NEW YORK – Alexion Pharmaceuticals reported a wider fourth-quarter loss and projected a net loss for fiscal 2006. The deficit for the quarter ended July 31 widened to $32.6 million, or $1.16 a share, from $20.1 million, or 88 cents, for the year-earlier period.
Revenue was $203,000 compared to $4.15 million; a year earlier, Alexion recognized a $4 million milestone payment from Procter & Gamble (PG) related to the APEX-AMI trial. Alexion is managing four Phase III clinical trials involving its lead drug candidates, eculizumab and pexelizumab. Alexion projects a fiscal 2006 net loss of $115 million to $130 million. Alexion shares rose a nickel to $28.08 on Tuesday.
AmerisourceBergen Corp. (ABC) acquired Trent Drugs (Wholesale) Ltd., a Canadian pharmaceutical distributor, for $83 million, including the assumption of $43 million in debt. AmerisourceBergen, Valley Forge, Penn., said it expects Trent will add between one cent and two cents a share to fiscal 2006 earnings. Trent is based in Kingston, Ontario, and generated about $500 million in revenue over the past 12 months. Shares of AmerisourceBergen last traded at $77.87.
Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) agreed to acquire privately held Alias, a Canadian developer of 3D graphics technology, for $182 million in cash in a move to bolster the design-software firm's offerings in several key markets.
Freddie Mac (FRE) said that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will cost it between $150 million and $300 million, after tax, in the third quarter.
Covad Communications Group (DVW) agreed to acquire NextWeb Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based provider of fixed-wireless Internet services for business customers. Terms call for Covad to acquire NextWeb in a transaction valued at about $24.7 million, broken down as $4 million in cash, $19 million in Covad shares and the assumption of $1.7 million in net debt. The deal's expected to close by the end of the year, Covad said. NextWeb's network currently serves nearly 3,000 customers in the San Francisco area, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and California's Orange County as well as Las Vegas. The company finished 2004 with revenue of approximately $8 million, Covad said. Shares of Covad ended unchanged at $1.05 in Tuesday's action.
Delphi (DPH) is preparing to make a bankruptcy filing as early as this week, but may not carry it out depending on the concessions it can win from General Motors (GM) , its former parent, and the United Automobile Workers union, the New York Times reported Wednesday. CEO Robert S. Miller has said publicly that he will file for bankruptcy by Oct. 17 at the latest, when bankruptcy laws change, the report noted.
Entergy (ETR) said it expects costs to restore facilities damaged by Hurricane Rita to be $400 million to $550 million. The company also expects lower revenue from its utility business due to power outages related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Entergy believes it has sufficient cash to fund the restoration costs. The energy company's stock closed Tuesday down $1.57 at $74.42.
Forest Laboratories (FRX) was upgraded to neutral from sell at Banc of America Securities, with the broker citing its view that the Street will view a settlement over Lexapro favorably, its belief that estimates are too low for fiscal 2006 and the company's affinity for stock buybacks.
General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers union are near a deal to cut the auto maker's health-care costs, the Detroit News's online edition reported Wednesday. The deal under discussion could cut more than $1 billion of annual health costs. That's a sixth of 2005's estimated health-care bill, which the paper said could approach $6 billion. Such a deal would affect both GM's current staff and covered retirees, the paper reported, adding that people familiar with the GM-UAW talks cautioned that the two sides aren't certain to reach agreement.
Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) said that a Phase 2 clinical trial showed that LymphoStat-B (belimumab) did not meet overall primary efficacy endpoints of reducing the signs and symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus at week 24 or increasing the time to first SLE flare over 52 weeks. The drug was safe, well tolerated, and showed signs of clinical effect in patients with SLE, the company said. In addition, the company's LymphoStat-B collaborator, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) , has exercised its option to jointly develop and commercialize LymphoStat-B. The companies will share equally in Phase 3/4 development costs, and will share equally in sales and marketing expenses and profits of any product that is commercialized under the agreement.
La-Z-Boy Inc. (LZB) said that a lack of availability of a key chemical component, coupled with a soft retail environment and damage to one of its plants by a tornado, will have a "significant adverse impact" on its results for the second quarter and potentially beyond.
Lexmark (LXK) was downgraded by Citigroup to sell from buy due to the company's profit warning and weakening margins.
Maytag Corp. (MYG) was downgraded at Prudential to underweight from neutral due to earnings deterioration.
Mercury Interactive (MERQE) said that an informal inquiry from the Securities and Exchange Commission has become a formal investigation. The Mountain View Calif.-based software company also lowered its third-quarter revenue forecast to $198 million to $203 million, from $205 million to $215 million.
MIPS Technologies Inc. (MIPS) expects to report first-quarter revenue of $11.8 million to $12 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call currently expect first-quarter revenue of $15 million. The Mountain View, Calif.-based semiconductor component maker said better-than-expected royalty revenues were not enough to offset a contract revenue shortfall.
Molson Coors (TAP) was upgraded at Bear Stearns to peer perform from underperform.
Motive Inc. (MOTV) said that it no longer expects to meet the revenue and earnings-per-share forecasts that it previously issued for the remainder of 2005. The Austin, Texas-based management software company said it expects a third-quarter loss of 20 cents to 27 cents a share, and a loss of 12 cents to 17 cents a share on a pro forma basis. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had estimated pro forma earnings of 5 cents a share. Motive expects third-quarter revenue of $16.5 million to $18.5 million. Analysts estimate revenue of $25 million
Motorola Inc. (MOT) plans to take a pre-tax charge of $90 million in the third quarter stemming from its ongoing cost reduction program. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Motorola said the charge totals about $70 million in severance charges and $20 million of asset impairments.
Neoware Systems (NWRE) now expects fiscal first quarter revenue to be at least $26 million, up from its prior forecast of $22 million to $24 million. The business software company sees profit margins as a percentage of revenue at the low end of its previous estimate of 39% to 40%. The stock closed Tuesday down 13 cents at $16.88.
NutriSystem Inc. (NTRI) expects third-quarter revenue of $64 million to $65 million. The Horsham, Pa.-based provider of weight management and fitness services had earlier forecast third-quarter revenue of $41 million to $43 million. The company also lifted its outlook on new customers to 115,000 vs. 65,000.
Olin Corp. (OLN) raised its third-quarter earnings forecast to 43 cents a share from 40 cents a share. The Clayton, Mo.-based metals and chemical company said the higher forecast is a result of a $15 million pre-tax gain primarily associated with the recovery of environmental expenses, partially offset by increased legal-related costs and lower-than-expected earnings in its operations.
P.F. Chang's China Bistro (PFCB) reported revenue of $203 million for the third quarter, up 17% from a year-ago equivalent total of $174 million. The Scottsdale, Ariz., restaurant operator said same-store sales slipped 0.8% at its Bistro units, which accounted for the majority of sales during the quarter, due to a decrease in customer traffic. The company said it lost 144 partial or whole days of operations due to hurricane activity in the quarter, resulting in a loss of $1.3 million in revenue. The stock closed Tuesday at $46.25, up 8 cents.
Pinnacle Airlines Corp. (PNCL) was downgraded at Prudential Equity Group to neutral weight from overweight, citing short-term issues related to Northwest's bankruptcy that are likely to have a negative impact on earnings. The broker told clients it is likely that Northwest will seek to renegotiate its contract with Pinnacle.
Praxair Inc. (PX) said it expects the impact from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to reduce its third-quarter operating profit by $15 million to $18 million, or four cents a share. The effects of the storms include minor property damage, insurance adjustments and start-up and shutdown costs. It also expects to record a third-quarter $90 million tax charge related its plan to repatriate $1.1 billion in foreign earnings. The industrial gases producer sees per-share earnings of 30 cents to 33 cents, including the tax and storm charges. It backed its outlook for earnings of 61 cents to 64 cents a share, excluding the charges.
Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) sued the Internet-phone provider Vonage Holdings and two other firms, saying they violated patents on technology that enables calls to take place over the Web.
Target Corp. (TGT) said Vice Chairman Gerald Storch has left the company, effective immediately. Shares of the Minneapolis-based retailer closed up 28 cents at $52.10 on Tuesday.
Wolverine World Wide (WWW) reported third-quarter net income rose to $24.6 million, or 42 cents a share, from $21.9 million, or 37 cents a share, a year ago after three of its major operating groups - the Hush Puppies Company, the Heritage Group and the Outdoor Group - posted double-digit earnings growth. Revenue rose 7% to $279.1 million. "With strong third quarter results and an order backlog increase of approximately 19%, we are increasing the company's 2005 earnings per share estimate," the company said. It now sees 2005 earnings per share in a range from $1.26 to $1.28 and revenue in a range from $1.05 billion to $1.06 billion. In 2006, the company sees revenue in a range from $1.110 to $1.130 billion and earnings per share of between $1.38 and $1.44.
Wright Medical Group Inc. (WMGI) forecast third-quarter sales of $73.4 million, or $4 million below its previous outlook. It sees third-quarter earnings of 10 cents to 11 cents a share. The company lowered its sales view, in part, because it didn't meet its expectations for third-quarter recovery in its domestic biologics growth rate, as sales decreased by 10% compared with the year-ago period. Wright also revised its full-year 2005 sales outlook to a range of $315 million to $318 million and earnings view to 66 cents to 70 cents a share.
Yum Brands (YUM) reported third-quarter earnings of $214 million, or 72 cents a share, up from a year-ago profit of $185 million, or 61 cents a share. Revenue rose in the latest three months to $2.24 billion from $2.18 billion in the same period a year earlier. Excluding items, the Louisville, Ky., operator of fast food restaurants earned 71 cents a share in the latest quarter. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call was for a profit of 70 cents a share in the September period on revenue of $2.24 billion. Looking ahead, the company, whose restaurants include Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, lifted its full-year outlook to earnings of $2.64 a share, excluding items. Wall Street's current consensus estimate is for earnings of $2.63 a share. The stock closed Tuesday at $48.27, up 1.8%.