Research In Motion Soars

Taser International rises; Electro Scientific advances; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Research In Motion (RIMM ) posted 28 cents first-quarter EPS, vs. a 5-cent loss on a sharp revenue rise. The BlackBerry device maker raised the second-quarter guidance to 32 cents to 37 cents EPS on revenue of $290 million to $310 million, and sees 35 cents to 40 cents third-quarter EPS on revenue of $340 million to $360 million. S&P, Banc of America, and Morgan Stanley raised their estimates.

Taser International (TASR ) was awarded a contract from the U.S. military for Taser conducted energy weapons and accessories that totaled over $1.8 million.

Electro Scientific (ESIO ) posted 54 cents fourth-quarter EPS, vs. a 75-cent loss on a sharp sales rise and wider gross margin. It expects orders in the first quarter to be in the range of $75 million to $485 million. S&P put its estimates under review and maintains the hold rating. D.A. Davidson reiterates the buy rating.

Thoratec (THOR ) sees a 1-cent second-quarter loss (GAAP) on $40 million to $41 million in revenue. Thoratec cited the delay of some of its Destination Therapy initiatives. Lazard Freres and Adams Harkness downgraded.

AutoZone (AZO ) says same-store sales through the first seven weeks of the fourth quarter were down 1%, while retail same-store sales were down 3%. Advest cut its estimates, and maintains the neutral rating.

Imax (IMAX ) is seen higher on reports it is in talks with Sony Pictures to digitally remaster the "Spider Man 2" movie for its giant screen theatres.

Sportsman's Guide (SGDE ) acquired The Golf Warehouse, an online and catalog retailer of golf equipment, apparel, and accessories, for about $30 million cash. It raised the 2004 revenue guidance to 10% to 12% growth and upped the EPS estimate to 8 cents to 10 cents.

Scotts (SMG ) expects fiscal 2004 adjusted net income to grow 13% to 16%. It reported sales growth of 7% to 8%, as says free cash flow was higher-than-anticipated. S&P reiterates accumulate.

GTech Holdings (GTK ) cut the second-quarter EPS estimate to a range of 70 cents to 75 cents, and cut the fiscal 2005 estimate to $2.85 to $2.95. It says a judge granted an injunction ordering 30% of payments due to GTech from Brazil's Caixa Economica Federal be withheld. CIBC World and Citigroup downgraded. S&P keeps the hold rating.

Sears, Roebuck (S ) will buy up to 54 Kmart (KMRT ) stores for $621 million. Last month, Kmart agreed to sell up to 24 stores to Home Depot (HD ).

Cereal manufacturer General Mills (GIS ) posted 74 cents, vs. 64 cents fourth-quarter EPS from operations on a 10% revenue rise. It sees $2.75 to $2.80 fiscal 2005 EPS, including 10 cents to 15 cents in expected costs.

Emmis Communications (EMMS ) posted $36.9 million, vs. $28.6 million first-quarter operating income on a 14% revenue rise. (MAMA ) inked a deal for a $16.6 million private placement of about 1.5 million shares.

Inet Technologies (INET ) agreed to be acquired by Tektronix (TEK ) in a deal valued at about $325 million. Terms: $12.50 per Inet share consisting of $6.25 in cash and about $6.25 in Tekronix stock.

Lexar Media (LEXR ) cut the second-quarter revenue guidance to $155 million to $160 million. It now sees a second-quarter net loss of $17 million to $19 million. RBC Capital downgraded to underperform from sector perform.

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