Visx Advances

ImClone jumps, Fidelity National moves higher; plus more of today's stocks in the news

The FDA approved Visx 's (EYE ) CustomVue laser vision correction. Wachovia reiterates outperform.

ImClone Systems (IMCLE ) received a $6 million payment from Merck KGaA for achieving a manufacturing-related milestone under the companies' license agreement for Erbitux; the milestone allows Merck to import Erbitux from ImClone's New Jersey facility directly to Germany.

Fidelity National Financial (FNIS ) offered to acquire all outstanding shares of Fidelity National Information, the loan services unit that is already 66% owned by Fidelity National. Terms: 0.644 Fidelity National shares for each Fidelity National Information share.

Blackberry device maker Research In Motion (RIMM ) says based on a patent case ruling (privately held NTP v. Research In Motion), it will record an incremental accounting provision of $13.75 million to $14.25 million for enhancement to compensatory damage, and $5 million for NTP's attorney's fees. J.P. Morgan downgraded Research In Motion to underweight. S&P keeps hold.

Tennessee's Bureau of TennCare notified pharmacy-benefit management company MIM Corp. (MIMS ) that it wasn't selected as the single provider of all pharmacy benefits for the state. TennCare relationships were expected to generate about $85 million in revenue and $5.5 million in gross profit for the second half of 2003.

Genta (GNTA ) announced preclinical studies show the initiation of myeloma cell death by standard chemotherapy was blocked by Bcl-2, which is the target of Genta's Genasense therapy. Needham reiterated strong buy.

Lehman says a new government project to build a global network with optical and data networking gear could be a boost for companies such as Juniper Networks (JNPR ) and Ciena (CIEN ).

BB&T Capital upgraded U.S. Xpress (XPRSA ) to strong buy from buy.

CS First Boston upgraded ChoicePoint (CPS ) to outperform from neutral.

Oxigene (OXGN ) and Cancer Research U.K. announced they are collaborating on final pre-clinical development of one of Oxigene's most advanced vascular targeting agents (VTAs).

SoundView initiated coverage of Synovis Life Technologies (SYNO ) with outperform.

Prudential downgraded newsprint makers Bowater (BOW ) to sell from hold and downgraded Abitibi-Consolidated to hold from buy.

High-speed network maker Adtran (ADTN ) unveiled a high-density central office DSLAM. Pacific Growth upgraded to overweight from equal-weight.

Blue Rhino (RINO ) posted 22 cents (including items and one-time gain) vs. 12 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 1.7% net revenue rise, beating analysts' average estimates by a penny. The provider of gas grill cylinder exchange services posted 14 cents third-quarter earnings per share from operations. Blue Rhino reaffirmed its 61 cents to 63 cents fourth-quarter pretax earnings per share guidance, and 95 cents to 97 cents for fiscal 2003.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the tobacco industry lost gambit to have ad-fraud claims dismissed in the government's biggest suit against cigarette companies. UBS Warburg downgraded Altria (MO ) to neutral from buy on valuation.

Tenet Healthcare (THC ) CEO Jeffrey C. Barbakow resigned. S&P believes the resignation removes one of the factors overhanging the stock, and reiterates hold.

Shares of Dutch grocery concern Ahold (AHO ) could fall further on a report that Ahold may discover more accounting irregularities after an $880 million profit overstatement earlier this year. Ahold holds several large U.S. retail food chains.

Bear Stearns upgraded Interstate Bakeries (IBC ) to peer perform from underperform.

Jacques D. Kerrest resigned his position as senior vice president and CFO of Harte-Hanks (HHS ) to become CFO of Equant.

KeyCorp (KEY ) subsidiary Victory Capital Management will acquire NewBridge Partners.

AOL Time Warner 's (AOL ) Stephen Case, mastermind of America Online's acquisition of Time Warner, has begun to talk of undoing the deal by spinning off AOL, according to The New York Times.

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