MCI Rejects Qwest Bid

Annheuser-Busch sees decreased domestic beer sales; Research in Motion posts a loss; plus more of Wednesday's stocks in the news

MCI Inc.'s (MCIP ) board voted that Qwest's (Q ) bid in its current form, taken as a whole, was not superior to its merger agreement with Verizon (VZ ). Qwest says it weighing its options and shareholders will dictate the next steps in the process.

Anheuser-Busch (BUD ) says first-quarter domestic beer sales-to-wholesalers decreased 2.7% to 24.4 million barrels and domestic beer wholesaler sales-to-retailers were down 1% due to generally weak industry volume conditions.

Research In Motion (RIMM ) posted a 1-cent fourth-quarter loss, vs. 23 cents earnings per share, as litigation related costs offset a 92% revenue rise. The Blackberry maker eportedly sees 51 cents to 56 cents first-quarter earnings per share. Genentech Inc. (DNA ), Biogen IDEC (BIIB ), and Roche announce that Phase III clinical study of Rituxan signficantly improved symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who inadequately responded to anti-TNF therapies.

Wendy's International (WEN ) posted 5.1% lower March U.S. company restaurant same-store sales. The fast-food chain expects first-quarter earnings per share to be below 42 cents a year-ago and cites shift of Easter holiday and inclement weather. The company expects higher beef prices in the second quarter and backs fiscal 05 guidance.

Siebel Systems (SEBL ) sees first-quarter total revenue of $297 million to $300 million and breakeven to 1 cent earnings per share, excluding edocs acquisition charge. S&P downgrades to sell from hold. Wachovia downgrades to underperform.

Merrill upgrades Altera Corp. (ALTR ) to buy from neutral.

Weyerhaeuser Co. (WY ) says it will appeal to U.S. District Court in Georgia and a decision by the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge awarding $460 million to a Litigation Claims Representative of Paragon Trade Brands Inc.

Whole Foods Markets (WFMI ) raises its quarterly dividend 32%.

Bob Evans Farms (BOBE ) posted 4.3% lower March same-store sales in "core" Bob Evans Restaurants. The company says renewed softness appears to reflect timing of its marketing programs and a significant increase in gasoline prices.

In response to Consumers Union's Consumer Reports magazine article, Sharper Image (SHRP ) reaffirms that its Ionic Breeze Silent Air Purifiers are effective air cleaners and safe.

Serono S.A. ADS (SRA ) discontinues two phase 3 clinical trial programs: Onercept (recombinant tumor necrosis factor binding protein) in moderate-to-severe psoriasis; Canvaxin in Stage IV melanoma, licensed from Cancervax.

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