Cisco Meets Earnings Estimates

Cablevision drops; Costco sinks; plus more of today's stocks in the news

After the market close, Cisco Systems (CSCO ) reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings per share of 14 cents (GAAP) (vs. 10 cents a year ago), and 15 cents on a pro forma basis (vs. 14 cents a year ago). The pro forma result met analysts' forecast of 15 cents per share. Fourth-quarter revenue was $4.7 billion, down 2.6% from a year ago. And operating cash flow in the quarter came in at $1.55 billion. Cisco shares traded lower in after-hours trading Tuesday.

Costco Wholesale (COST ) shares fell after the retailer cut the 54 cents to 56 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share guidance to 46 cents to 48 cents, and $1.56 to $1.58 in fiscal 2003 to $1.48-$1.50. Costco posted 8% higher July same-store sales, and 12% higher net sales. USB Piper downgraded to market perform from strong buy.

Oxford Health (OHP ) shares fell after the company posted 85 cents, vs. 58 cents (including a 17-cent charge) a year ago, second-quarter earnings per share on an 11% total revenue rise. Lehman reiterates equal-weight, and notes Oxford didn't provide guidance. Advest downgraded the stock to buy from strong buy, saying share price appreciation for managed care stocks could be limited in the second half as 2004 premium growth rates will be below 2003 level unless growth rates accelerate. S&P keeps buy on the stock.

MetLife (MET ) posted 89 cents vs. 69 cents second-quarter operating earnings per share on on 9% higher total premiums. Citigroup upgraded to outperform, UBS Financial raised its estimates, and S&P keeps buy.

Cablevision (CVC ) posted 5% higher second-quarter consolidated adjusted operating cash flow on 8% higher consolidated revenue. Cablevision lowered the 2003 adjusted operating cash flow guidance to between 14%-16%, vs. the previous 16%-18% guidance.

American Airline parent AMR Corp. (AMR ) says due to current market conditions, it won't sell a convertible debt offering that was launched on Monday.

Expedia (EXPE ) posted 30 cents vs. 15 cents second-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on a 71% net revenue rise. S&P maintains accumulate.

Tommy Hilfiger (TOM ) posted 11 cents vs. 3 cents first-quarter earnings per share from operations on a slight revenue rise. The retailer expects second-quarter revenue to decline in the low, single-digit percentage range, and sees third-quarter revenue in the mid-teen to high-teen percentage range. It expects 55 cents to 59 cents second-quarter earnings per share.

Gillette (G ) posted 33 cents vs. 28 cents second-quarter earnings per share on an 11% net sales rise, beating analysts' average target of 29 cents earings per share. The consumer-products maker expects to meet its goal of strong, consistent earnings growth.

Waste Management (WMI ) raised the 1 cent annual dividend to 75 cents, beginning in the first quarter of 2004.

General Electric 's (GE ) Commercial Finance unit will acquire most of Transamerica's commercial finance business. Terms: $5.4 billion in cash. GE will assume $900 million in trade liabilities, third-party debt, and a $2.5 billion securitized portfolio.

Needham downgraded Rudolph Technologies (RTEC ) to hold from buy.

First Albany downgraded optical laser system developer Visx (EYE ) to neutral from buy, citing its material material exposure to financially troubled DVI, a key Visx client.

Scotia Capital downgraded Research In Motion (RIMM ) to sector perform from sector outperform.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN ) says prelimary results of a Phase III study of its pexelizumab drug failed to meet its primary endpoint. First Albany downgraded to neutral from buy.

Metals mining company Anglogold (AU ) and Ashanti agreed to the terms of a recommended merger of the two companies.

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