More Woes for Biogen-Elan Drug

Prudential reportedly raises Apple esimates; FDA halts distribution of GlaxoSmithKline drugs; plus more of Friday's stocks in the news

Biogen Idec (BIIB ) and Elan (ELN ) say an investigator changed the status of second case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (tied to use of Tysabri therapy in combination with Avonex) from suspected to confirmed.

FDA halts distribution of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK ) Avandamet and Paxil CR due to manufacturing issues. Prudential downgrades to underweight from neutral.

Dell Inc. (DELL ) sets a $10 billion stock buyback and raises number of shares authorized for buyback by 250 million.

Federal prosecutors are investigating American International Group's (AIG ) financial transaction with Berkshire Hathaway's General Reinsurance unit, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Circuit City Stores (CC ) posted a 1.8% lower fourth-quarter same-store sales and 5.3% higher total sales.

Prudential reportedly raised its earnings estimates on Apple Computer (AAPL ), citing the success of the iPod Shuffle.

Banc of America reiterates Monsanto (MON ) buy as growth accelerates following legalization in of Monsanto's Roundup Ready genetically modified soybeans. Yesterday, Brazil legalized genetically modified soybeans.

Take-Two Interactive (TTWO ) posted $1.19, vs. 70 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 34% sales rise. The company sees $2.10 to $2.20 fiscal 2005 earnings per share on sales of $1.3 billion to $1.35 billion and a 20-cent second-quarter loss on sales of $200 millino to $210 million.

Sonus Networks (SONS ) sees 2 cents to 3 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on $43 million to $46 million in revenue. The company will wait to report full financial results until the completion of audit of financial statements. It says there were material weaknesses in internal controls.

Credence Systems (CMOS ) posted 17-cent first-quarter loss, vs. a 13-cent loss (non-GAAP) as higher costs offset 38% sales rise. The company sees $94 million to $99 million second-quarter revenue and a 14-cent to 17-cent loss.

Weight Watchers (WTW ) posted 41 cents, vs. 35 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 7.7% revenue rise. The company sees $1.85 to $1.95 2005 earnings per share.

Saucony (SCNYA ) posted a 5-cent fourth-quarter loss, vs. 21 cents earnings per share (Class A) as charges and higher costs offset an 8% sales rise. The company sees $1.25 to $1.31 2005 earnings per share on sales of $168 million to $171 million.

Hilton Hotels (HLT ) sets a 50 million share buyback.

Timberland (TBL ) sets a 2-for-1 stock split.

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