Apple Beats the Street

Intel gains on revenue rise; UPS falls on lowered fourth-quarter estimates; plus more of Wednesday's stocks in the news

After the close of trading Wednesday, Apple Computer (AAPL ) posted 70 cents first-quarter earnings per share, vs. 17 cents earnings per share, beating consensus estimates of 49 cents earnings per share. Apple had $3.49 billion in sales in the first quarter. The company says it shipped 4.6 million iPods during the first quarter.

Intel (INTC ) posted 33 cents, vs. 33 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share despite a 9.8% revenue rise. The company sees $8.8 billion to $9.4 billion first-quarter 2005 revenue and 55% gross margin. S&P reiterates its hold rating.

Microsoft (MSFT ) CFO John Connors retires from Microsoft to become a partner at a Seattle-area venture capital firm.

United Parcel (UPS ) sees 75 cents to 76 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (excluding a tax benefit), vs. 83 cents to 87 cents guidance. The company sees 84 cents to 87 cents fourth-quarter GAAP earnings per share. It cites slowing domestic package volume growth and higher than expected operating costs. S&P keeps a strong buy.

Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV ) sees first-quarter earnings per share falling short of its earlier $1.40 estimate due to the impact of California storms. It says weather-related delays in home deliveries may shift about 20 cents earnings per share into subsequent quarters. The company still sees $6.50-plus fiscal 2005 earnings per share.

Genzyme (GENZ ) posted a 23% fourth-quarter revenue rise. It raises $1.65 to $1.75 2004 GAAP earnings per share estimate to $1.75 to $1.80. The company notes its fourth-quarter performance is stronger than expected, and acquisition of ILEX Oncology is completed at the very end of the year. S&P reiterates its buy rating.

King Pharmaceuticals (KG ) and Mylan Laboratories (MYL ) says it is unlikely to complete its planned acquisition of King Pharmaceuticals under current transaction terms, or on time. Mylan cites that King Pharmaceutical's need to restate some past financial results.

Deutsche Bank upgrades Boston Beer (SAM ) to buy from hold.

Websense (WBSN ) sees fourth-quarter billings of $51.7 million, about $3.7 million above the high end of previously issued guidance. The company raises $30 million to $31 million in fourth-quarter revenue guidance to $31.5 million.

Bradley Pharmaceuticals (BDY ) lowers its 2005 earnings per share guidance to $1.63 and revenue to $173M. The company cites a faster than expected market erosion of AnaMantle hemorrhoid therapy and earlier competition for KERALAC Nail Gel and Lotion.

Coach (COH ) raises second-quarter earnings per share guidance to 67 cents, above its previous 64 cents estimate. It posts a better-than-expected 29% second-quarter sales rise.

FedEx (FDX ) reaffirms a 90 cents to $1.00 third-quarter earnings per share forecast. S&P reiterates a strong buy.

Taser International (TASR ) rebounds from yesterday's plunge as the company reported that it is possible it may see some delays in orders as agencies test and evaluate potential new entrants.

Tivo (TIVO ) says Michael Ramsey plans to resign as CEO and the company has begun a search for a successor. Ramsey will remain chairman. WR Hambrecht downgrades to hold from buy.

Transkaryotic Therapies (TKTX ) expects 2004 Replagal sales to slightly exceed its $67 million to $77 million guidance. The company sets preliminary Replagal sales guidance of $90 million to $100 million for 2005, and $100 million-plus for 2006.

Neoforma (NEOF ) hires Merrill Lynch as its financial advisor to assist in evaluating strategic alternatives, including a possible sale or merger of the company, in order to achieve greater stockholder value.

PartnerRe (PRE ) estimated claims relating to its exposure to the earthquake and the resulting tsunami in Southeast Asia on Dec. 26, 2004 at $25 million to $35 million.

HCA (HCA ) raises its 52 cents to 57 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share guidance to 68 cents to 72 cents. It cites benefits from the company's refinements to a provision for doubtful accounts estimation process, lower tax rate, and fewer shares. S&P upgrades the stock.

Rare Hospitality (RARE ) cuts 36 cents to 37 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share guidance to 35 cents to 36 cents, or 30 cents to 31 cents earnings per share including a previously reported non-cash FAS No. 144 impairment charge. The company cites the higher-than-anticipated cost of restaurant sales.

Infosys Technologies (INFY ) posts 42 cents, vs. 27 cents third-quarter earnings per ADS on 53% higher revenue. THe company sees 44 cents fourth-quarter earnings per ADS on $452 million to $454M million in revenue, and $1.53 fiscal 2005 earnings per ADS on $1.589 billion to $1.591 billion in revenue.

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