Sprint to Slash 2,000 Jobs to Cut Costs

Boston Scientific jumps; Pulte Homes climbs; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Sprint PCS (PCS ) plans to lay off 2,000 employees during the quarter as part of an earlier announced cost-cutting initiative. Sprint's wireless and long-distance units both will record charges in the fourth quarter.

Boston Scientific (BSX ) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ ), rival makers of drug-coated stents, said a U.S. District Court has denied a motion by each company for an injunction against sales of the other's device. S&P rates Boston Scientific as accumulate, while Bear Stearns keeps its outperform rating.

Wachovia upgraded homebuilder Pulte Homes (PHM ) to outperform from market perform.

ImClone Systems (IMCL ) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY ) filed a new-drug submission with Health Canada for the use of its new cancer drug, Erbitux, for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.

J.P. Morgan upgraded human-resources outsourcing firm Hewitt Associates (HEW ) to overweight from neutral.

Goldman Sachs upgraded wholesale and retail food-store chain Supervalu (SVU ) to outperform from in-line.

Antigenics (AGEN ) says the FDA lifted its partial clinical hold on two Phase III clinical trials of the company's personalized cancer vaccine, Oncophage. Antigenics will now resume patient enrollment in Phase III trials. Needham reiterates buy.

UniSource Energy (UNS ), an Arizona-based electricity distributor, is holding advanced talks to be acquired in a Kohlberg Kravis-led leveraged buyout for about $850 million plus debt assumption of some $2 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Delta Air Lines (DAL ) says Leo Mullin, its chairman and chief executive officer, will retire on May 1, 2004. He will step down as CEO on Jan. 1, and as chairman on Apr. 23. Gerald Grinstein will become CEO effective Jan. 1, and John Smith, Jr. will assume the position of non-executive chairman. S&P maintains hold.

Lehman upgraded Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS ) to overweight from equal-weight, and raised its price target.

UBS Financial upgraded Adobe Systems (ADBE ) to buy from neutral.

JMP Securities reportedly upgraded LNR Property (LNR ) to strong buy from market outperform.

Boeing (BA ) dismissed its chief financial officer over the hiring of a Boeing defense official who allegedly possessed insider sales information.

Wal-Mart (WMT ) says November same-store sales are currently tracking in its 3% to 5% growth range. The world's biggest retailer said its stores are now set and ready for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Unifirst (UNF ) delayed filing an 8-K/A for financial statements related to the acquisition of Textilease Corp., after an audit of 2002 financials of Textilease found that the company hadn't properly accounted for postretirement obligation to key executives.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK ) says a U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Geneva Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Ranbaxy in a patent lawsuit, and upheld lower court rulings that invalidated Glaxo's U.S. patents for its antibiotic Augmentin.

Medicis Pharmaceuticals (MRX ) announced that an FDA panel has recommended approval of Restylane, an injectable dermal filler for skin conditions, by a vote of 6 to 3, with conditions, most of which have been previously recommended by the company.

Inamed (IMDC ) and partner Genzyme (GENZ ) announced that the FDA's General & Plastic Surgery Devices panel voted to recommend approval, with conditions, of Genzyme's application to market Hylaform, a product used for skin conditions such as wrinkles.

SoundView upgraded NetScreen Technologies (NSCN ) to outperform from neutral and raised the price target to $29, from $23.

Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI ) says the European Agency for Evaluation of Medicinal Products gave a positive opinion on its European application for a product to treat an overactive bladder.

Dana Corp. (DCN ) says its board of directors unanimously rejected a recently revised tender offer from ArvinMeritor (ARM ). ArvinMeritor terminated its $18 cash per share tender offer.

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