Endo Pharmaceuticals Advances

Novell rises; Ameristar jumps; plus more of today's stocks in the news

The FDA granted final approval of Endo Pharmaceuticals' (ENDP ) application for pain drug oxycodone extended-release tablets, 10mg, 20mg, and 40mg.

Novell (NOVL ) is in a deal with IBM enabling IBM to ship Suse Linux Enterprise Server, which customers license from Novell, with IBM's servers. Prudential upgraded Novell to neutral from underweight after a share price drop.

Ameristar Casinos (ASCA ) raised the $33 million to $35 million first-quarter consolidated operating income guidance to $41 million to $42 million, raised the $50 million to $52 million EBITDA to $58 million, and upped the 40 cents to 44 cents earnings per share to 57 cents. Merrill raised its estimates.

The European Commission reportedly levied a record fine of 497.3 million euros ($612 million) on Microsoft (MSFT ), ordered the software maker to unbundle its Windows Media Player within 90 days, and requires that "complete, accurate" information be given to rival makers.

Red Hat (RHAT ) posted 3 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share, vs. breakeven on a 43% revenue rise. Red Hat says adoption growth rates of Red Hat Linux OS exceeded expectations to date. The company is positive on the fiscal 2005 outlook. Prudential raised its estimates and price target, and rates the shares as overweight.

Roth Capital initiated coverage on Internet customer-service provider LivePerson (LPSN ) with strong buy.

Reliance Steel (RS ) raised its first-quarter earnings per share guidance to the 75 cents to 85 cents range, citing higher metal prices and better than anticipated demand.

Vans (VANS ) posted 39 cents third-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 21 cents loss on a 10% sales rise. The footwear maker and sporting events sponsor says results reflect its base business (excluding skateparks that are expected to be closed). Vans upped its fiscal 2004 earnings per share (GAAP) guidance for its base business to 80 cents to 82 cents.

PMC-Sierra (PMCS ) sees first-quarter revenues above the mid-point of a previously forecast range of $77 million to $79 million. PMC Notes the first-quarter's book-to-bill ratio, with respect to its updated revenue outlook, already exceeds 1.0. S&P reiterates hold.

GTech Holdings (GTK ) announced its unit, GTech Corp., has been named the apparent successful bidder to provide the Washington Lottery with Lottery Product Vending Machines, ongoing maintenance, and support services.

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