Dollar General Advances

Miller Exploration to be acquired by Edge Petroleum; JetBlue shares sink; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Dollar General (DG ) posted 18 cents vs. 14 cents 1Q EPS on a 4.2% same store sales rise. It sees 4%-6% fiscal 2004 same store sales rise, and 13%-15% higher total sales. CIBC World upgraded to sector perform. S&P keeps hold.

Miller Exploration (MEXP ) agreed to be acquired by Edge Petroleum in a $12.7 million deal. Terms: For each Miller share, holders will get Edge stock valued at $4.70-$5.00, based on Edge's closing price for a 20-day trading period.

Morgan Stanley downgraded JetBlue Airways (JBLU ) to equal-weight from overweight.

CommerceSouth (COSO ) agreed to be acquired by Banctrust Financial (BFTG ) in a $75 million deal. Terms: A mix of cash and stock worth about $25.50 for each CommerceSouth share; the cash to be paid is set at $12.75 per share.

CIBC World downgraded Genentech (DNA ) to sector perform from sector outperform.

Homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV ) posted $1.60 vs. 80 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 21% revenue rise. It raised the $5.25-$5.50 fiscal 2003 earnings per share forecast to $6.50-$6.75, and set a $7.50 fiscal 2004 guidance.

Deloitte & Touche LLP resigned as Neoforma 's (NEOF ) independent auditor, effective immediately.

National Commerce Financial (NCF ) announced the resignation of CEO E.C. Roessler, and appointed W.R. Reid as the new CEO. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Agile Software (AGIL ) posted a 5-cent fourth-quarter loss vs. a 24-cent loss on a 26% revenue rise. Agile posted a 6-cent fourth-quarter loss vs. a 39-cent loss (GAAP).

West Marine (WMAR ) posted 27% higher net sales for the four week period ending May 24, and 1.5% lower same store sales, which is slightly better than the expected 3% decline. The boating supplies chain says it's comfortable with the $1.03 second-quarter earnings per share and flat June comp-sales forecast.

Take-two Interactive (TTWO ) posted 36 cents vs. 25 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 14% net sales rise, beating analysts' average estimates of 35 cents per share. Take-Two sees 16 cents third-quarter earnings per share, and raised the fiscal 2003 earnings per share guidance to $2.28.

Qwest Communications (Q ) posted 9 cents first-quarter earnings per share (including a gain) vs. a $14.32 per-share loss (including a $13.36 charge). Revenue fell 9.4% to $3.63 billion. The local telephone company sees the rate of annual revenue decline in the mid-single digit range, and sees roughly breakeven 2003 cash flow from continuing operations.

Allos Therapeutics (ALTH ) will submit a new-drug application to the FDA to market RSR13 (efaproxiral) as a treatment for brain metastases from breast cancer. It notes RSR13 has fast-track designation, and Allos will begin a rolling submission of the application early in the third quarter.

Merck (MRK ) has filed plans to spin off its pharmacy benefit management unit Medco Health Solutions to Merck shareholders.

Tech Data (TECD ) posted 38 cents vs. 60 cents first-quarter earnings per share on flat sales. Tech Data sees $3.9 billion to $4.05 billion second-quarter sales, and 34 cents to 38 cents earnings per share. CS First Boston downgraded to neutral. S&P reiterates hold.

La-Z Boy (LZB ) posted 45 cents vs. 41 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share as higher operating margin offset a 9.4% sales drop. Given the likely declining level of sales, it could possibly take extended summer vacation plant shutdowns. The furniture maker suspended specific financial guidance.

Scholastic (SCHL ) will cut its workforce by 4% (about 400 employees), and will take an after-tax special fourth-quarter charge of about $7 million, or 17 cents per share.

Veritas (VTS ) posted 14 cents (including a 9-cent charge) vs. 25 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 10% revenue rise.

Chico's (CHS ) posted 27 cents vs. 23 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 7.8% same store sales rise, and a 30% net sales rise.

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