CSC Explores Sale and Plans to Cut 5,000 Employees

Merrill announces an accounting change that will reduce first quarter net earnings by $1.2 billion; Walgreen posts higher sales in March; plus more stocks in the news Tuesday

Computer Sciences (CSC) Due to recent expressions of interest, the company is planning to explore alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including the potential sale of the company. It set a restructuring and plans to cut 5,000 employees. The company sees a $345 million fiscal year 2007 charge and $30 million in fiscal year 2008.

Merrill Lynch (MER) expects modifications and adoption of SFAS No. 123R will result in 1 times, non-cash increase in compensation expenses in the first quarter of about $1.8 billion, reducing net earnings for the period by $1.2 billion after taxes.

Walgreen (WAG) posts 4.3% higher March same-store sales and 9.2% higher total sales. It cites the unfavorable comparison of a March Easter season last year vs. April Easter this year.

Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP) sees 25 cents to 26 cents first quarter earnings per share (EPS) (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) on $133 million to $134 million revenue. It cites a change in its decision to acquire Sourcefire, a shift in product mix, and a slower industry growth pace.

International Paper (IP) announces agreements with two separate investor groups under which it will sell a total of about 5.1 million acres of forestlands for aggregate proceeds of approximately $6.1 billion.

AES (AES) posts 27 cents vs. 3 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations on an 18% revenue rise. It identifies errors in 2003 and 2004 results, and needs to restate those results. It says it is in default under its senior bank credit facility due to 2003 restatement.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) reports that the company flew 5.8 billion revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in March, an 11% increase from March 2005.

Powerwave Technologies (PWAV) cuts $240 million to $250 million first quarter revenue guidance to between $190 million and $200 million. It cites stronger seasonality than expected, as well as slower-than-expected demand from a major North American wireless network operator.

Catapult Communications (CATT) sees lower-than-expected second quarter revenues of about $10.5 million. It says at quarter-end, it had orders on hand totaling over $6 million that could not be recognized because of additional engineering requirements.

Lafarge North America (LAF) Lafarge raises its cash tender offer for Lafarge North America to $82 per share. The company currently has a 53.2% stake in Lafarge.

FEI (FEIC) says Vahe A. Sarkissian has stepped down as Chairman, President and CEO. The board has formed an executive search committee to find a successor.

Manhattan Associates (MANH) sees 5 cents to 7 cents first quarter EPS (GAAP) and 14 cents to 16 cents EPS adjusted. It cites delays in closing software sales and maintains full-year EPS expecations.

3M (MMM) is exploring alternatives for its global branded pharmaceuticals business and immune response modifier platform.

Techteam Global (TEAM) says that before Costa Brava ended talks with the company, Techteam Global asked for a delay in concluding deal pending the outcome of internal investigation into possible misconduct by its CFO. It notes the integrity of financial statements is not in question.

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