Comcast Sinks

Louisiana-Pacific rises; Ayaya climbs; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Comcast (CMCSA ) posted 8 cents second-quarter EPS (before gain), vs. a 1-cent loss on a 10% revenue rise. It set a $1 billion stock buyback. S&P says the EPS is below estimates, but reiterates the buy ranking.

Louisiana-Pacific (LPX ) posted $1.72, vs. 9 cents second-quarter EPS from continuing operations on a 74% revenue rise. S&P maintains hold.

Avaya (AV ) posted 16 cents (before items), vs. 2 cents EPS on a 9% revenue rise. S&P reiterates the buy rating.

McAfee (MFE ) posted 8 cents, vs. 11 cents second-quarter EPS on a 3.9% revenue rise. It raised the third-quarter non-GAAP EPS guidance to 12 cents and upped the revenue guidance to $195 million to $200 million. Legg Mason raised its estimates and reiterates the buy rating. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Career Education (CECO ) posted 38 cents, vs. 20 cents second-quarter EPS on 60% revenue rise. Legg Mason downgrades to hold from buy. S&P reiterates avoid. See Pg. 4 , Pg. 5

UTStarcom (UTSI ) posted 32 cents, vs. 33 cents second-quarter EPS as higher costs offset a 70% revenue rise. It revised the third-quarter GAAP EPS guidance to 34 cents to 35 cents, and upped the guidance to $1.65 to $1.70 for 2004. S&P cut its estimate. First Albany downgraded.

Time Warner (TWX ) posted 17 cents, vs. 23 cents (including items) second-quarter EPS despite a 9.7% total revenue rise. Excluding a 2-cent loss per share from its Warner Bros. music business, which was sold to an investor group, the media giant posted 19 cents EPS, which beat analysts' expectations of 15 cents EPS, on average. Time Warner says it's confident it will achieve its 2004 financial objectives.

PeopleSoft (PSFT ) posted 3 cents, vs. 11 cents second-quarter EPS (GAAP) as costs tied to Oracle's (ORCL ) hostile tender offer and other factors offset a 30% revenue rise. PeopleSoft reportedly says it's unlikely to meet its earlier 2004 earnings guidance.

Chubb (CB ) posted $1.85, vs. $1.45 second-quarter EPS (GAAP) on a 12% revenue rise. The insurer raised the $5.90 to $6.30 2004 operating EPS guidance to $6.80 to $7.20.

FirstEnergy (FE ) agreed to an $89.9 million settlement deal that resolves all pending securities and derivative lawsuits filed against the company, certain officers, and directors. The company will take a 3-cent charge in the second quarter.

Avon Products (AVP ) posted 49 cents, vs. 36 cents second-quarter EPS on a 13% sales rise. It raised the $1.70 2004 EPS guidance to $1.72.

Kronos (KRON ) posted 35 cents, vs. 27 cents third-quarter EPS on a 17% revenue rise. The software maker sees $124 million to $129 million fourth-quarter revenue and 47 cents to 53 cents EPS. It also sees fiscal 2004 revenue of $446 million to $451 million and EPS of $1.35 to $1.41.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM ) posted 8 cents second-quarter earnings per share (excluding items), vs. a 13-cent loss (GAAP) a year ago, on a 35% revenue rise. The consensus EPS forecast from analysts polled by Thomson First Call was for 7 cents per share. Please note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Akamai posted lower-than-expected 6 cents second-quarter EPS.

Checkpoint Systems (CKP ) posted 22 cents, vs. 29 cents second-quarter EPS as higher expenses offset a 7.7% revenue rise.

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