Pediatrix Medical Jumps

Bayer slides; Cisco slips; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Pediatrix Medical (PDX ) posted 82 cents vs. 62 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 15% revenue rise, and increased the 2003 guidance to $3.39-$3.43. Wachovia upgraded to outperform from market perform.

Bayer (BAY ) reportedly posted lower-than-expected second-quarter operating profit on a 3.3% sales drop.

Cisco (CSCO ) shares fell after the networking-gear maker warned of flat revenues for the quarter ending in October. After the market close Tuesday, Cisco 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. Wachovia upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform. S&P reiterates buy.

The Kansas Supreme Court Anthem (ATH ) reportedly striked down a bid by Anthem to acquire Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.

Brinker International (EAT ) shares fell after the restaurant operator posted 40 cents, vs. 44 cents a year ago, fourth-quarter earnings per share despite an 11% revenue rise. Brinker sees 45 cents to 47 cents first-quarter earnings per share based on lower July sales at Chili's, and higher pre-opening expenses and costs related to the sale of Cozymel.

Polo Ralph Lauren (RL ) posted 5 cents, vs. 7 cents, first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) despite a slight net sales rise. It sees 57 cents to 63 cents second-quarter adjusted earnings per share, and $1.75-$1.85 for fiscal 2004.

Wellpoint Health (WLP ) is seen lower following CitiGroup's sector downgrade to marketweight from overweight. Citigroup sees good 2004 14% earnings growth, but thinks the stock may weaken before then from pricing concern and slow enrollment.

United Microelectronics will buy back Infineon Technologies' (IFX ) equity share in UMCi Pte Ltd, the Singapore manufacturing venture formed by Infineon and United Microelectronics.

DST Systems (DST ) is in talks with Janus Capital Group in a deal for Janus to transfer to DST about 31.5 million DST shares held by Janus, and for DST to transfer to Janus shares of a DST unit. DST plans a convertible debt offering. S&P keeps hold.

Odyssey Healthcare (ODSY ) shares lost ground after Jefferies downgrades to hold from buy. Yesterday, the company posted second-quarter EPS of 31 cents, vs. 19 cents a year ago, on a 39% revenue rise.

Serena Software (SRNA ) shares were lower after the company said it sees 15 cents to 16 cents in second-quarter earnings per share, excluding intangibles amortization, on $24 million to $25 million in revenue, below its previous guidance. It says several large transactions expected to close at end of the quarter were delayed. Needham cut its estimates.

CheckFree (CKFR ) shares were sharply lower on poor September-quarter earnings guidance. The company reported June-quarter earnings per share of 22 cents, vs. 14 cents a year ago, both before acquisition related amortization charges, 1 cent below the Street's forecast. (GAAP loss was 19 cents, vs. 67 cents loss a year ago). Revenue rose 11%, as all divisions experienced growth. S&P reiterates avoid. Merrill reiterates sell.

Icos Corp. (ICOS ) shares lost ground after the company posts a second-quarter loss of 69 cents per share (before gains), vs. 66 cents loss a year ago. The company sees a loss of $3.00 per share for 2004, well below earlier projection. S&P reiterates hold.

Smith & Nephew (SNN ) says it will not submit an increased offer for Centerpulse AG and largest shareholder InCentive Capital, but says existing offers will remain open until Aug. 27.

Genesis Microchip (GNSS ) and Pixelworks Inc. (PXLW ) terminated their proposed merger. Pixelworks agreed to pay Genesis $5.5 million as a reimbursement for its expenses. CIBC World believes the deal was strategically important.

Research in Motion (RIMM ) says it may have to halt sales of its Blackberry device after a court issued an injunction banning the company from selling its BlackBerry mobile communications product in the U.S. unless it can show in an appeal that it did not infringe on NTP Inc.'s patent. Bear Stearns downgraded the stock to underperform.

The European Union reportedly intends to fine Microsoft (MSFT ) "continuing abuses of its dominant market position."

Prudential (PRU ) posted 25 cents, vs. 19 cents a year ago, second-quarter earnings per share for its Financial Services businesses on a 4% revenue rise. Prudential sees $2.25-$2.40 2003 earnings per share.

Toll Brothers (TOL ) sees 20% higher third-quarter home building revenue, a 35% rise in contracts, and a 31% increase in quarter-end backlog.

Mediacom (MCCC ) posted a 32-cent second-quarter loss, vs. a 31-cent loss, despite a 9.3% total revenue rise. It revised the 2003 subscriber growth guidance to a 2% decline from flat-to-1% down, and cut the 10%-11% 2003 revenue growth guidance to 8.5%-9.5%.

The United Kingdom's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approved GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK ) new drug for the treatment of plasmodium falciparum malaria.

Bombay Company (BBA ) posted better-than-expected 24% higher July same-store sales, and 30% higher total sales. The retailer says given strength in July, it expects second-quarter results "somewhat better" than the previous guidance of a 3-cent to 4-cent loss.

UnumProvident (UNM ) posted 42 cents, vs. 63 cents, second-quarter operating earnings per share on a 7% sales rise. It sees $1.70 to $1.80 2003 operating income.

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