FDA: Pfizer Drug Can Stay on Market

Merck higher on news it would consider selling Vioxx again; MCI higher on renewed Qwest interest; plus more of Friday's stocks in the news

Pfizer (PFE ) was higher as the FDA panel votes to allow Celebrex Cox-2 to remain on market. S&P reiterates hold..

News reports says Merck (MRK ) would consider selling its arthritis pill Vioxx again if drug regulators decide heart risks are similar to those of related prescription pain relievers. S&P keeps hold.

According to news sources, Qwest (Q ) says it will submit new bid to buy MCI (MCIP ), raising the prospect of bidding war with Verizon (VZ ).

Federated's (FD ) takeover talks for rival May Department Stores (MAY ) have resumed. The two department-store chains were about $2 a share apart on price, according to the Wall Street Journal.

J.M. Smucker (SJM ) posted 70 cents, vs. 65 cents third-quarter earnings per share (excluding items) on a 60% sales rise. Excluding the contribution of the acquired Multifoods businesses, the company posted 60 cents, vs. 62 cents third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations despite a 5% sales rise.

New York Times (NYT ) agrees to acquire About.com, an online consumer information provider, from Primedia (PRM ) in all-cash deal valued at about $410 million. S&P keeps hold.

Tivo (TIVO ) says as of Jan. 31, 2005, its subscription base exceeded 3 million.

Campbell Soup (CPB ) posted 57 cents, vs. 57 cents second-quarter earnings per share as higher costs offset a 6% sales rise.

Intuit (INTU ) posted 77 cents, vs. 73 cents ssecond-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on 4.6% higher revenue. Due to investments, the company cuts $1.46 to $1.51 third-quarter earnings per share estimate (pro forma) to $1.42 to $1.47 and widens its 4-cent to 8-cent fourth-quarter loss (pro forma) to 5 cents to 9 cents. It sees $1.82 to $1.90 fiscal 2005 GAAP earnings per share.

Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF ) proposed to raise between $150 million to $175 million in proceeds through private placement of convertible senior subordinated notes due 2025 of its unit Lions Gate Entertainment Inc.

Nvidia (NVDA ) posted 27 cents, vs. 14 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 20% revenue rise.

Kintera (KNTA ) posted a 21-cent fourth-quarter loss, vs. a 23-cent loss on sharply higher revenues. The company sees a 17-cent to 21-cent first-quarter loss on $9.2 million to $10.1 million in revenue.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM ) posted 10 cents, vs. 8 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on an 8.1% revenue rise.

Zale (ZLC ) posted $1.91, vs. $1.83 second-quarter earnings per share on 0.6% same-store sales rise and 2.5% total sales rise. Keybanc reportedly upgrades to hold from underweight. Priceline.com (PCLN ) posted 12 cents, vs. 6 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on 8.2% higher revenue. The company sees 7 cents to 11 cents first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) and says it comfortable with analysts' consensus estimate of $1.18 earnings per share (pro forma) for 2005.

ValueClick (VCLK ) posted 16 cents, vs. 7 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on an 80% revenue rise. The company raises 2005 earnings per share guidance to 37 cents to 39 cents. S&P reiterates a strong buy.

Wireless Facilities (WFII ) posted 15 cents, vs. 3 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on 27% higher revenue. The company sees $490 million to $510 million in 2005 revenues.

Advanced Digital (ADIC ) posted a breakeven first-quarter, vs. 7 cents earnings per share on 6.3% revenue decline. Bear Stearns downgrades to underperform from peer perform.

Trex (TWP ) posted a 2-cent fourth-quarter loss, vs. a 5-cent loss on a 35% revenue rise. For 2005, the company expects sales and earnings per share to increase approximately 18% to 22%.

NetGear (NTGR ) posted 26 cents, vs. 12 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on 21% higher revenue. The company sees $105 million to $107 million in first-quarter revenue and non-GAAP operating margin in the 11.3% to 11.5% range. S&P reiterates hold.

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