Starbucks Posts Higher Profit

DaimlerChrysler chief to depart; Ethan Allen net rises despite revenue drop; plus more of Thursday's stocks in the news

Starbucks (SBUX ) posted third quarter earnings per share of 31 cents, vs. 24 cents, on a 21% consolidated revenue rise. The coffee chain sees 29 cents to 30 cents fourth quarter earnings per share. It sees $1.44 to $1.47 fiscal 2006 earnings per share (excluding option expense). S&P reiterates its hold recommendation.

DaimlerChrysler (DCX ) posted second quarter earnings per share of 88 cents, vs. 69 cents one year earlier, on a 3.6% revenue rise. The automaker sees higher revenues in 2005 than in 2004, with 2005 operating profit impacted by a less favorable currency effects and raw material prices. Chairman of Board of Management Juergen Schrempp is to leave the company.

Computer Associates (CA ) posted first quarter earnings per share (GAAP basis) of 15 cents, vs. 7 cents, on an 8% revenue rise. The company sees 5 cents to 6 cents second quarter earnings per share on 8% to 12% revenue growth. It raised its fiscal 2006 earnings per share from operations guidance to 93 cents to 98 cents.

McKesson (MCK ) posted first quarter earnings per share of 66 cents, vs. 55 cents (excluding a charge), on a 10% revenue rise. The company sees $2.25 to $2.40 fiscal 2006 earnings per share, excluding adjustments to its securities litigation reserve.

Spectrum Brands (SPC ) shares fell after the company posted third quarter earnings per share of 76 cents, vs. 39 cents (pro forma), on a 7% revenue rise. Spectrum sees $2.40 to $2.43 pro forma fiscal 2005 earnings per share, at the lower end of previous guidance; it sees $2.70 to $2.85 pro forma earnings per share for fiscal 2006. S&P downgraded the shares.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG ) shares gained after the company posted third quarter earnings per share of $3.41 (excluding a charge), vs. $3.06, on an 18% sales rise. S&P reiterates buy. JP Morgan upgrades to overweight.

Marvel Enterprises (MVL ) shares fell after the company posted second quarter earnings per share of 24 cents, 25 cents, on a 43% sales drop. Marvel revised its $117 million to $126 million 2005 net income guidance to $120 million to $126 million; it maintains its 2005 net sales and earnings per share guidance.

Ethan Allen (ETH ) posted fourth quarter earnings per share of 56 cents, vs. 35 cetns, despite a 1.7% sales drop. The company believes analysts' current range of estimates for the fiscal 2006 first quarter and full year are achievable.

Alcatel (ALA ) posted second quarter earnings per ADS of 17 cents, vs. 8 cents, on an 8.5% revenue rise. It sees 5% to 7% third quarter revenue growth and raised its 2005 revenue growth forecast to 5% to 8%. It sees €0.60 2005 earnings per share.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, General Electric's (GE ) Universal Studios has held exploratory talks to acquire the closely held movie studio DreamWorks, majority owner of DreamWorks Animation (DWA ), for as much as $1 billion or more, according to people familiar with the matter.

Chiron (CHIR ) posted second quarter earnings per share from continuing operations (adjusted) of 8 cents, vs. 20 cents, as higher SG&A and R&D costs offset a 10% revenue rise. The companmy sees $1.20 to $1.45 2005 earnings per share from continuing operations.

Pulte Homes (PHM ) posted second quarter earnings per share from continuing operations of $2.30, vs. $1.46, on a 31% revenue rise. The homebuilder raised its $9.35 to $9.85 2005 earnings per share from continuing operations guidance to $10.00 to $10.50. It also set a 2-for-1 stock split, and raised its quarterly dividend by 3 cents a share.

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