Yahoo Beats the Street

CSG Systems tumbles; Big Lots dips; SAP advances; plus more of today's stocks in the news

After the close of trading Wednesday, Internet portal Yahoo (YHOO ) posted 10 cents earnings per share, vs. 5 cents, topping analysts' average estimates for 9 cents earnings per share. Revenues rose 47%, to $356 million.

CSG Systems International (CSGS ) shares fell sharply after the cable services company received an arbitration ruling that concluded there are no grounds for terminating its contract with AT&T Broadband, now Comcast (CMCSA ). CSG says the ruling will hurt its quarterly earnings and revenue; Comcast is CSG's largest customer. S&P and Deutsche Bank cut their estimates.

Big Lots (BLI ) shares fell. The bulk discount retailer expects third-quarter earnings per share to be at the low end of the previous 3 cents loss to 1 cent earnings per share from continuing operations guidance, citing an accelerating consumable business combined with softness in higher margin discretionary categories.

SAP (SAP ) shares jumped after the enterprise software maker said it expects third-quarter software revenue to be about 430 million euros, and total revenue to be about 1.650 billion euros. SAP says the stronger results are supported by better closure rates and closed deals in the third quarter. Pacific Growth upgraded to overweight from equal-weight.

TiVo (TIVO ) shares rose. TiVo and Fox Entertainment's (FOX ) Fox Broadcasting announced that the network will promote key shows in its fall lineup, in a month-long TiVo Showcase that will air in October.

Shares of pharmaceutical concern Biovail (BVF ) after Banc of America initiated coverage with a sell rating and $22 price target.

Cole National (CNJ ), a provider of vision-care products and services, says it's exploring strategic alternatives in response to the receipt of an unsolicited acquisition bid of $19.65 per share from a party unaffiliated with Cole or HAL International, which owns 20% of Cole's common stock.

Avaya (AV ) says it's working with I.B.I.S. to implement an applications suite that integrates Microsoft Business Solutions customer relationship management with Avaya IP Office to small- and medium-sized businesses worldwide.

Biotech supplies concern Amersham (AHM ) has received an approach that may or may not lead to an offer for the company.

Concerto Software (CRTO ) agreed to be acquired by Melita International in a deal valued at about $145.2 million, or $12 per share.

Curative Health (CURE ) shares fell after the health-education provider reduced the third-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) guidance of 29 cents to 31 cents, to 12 cents to 13 cents. Curative Health also cut the $48 million to $50 million revenue guidance to $46 million to $47 million. The company revised its fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) guidance to 30 cents to 32 cents, and revised the revenue guidance to $219 million to $221 million. USB Piper downgraded the stock.

Pizza chain Papa John's International (PZZA ) posted 6.7% lower September domestic systemwide same-store sales, and 4.1% lower third-quarter sales. The pizza chain cut its 2003 earnings per share guidance range to $1.84 to $1.94 (excluding an accounting change).

Costco Wholesale (COST ) posted 51 cents, vs. 52 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share as higher selling, general, and administrative costs offset 7% higher comparison warehouse sales, and 11% higher total sales. Costco posted 10% higher September comparison warehouse sales.

International Speedway (ISCA ), a provider of motorsports activities, posted 68 cents, vs. 56 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on an 18% total revenue rise. After mediocre turnout at the NASCAR Winston Cup race, International Speedway expects a shortfall for Championship Auto Racing Teams, an organization that sanctions car races, and lowered the fourth-quarter revenue guidance to $163 million to $168 million. The company now sees 61 cents to 63 cents earnings per share.

Erie Indemnity (ERIE ), manager of the Erie Insurance Exchange, estimated that losses from catastrophies related to Hurricane Isabel and subsequent storms totaled $74 million, based on claims filed in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Erie also estimates losses of $20 million tied to bad weather that hit western Pennsylvania in July.

WR Hambrecht reportedly downgraded Lexar Media (LEXR ) to sell from hold.

O'Charley's (CHUX ) sees 12 cents to 14 cents third-quarter earnings per share, below the previous guidance of 21 cents to 24 cents.

99 Cents Only (NDN ) posted 5% higher third-quarter same-store sales, and 25% higher total sales. The discount retailer doesn't expect to make the 20 cents third-quarter consensus earnings per share estimate.

Vivendi Universal (V ) signed an agreement with General Electric's (GE ) NBC unit for the merger of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment. The new company, to be called NBC Universal, will be 80%-owned by GE, with 20% held by shareholders of Vivendi Universal Entertainment.

McDonald's (MCD ) posted a 3.7% rise in September same-store sales for Brand McDonald's, and a 3.9% rise in the third quarter (constant currencies). The world's largest burger chain posted an 11% rise in September systemwide sales, and an 11% rise in the third quarter (constant currencies).

Alcoa (AA ) posted 33 cents, vs. 24 cents, third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 3% sales rise.

Ista Pharmaceuticals (ISTA ) says the FDA has accepted Ista's second new-drug application for Vitras for filing and review.

Ceradyne (CRDN ) posted better-than-expected $27 million third-quarter revenue, and expects earnings per share to exceed the 21 cents consensus estimate. Ceradyne says bookings continued at high levels and quarter-end backlog grew to more than $67 million.

NS Group (NSS ) sees a 14 cents third-quarter loss, worse than the 10 cents First Call consensus loss estimate.

ConocoPhillips (COP ) raised its quarterly dividend by 7.5% to 43 cents.

Yum Brands (YUM ) posted 53 cents third-quarter reported earnings per share, vs. breakeven, on a 3.9% revenue rise. Yum says it's comfortable with the 62 cents fourth-quarter reported earnings per share consensus estimate, and sees $1.94 for 2003.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.