GE Forecasts Higher Earnings

Citigroup posts higher first-quarter profit; Genentech gains on positive data for breast cancer drug; plus more of Friday's stocks in the news

General Electric (GE ) posted 38 cents, vs. 32 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 19% revenue rise. The company focuses 2005 earnings per share forecast toward the high end of its original guidance, targeting $1.78 to $1.83, for earnings per share growth of 12% to 15%.

Citigroup (C ) posted 3% higher $1.04 first-quarter earnings per share on a 6.2% revenue rise. The company sets an additional $15 billion stock buyback, raising its total buyback to $16.3 billion.

Biotech company Genentech (DNA ) gains after the company and Roche say the interim analysis of Phase III study of Avastin plus paclitaxel chemotherapy in first-line metastatic breast cancer met its primary efficacy endpoint, vs. chemotherapy alone.

IBM Corp. (IBM ) posted lower-than-expected 85 cents, vs. 79 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 3% revenue rise. S&P downgrades to hold from strong buy.

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly (LLY ) says the U.S. district court rules that Lilly's patent on antipsychotic drug Zyprexa is valid.

Sun Microsystems (SUNW ) posted a 2-cent third-quarter loss, vs. an 8-cent loss (non-GAAP) despite a 1% total revenue decline. S&P reiterates hold.

Raytheon (RTN ) is to make a $39 million cash payment in the second quarter related to a settlement on a class action lawsuit relating to its July 2000 sale of its engineering and construction business to the Washington Group. The company sees a 6 cents per share aftertax impact. It expects to meet or exceed first-quarter earnings per share (continuing operations) guidance.

Brookstone (BKST ) inks a deal to be acquired by a consortium led by OSIM International, a Singapore-listed healthy lifestyle products comapny, for $20.50 per share cash.

Petco Animal Supply (PETC ) delays filing its fiscal 2005 10-K. Based on review, the company expects reduction in fourth-quarter earnings per share of about 5 cents to 7 cents and fiscal 2005 by about 5 cents to 7 cents, taking into consideration the nature of under-accrual of expenses. S&P reiterates buy.

Cree (CREE ) posted 27 cents, vs. 20 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 25% revenue rise. The company sees 25 cents to 28 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on revenue of $98 million to $102 million.

Tribune Co. (TRB ) posted 44 cents, vs. 35 cents first-quarter earnings per share despite 1.2% revenue drop. Due to limited visibility, the company is not providing 2005 revenue guidance. It sees 2005 consolidated operating expenses down.

Rambus Inc. (RMBS ) posted 4 cents, vs. 7 cents first-quarter earnings per share as higher litigation expenses offset a 22% revenue rise.

RF Micro Devices (RFMD ) sees a 33-cent to 34-cent fourth-quarter loss (GAAP) on revenue of about $150 million. The company cites lower-than-expected gross profit and greater-than-expected product development costs.

J.B. Hunt Transportation (JBHT ) posted 57 cents, vs. 40 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 15% revenue rise.

Toymaker Mattel (MAT ) posted 2 cents, vs. 2 cents first-quarter earnings per share on flat sales. The company says early 2005 results were disappointing.

Genworth Financial (GNW ) posted 65 cents, vs. 56 cents first-quarter earnings per share. The company is to provide additional detail in its press release on Apr. 28.

Knight Ridder (KRI ) posted 79 cents, vs. 70 cents first-quarter earnings per share on a 1.7% revenue rise.

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