Dillard's Slips

H-P ends lower; Network Appliance climbs; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Retailer Dillard's (DDS ) posted a 60-cent second-quarter loss vs. 8 cents earnings per share on a 5% same-store sales drop, and a 5.3% total sales drop. AG Edwards downgraded to sell. S&P reiterates sell.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ) posted 23 cents vs. 14 cents third-quarter earnings per share, missing analysts average estimates for 26 cents earnings per share. Revenue rose 4.9% to $17.35 billion, but fell short of analysts' forecast for $17.5 billion. The computer and printer maker cited aggressive desktop pricing for the disappointing quarter. S&P maintains hold.

Network Appliance (NTAP ) posted 8 cents vs. 5 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 26% revenue rise. The company reportedly forecast 9 cents to 10 cents second-quarter earnings per share. Wachovia and S&P raised their estimates, but S&P reiterates its avoid ranking. RBC Capital upgraded to outperform from sector perform.

Patterson Dental (PDCO ) posted 43 cents vs. 37 cents (excluding an accounting change) first-quarter earnings per share on a 12% consolidated sales rise. Patterson sees 46 cents to 48 cents second-quarter earnings per share. S&P keeps accumulate.

RBC Capital upgraded EMC (EMC ) to outperform from sector perform.

Deutsche Bank upgraded Staples (SPLS ) to buy from hold. On Tuesday the office-supplies retailer posted 18 cents vs. 13 cents second-quarter earnings per share on an 18% sales rise, and raised the fiscal 2004 pro forma earnings per share guidance to $1.09.

Specialty Retailer Talbots (TLB ) posted 32 cents vs. 33 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 5% total sales rise. First Albany says the second-quarter earnings per share is better than expected, and raised its estimates and target.

Rayonier (RYN ) will to convert to a real estate investment trust effective Jan. 1, 2004. The company will offer undistributed earnings and profits to shareholders in December in the form of a $225 million stock dividend; shareholders will have the opportunity to get some cash in lieu of shares. S&P upgraded.

Photronics (PLAB ) posted 4 cents vs. 4 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 7.8% sales decline. SoundView upgraded to outperform from neutral. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Raymond James downgraded Telephone & Data (TDS ) to underperform from market perform on valuation.

Wachovia downgrades Aeropostale (ARO ) to market perform from outperform.

Crosswave Communications (CWCI ) and its Japanese subsidiaries filed for protection from creditors, and a voluntary commencement of corporate reorganization with the Tokyo District Court. Crosswave says its stock and ADSs will mostly likely lose all value.

Petco Animal Supplies (PETC ) posted 23 cents vs. 17 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 6.1% same-store sales rise, and a 12% total sales rise. Petco raised the third-quarter guidance to 25 cents to 26 cents, and upped the $1.02 to $1.04 fiscal 2004 pro forma earnings per share guidance to $1.11 to $1.13.

Photronics (PLAB ) posted 4 cents (including a 3-cent charge for early debt extinguishment) vs. 4 cents earnings per share on 7.8% lower sales.

Gymboree (GYMB ) posted a 4-cent second-quarter loss vs. a 4-cent loss on a 1% same-store sales rise, and a 4.5% total sales rise. The children's retailer reconfirmed the 25 cents to 27 cents third-quarter earnings per share guidance, and sees 84 cents to 88 cents fiscal 2004 earnings per share.

DeVry (DV ) posted 17 cents vs. 23 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share as charges, previous shortfalls in undergraduate campus-based enrollment at DeVry, and underperformance at its Canadian operations, offset a 7.6% revenue rise. Thomas Weisel reiterates underperform.

Hibbett Sporting (HIBB ) posted 21 cents vs. 17 cents second-quarter earnings per share on a 1.1% same-store sales rise, and a 8.8% total sales rise. The retailer sees 24 cents to 26 cents third-quarter earnings per share, and raised the fiscal 2004 earnings per share guidance to $1.10 to $1.12.

Big Lots (BLI ) posted a 7-cent second-quarter loss vs. 3 cents earnings per share depite a 3.4% same-store sales rise, and a 8% net sales rise. The company affirmed a 3-cent third-quarter loss from continuing operations guidance, and 64 cents to 49 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations guidance.

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