Toys 'R' Us Climbs

SPS Technologies soars; Lowe's rises; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Toys 'R' Us (TOY ) posted a 5-cent second-quarter loss vs. an 8-cent loss on a 3.3% total sales rise. The toy store chain remains comfortable with the $1.15 fiscal 2004 earnings per share guidance (excluding the impact of an accounting issue). S&P reiterates accumulate.

SPS Technologies (ST ), which makes specialty metals and other industrial products, agreed to be acquired by Precision Castparts (PCP ) for $43.78 per SPS Technologies share for a total, including after-tax option payments, of $575 million.

Lowe's (LOW ) posted second-quarter earnings per share of 75 cents, vs, 59 cents, beating analysts' average estimate of 69 cents a share. The home improvement retailer cited improved weather and continued strength in every product category, including big-ticket items. Sales rose 17% to $8.77 billion. Lowe's expects $2.24 to $2.27 earnings per share in 2003. S&P reiterates accumulate. Lehman raised its estimates and price target.

High-Tech Strategist's Fred Hickey says Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD ) offerings are generating buzz in the industry, according to Barron's.

Thomas Weisel upgraded Tektronix (TEK ) to outperform from peer perform.

Morgan Keegan downgraded OSI Systems (OSIS ) to market perform from outperform.

Access Anytime (AABC ) says its acquisition by First National Bank Holding has been terminated.

Investigators are focused on problems with transmission lines and a generating plant operated by FirstEnergy (FE ), which is seen as a possible source of last week's massive blackout, according to the Wall Street Journal. Merrill downgraded. S&P keeps hold.

First Albany initiates coverage of Quanta Services (PWR ) with buy and a $10 target.

BrightPoint 's (CELL ) Brightpoint Asia unit is in a pact to supply Reliance with Nokia handsets for use on the Reliance Infocomm nationwide CDMA wireless network in India.

J.P. Morgan upgraded Devry (DV ) to neutral from underweight.

NetScreen Technologies (NSCN ) will provide firewall and security solutions to China Unicom for its Internet Data and Managed Services Centers.

Planar Systems (PLNR ), a maker of flat-panel electronic display systems, raised its business outlook to $1.25 fiscal 2004 earnings per share on $275 million sales.

Integrated Defense (IDE ) agreed to be acquired by DRS Technologies (DRS ) for $550 millon including debt assumption. Terms: 0.1875 DRS Technologies share, and $12.25 in cash per per Integrated Defense share.

Catalina Marketing (POS ) delayed the filing of its quarterly 10-Q for the first quarter due to a previously announced review of certain revenue recognition timing matters within its Catalina Health Resource business unit and the base business.

Millennium Pharmaceuticals (MLNM ) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT ) announced they are no longer in an alliance to discover, develop, and commercialize compounds in the fields of Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Patterson Dental (PDCO ) will acquire AbilityOne Products Corp. for $575 million.

Jarden (JAH ), a maker of consumer and plastic products, will acquire Lehigh Consumer Products for $155 million in cash. The deal is expected to be accretive to earnings in 2003.

Health Canada approved Bayer 's (BAY ) Gamunex, Immune Globulin Intravenous, 10%, for the treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and other conditions.

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