business

Motorola Beats Estimates

UnumProvident falls; IBM gains; plus more of Tuesday's stocks in the news

Motorola (MOT ) posted third-quarter earnings per share of 20 cents, vs. 5 cents a year ago, beating the consensus earnings per share estimate of 19 cents. The wireless communications company also posted third-quarter revenues of $8.62 billion, vs. $6.83 billion. The company says its personal communications service unit was up 34% in the last year, posting revenues of $3.9 billion.

UnumProvident (UNM ) says it has received subpoenas for additional information, including information regarding its quoting process, following a recent subpoena from New York attorney general's office.

IBM (IBM ) posted $1.17, vs. $1.02, third-quarter earnings per share (before charges) on a 9% revenue rise. S&P reiterates accumulate.

Mondavi (MOND ) received an offer from Constellation Brands (STZ ). Terms would give Mondavi Class A holders $53 per share and Class B holder $61.75 per share.

Health-insurer Aetna (AET ) confirmed that it has received additional subpoenas from the New York attorney general's office since the ones the company disclosed in June, according to the Hartford Courant.

Marsh & McLennan (MMC ) says suspension of market services agreements (MSAs) will negatively impact near-term operating income. The insurer says in 2003, revenue from MSAs were $845 million, or 12% of the company's risk and insurance services revenues, and 7% of total consolidated revenue.

S&P downgraded UnitedHealth (UNH ) to hold from accumulate as today's plunge in HMOs suggests investors are worried about the possible probe by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and election uncertainty.

Ford (F ) posted 15 cents third-quarter earnings per share, vs. 1-cent loss per share a year ago, on a 8.4% sales rise. The automotive maker raised $1.90 to $2.00 fiscal 2004 earnings per share forecast to $2.00 to $2.05.

Altria (MO ) posted $1.29, vs. $1.22, third-quarter earnings per share on an 8.5% revenue rise. The consumer-products maker narrowed its fiscal 2004 earnings per share target to $4.55 to $4.60 and believes it will achieve the high-end of the range should current exchange rates hold.

Texas Instruments (TXN ) posted 32 cents, vs. 25 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on a 28% revenue rise. The company sees fourth-quarter earnings per share of 24 cents to 28 cents on revenues of $2.96 billion to $3.20 billion. S&P views fourth-quarter revenue guidance as "mildly" disappointing, and kept a hold ranking.

Sprint (FON ) posted $1.32 third-quarter loss (basic) per share, vs. a 35-cent loss, as long-distance asset impairment offset a 3.1% net operating revenue rise. The global communications company raised its 3% to 4% fiscal 2004 revenue growth forecast to 4% to 5%. It sees 92 cents to 94 cents fiscal 2004 earnings per share (including lower depreciation expense).

Overstock.com (OSTK ) shares rose after Avondale upgrades to market outperform from market perform.

Jefferies Group (JEF ) posted 51 cents, vs. 35 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on 32% higher revenues.

Food and beverage company Kraft (KFT ) posted 46 cents, vs. 47 cents, third-quarter earnings per share as higher commodity and restructuring-related costs offset a 4.7% revenue rise. The company narrowed its fiscal 2004 earnings per share guidance range to $1.56 to $1.60 (including 30-cents asset impairment and restructuring charges).

Reuters (RTRSY ) posted a 13% third-quarter revenue (actual) drop. The company notes recurring revenue was down 4.4% on underlying basis, which is better than its forecast of a 5% decrease. It also notes that third-quarter gross sales outpaced cancellations for the first time since first quarter 2001.

Continental Airlines (CAL ) posted 24-cents third-quarter loss per share, vs. $1.83 earnings per share, as high oil prices, government fees, and non-income related taxes offset a 16% revenue rise.

Computer-storage company EMC (EMC ) posted 9 cents, vs. 7 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on a 34% revenue rise. It continues to forecast 11 cents to 12 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on $2.23 billion to $2.27 billion in consolidated revenue.

E-Trade (ET ) posted 21 cents, vs. 17 cents, third-quarter earnings per share, as operational efficiencies offset a 13% revenue decline. The company narrows their fiscal 2004 earnings per share (GAAP) guidance range to 92 cents to 97 cents from 87 cents to 97 cents.

Steel-tube maker Maverick Tube (MVK ) posted $1.60, vs. 21 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on a 77% sales rise. The company announced the retirement of President and CEO Gregg Eisenberg, effective Oct. 15.

Stanley Works (SWK ) posted better-than-expected 76 cents, vs. 60 cents, third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 10% sales rise (excluding sales from recent acquisitions). The company raised its fiscal 2004 earnings per share estimate to $2.89 on about 10% organic sales growth. It plans to sell Home Decor operations.

RadioShack (RSH ) posted 43 cents, vs. 34 cents, third-quarter earnings per share on 5% higher same-store sales and 4% higher total sales. It reaffirms its $2.07 to $2.09 fiscal 2004 earnings per share forecast, and 19% to 21% fiscal 2005 earnings per share growth.

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