Nortel Networks Drops

Delta Air shares slip; InVision Technologies rises; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Nortel Networks (NT ) announced Douglas Beatty, CFO, and Michael Gollogly, controller, have been placed on a paid leave of absence pending the completion of an independent review being undertaken by Nortel's audit committee. Shares declined.

In a 10-K filed on Friday, Delta Air Lines (DAL ) estimated its first-quarter loss to be about $400 million, vs. the previously estimated loss of $300 million to $350 million. Delta cited continued pressures on passenger revenue, higher fuel prices, and costs related to the settlement of fuel hedge contracts. S&P keeps hold. Morgan Stanley cut its estimate, and rates the shares as equal-weight. Shares fell.

General Electric (GE ) agreed to acquire explosive detection systems maker InVision Technologies (INVN ) in an all-cash deal valued at $900 million, or $50 per share. GE says it's confident that earnings per share will be at the high end of target ranges of 32 cents for the first quarter and 39 cents for the second quarter. InVision shares advanced.

Veritas Software (VRTS ) delays filing its 2003 annual report on Form 10-K. Veritas will restate 2001 and 2002 results, which will reflect corrections of prior periods and the settlement of tax audits related to the 2000 acquisition of Seagate Technology. Shares tumbled.

Applera Corp. (ABI ) and MDS Inc. settled a patent infringement suit against Waters Corp. Waters will make an $18.1 million payment. Pacific Growth reiterated its underweight rating on Appler, and nots its path forward is littered with other ongoing litigation. Shares fell.

Thomas Weisel transfered coverage of InterActive Corp. (IACI ), and downgraded to peer perform from outperform. (NTES ) received a Wells Notice from the SEC, which states the staff intends to recommend that the SEC bring a civil injunctive action against for alleged violations of federal securities laws.

Wal-Mart (WMT ) forecasted March same-store sales up 4% to 6%.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY ) revised the 2003 earnings per share upward and adjusted results for the prior four years. For 2003, Bristol-Myers revised the earnings per share to $1.59 on sales of $20.9 billion, vs. the previously announced earnings per share of $1.51 on sales of $20.7 billion. The pharmaceutical company says it has had accounting errors.

Banc of America upgraded Monster Worldwide (MNST ) to buy from neutral.

Medtronic (MDT ) announced FDA clearance and the U.S. commercial launch of its EnPulse system, the first fully automatic pacemaker for slowly beating hearts.

Roxio (ROXI ) raised its fourth-quarter revenue guidance due to strong consumer demand for both its online music service and software products. Roxio sees $5.5 million in fourth-quarter revenue for its Napster unit, and $26 million for its software division. Adams, Harkness keeps its reduce rating.

ImClone Systems (IMCL ) posted a 35 cents fourth-quarter loss, vs. a 54 cents loss on a 33% revenue rise.

Xicor (XICO ) agreed to be acquired by Intersil (ISIL ) in a $529 million deal. Terms: $8.00 cash and 0.335 Intersil share for each Xicor share. S&P maintains the hold opinion on Intersil, while Morgan Keegan views the deal as "positive." Shares fell.

Electronic Data Systems (EDS ) agreed to sell its UGS PLM Solutions software unit for $2.05 billion cash to a group of three private equity firms: Bain Capital, Silver Lake Partners, and Warburg Pincus. Schwab SoundView cut its estimates and target.

Liberty Media (L ) will spin-off to shareholders a separate company comprised of its international businesses. These businesses include UnitedGlobalcom, Jupiter Telecommunications, Jupiter Programming, and Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico, among others.

Flowserve (FLS ) told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it's unable to file its 2003 10-K by Mar. 15. Flowserve believes the impact of a restatement and other post-closing adjustments will not affect 2003 earnings per share by more than 5% from its Feb. 3 forecast for 93 cents (including special items).

Schwab SoundView initiated coverage of Broadcom (BRCM ) with an outperform rating, and set a $50 target.

Newell Rubbermaid (NWL ) will sell three businesses (Burnes Picture Frame, Anchor Glass, and Mirro Cookware) to Global Home Products, LLC, an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management. Newell expects gross proceeds of $310 million.

CIBC World upgraded Apollo Group (APOL ) to sector outperform from sector underperform, and set a $90 target. On Friday, the education company posted 46% higher second-quarter earnings per share on a 34% revenue rise. Apollo also forecast $1.77 fiscal 2004 earnings per share.

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