. 2 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 42% rise in average managed loans.

Gillette (G ), the world's largest maker or razor blades and batteries, posted 25 cents vs. 21 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 14% net sales rise. Gillette said profit rose on the weaker dollar and consumers stocking up on batteries amid homeland security concerns. Analysts were expecting an average of 24 cents earnings per share.

Ted Turner divested himself of 60 million AOL Time Warner (AOL ) reducing his stake by more than half, at a value of close to $800 million. J.P. Morgan says the sale represents a 1.5% jump in AOL's float and is roughly equal to three days of average trading volume in the stock.

Sciclone Pharmaceuticals (SCLN ) says SARS related export sales to China are expected to drive sales of Zadaxin, a lead immune system enchancing drug, to more than $15 million for the second quarter, vs. $5 million in the first quarter.

Insurance and financial services firm MetLife (MET ) posted 62 cents vs. 54 cents first-quarter operating earnings per share on 9% higher total premiums and fees. Analysts were expecting earnings per share of 65 cents.

Sonic Solutions (SNIC ) posted 1 cent vs. 4 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on a 39% revenue rise. Sonic sees 6 cents to 8 cents first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on $11 million to $11.5 million revenue, and 7 cents to 9 cents (non-GAAP). WR Hambrecht downgraded to hold from buy.

Ionics (ION ) posted 3 cents vs. 8 cents first-quarter earnings per share as higher costs offset a 10% revenue rise.

Burger chain Wendy's (WEN ) posted 2.8% lower April U.S. company restaurant same store sales. It continues to target $2.02 to $2.08 2003 earnings per share.

Yankee Candle (YCC ) filed for a 12.5 million secondary share offering.

Citizens Communications (CZN ) posted 45 cents vs. 30 cents first-quarter earnings per share despite a 4% decline in revenue.

Legg Mason (LM ) posted 71 cents vs. 67 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share despite a 2.7% net revenue fall.

Lehman downgraded Adobe Systems (ADBE ) to underweight from equalweight.

Toll Brothers (TOL ) posted a preliminary 12% rise in second-quarter home building revenue, a 2% rise in deliveries of homes, and a 3% rise in home contracts. S&P reiterates hold.

Quanta Services (PWR ) posted a four-cent first-quarter loss vs. a $5.56 loss (including charges related to a change in an accounting principle) on 18% lower revenues. Quanta sees 25 cents to 30 cents second-quarter earnings per share.

McDATA (MCDTA ) sees $102 million to $103 million first-quarter revenue. The data storage company sees 5 cents first-quarter earnings per share (excluding charges), compared with the 2 cents to 4 cents guidance. McDATA sees 4 cents first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP). S&P reiterates avoid.

J D Edwards (JDEC ) sees breakeven to 1-cent second-quarter earnings per share (pro forma) on $200 million to $205 million in revenue. The enterprise software maker says it had anticipated that more large transactions would close in the quarter. Needham cut its estimates. S&P keeps hold.

Able Laboratories (ABRX ) posted 6 cents vs. 10 cents first-quarter earnings per share as a 4-cent per share provision for income tax offset a 61% net sales increase. First Albany cut its estimates.

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