BEA Systems Climbs

H-P falls after issuing outlook; Univision tumbles; plus more of today's stocks in the news

BEA Systems (BEAS ) shares rose after the business software maker posted fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) of 9 cents, vs. 8 cents a year ago, on a 12% revenue rise. Its EPS was a penny above analysts' forecast. S&P kept a buy recommendation on the shares.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ) posted 35 cents, vs. 29 cents, first-quarter earnings per share (non-GAAP), meeting analysts' average expectations. Revenue, which rose 9%, was helped by the falling dollar. H-P sees about 34 cents second-quarter earnings per share on revenue of $19.2 billion to $19.6 billion. The technology outfit affirmed the current consensus earnings per share estimates of $1.43 for fiscal 2004. S&P reiterates hold. The stock fell as the company failed to provide robust guidance.

Nordstrom (JWN ) posted 74 cents, vs. 44 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on 8.5% higher same-store sales and 12% higher total sales. The department store chain sees 23 cents to 28 cents first-quarter earnings per share on 4% to 6% higher same-store sales, and $2.02 to $2.08 fiscal 2005 earnings per share on 1% to 3% higher same-store sales. CIBC World raised its estimate and target. S&P keeps its accumulate ranking.

CompuDyne (CDCY ) posted 5 cents (including a charge), vs. 2 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 3.5% revenue rise. The company says it's difficult to estimate 2004 results. Friedman Billings downgraded to market perform from outperform.

Wireless Facilities (WFII ) shares fell after the company posted fourth-quarter EPS of 11 cents, vs. 5 cents a year ago, on a 63% revenue rise. Eric DeMarco will become CEO. The company sees EPS of 7 cents to 8 cents in the first-quarter and 39 cents to 43 cents in 2004. Thomas Weisel says investors were disappointed by the company's margins and guidance.

Spanish broadcaster Univision Communications (UVN ) posted 17 cents, vs. 14 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 44% revenue rise. Univision sees 8 cents to 9 cents first-quarter earnings per share on high single to low double-digit revenue growth. S&P keeps hold.

Merrill upgraded King Pharmaceuticals (KG ) to buy from neutral. Wachovia upgraded to outperform. On Thursday, King posted 32 cents, vs. 28 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share (excluding special items). CEO Jefferson Gregory announced he will retire.

Stratasys (SSYS ) sees 80 cents to 90 cents 2004 earnings per share on $61 million to $65 million revenue.

CS First Boston downgraded Micron Technology (MU ) to neutral from outperform.

Johnson Outdoors (JOUT ) shares rose after the company receives a nonbinding proposal from majority shareholder, director Samuel Johnson, and chairman and CEO Helen Johnson-Leipold, to acquire the outstanding shares of JOUT for $18 per share.

Plains Resources (PLX ) agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc., for $16.75 cash per share. The offer is up from the previously announced proposal for $14.25 per share.

Matria Healthcare (MATR ) posted 20 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 26 cents loss, on a 21% revenue rise. Matria confirmed the previous first-quarter guidance of 14 cents to 19 cents earnings per share on revenue of $87 million to $89 million.

Texas Instruments (TXN ) set a 21 million share buyback.

Vaso Active Pharmaceuticals (VAPH ) set a 3-for-1 stock split.

AnnTaylor Stores (ANN ) will be added to the S&P MidCap 400 after the market close on Feb. 26.

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