PeopleSoft Cleared to Buy JD Edwards

Yahoo to buy Overture; Gilead soars; plus more of today's stocks in the news

PeopleSoft (PSFT ) and JD Edwards (JDEC ) said Monday that antitrust regulators have approved their $1.75 billion proposed software merger, and that the deal will be completed as planned on Thursday. The decision strengthens PeopleSoft's effort to ward off Oracle's hostile bid.

Echelon (ELON ) is working with Continuon Netbeheer, a Dutch utility grid operator, to examine the deployment of its Networked Energy Services system within Continuon's service territory. Also, Echelon resolved a contractual dispute with Enel.

Prudential initiated coverage of UTStarcom (UTSI ) with buy.

RBC Capital upgraded Sierra Wireless (SWIR ) to outperform from sector perform.

Gilead Sciences (GILD ) sees $236 million to $239 million in second-quarter revenues, better than analysts' median total net revenues projection of $179 million. Gilead noted strong sales growth of Viread. It sees $98 million to $102 million total second-quarter operating expenses. Gilead also presented positive data on Emtriva. S&P raised its estimates, and keeps accumulate.

Overture Services (OVER ) agreed to be acquired by Yahoo! (YHOO ) for about $1.63 billion. Terms: 0.6108 Yahoo shares, and $4.75 cash per Overture share.

J.P. Morgan upgraded Guidant (GDT ) to overweight from neutral.

Prudential initiates coverage on UTStarcom (UTSI ) with buy.

SoundView upgraded Tibco Software (TIBX ) to neutral from underperform.

Continental Airlines says it will defer deliveries of 36 Boeing (BA ) 737 aircraft originally scheduled for delivery in 2005 through 2007. Continental expects to receive deliveries in 2008 and beyond. S&P reiterates strong buy on Boeing.

Compuware CPWR sees $300 million to $305 million first-quarter revenues, and about 1 cent earnings per share. CS First Boston reiterates underperform. S&P reiterates hold.

Citigroup (C ), the nation's largest bank, posted 83 cents vs. 73 cents second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on an 8% revenue rise. Citigroup attributed gains to strong consumer businesses. S&P reiterates strong buy.

Merrill upgraded Intel (INTC ) to buy from neutral and put a $29 price target on the stock, anticipating an improvement in gross margins.

OfficeMax (OMX ) agreed to be acquried by paper Boise Cascade (BCC ) for $9 per share, 30% in cash, and 70% in BCC stock, in a deal with a total value of about $1.15 billion. The deal should expand the paper company's office-products distribution business.

Cigna (CI ) sees lower than expected $1.00-$1.15 second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations, and $5.00-$5.25 2003 earnings per share, citing higher medical costs, and lower medical membership. Wachovia and Prudential cut their estimates. S&P downgraded.

American Home Mortgage (AHMH ) raised the 2003 earnings per share guidance by 27%, to $3.95-$4.05, and upped the 2004 guidance by 31%, to $3.05-$3.15. The company projects a fourth-quarter dividend of 55 cents, and sees $2.20 earnings per share for 2004. Also, American Home Mortgage will acquire Apex Mortgage Capital (AXM ). Terms: Apex shareholders will receive shares of American Home Mortgage valued at roughly $6.21 per share.

Performance Food (PFGC ) sees 48 cents to 49 cents second-quarter earnings per share, down from the previous 50 cents to 52 cents guidance.

Applied Materials (AMAT ) says orders for chip-making tools are showing signs of rising on improved semiconductor demand.

Pilgrim's Pride (CHX ) sees 40 cents to 42 cents third-quarter earnings per share (including a 24 cents to 26 cents non-recurring gain).

Crompton (CK ) sees a second-quarter loss of about 8 cents, including charges for antitrust related costs, facility closures, and severance. Crompton cited higher raw material and energy costs, reduced unit volume, and lower selling prices.

Compuware (CPWR ) sees $300 million to $305 million in first-quarter revenues, and about 1 cent earnings per share.

Bank of America (BAC ) posted $1.80 vs. $1.40 second-quarter earnings per share on 12% higher revenues, 5% higher net-interest income, and 13% lower loan chargeoffs.

E. W. Scripps (SSP ) posted 80 cents vs. 33 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 25% operating revenue rise. Scripps sees 55 cents to 65 cents third-quarter earnings per share.

Fidelity National Financial (FNIS ) will acquire the rest of Fidelity National Information stock that it does not currently own (currently owns about 66%). Terms: 0.830 Fidelity National Financial share for each Fidelity National Information share.

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