Stocks to Watch: Benchmark Climbs, but Genesis Micro Drops
The Day's WinnersA.C. Moore (ACMR) was gaining 4% to $44.74 after the company boosted its second-quarter outlook. The company, which operates arts and crafts stores, said its second-quarter sales were up 23% to $82.9 million from $67.1 million a year ago, while same-store sales were up 10%. Based on the sales performance, A.C. Moore said it now expects to exceed both Wall Street's consensus estimate of earnings of 2 cents a share and its own previous guidance of 2 cents to 3 cents. Benchmark Electronics (BHE) was climbing 6% to $27.72 after the company raised its sales and profit expectations for the second quarter. The circuit board and telecommunications equipment maker said it will earn between 29 cents and 31 cents a share on revenue of $380 million to $390 million. Wall Street had been looking for 26 cents a share. Benchmark also said that its third-quarter results should be flat to slightly up from the second-quarter's numbers.
Forest products company Georgia-Pacific (GP) tacked on 3.4% to $23.59 on an upgrade from CIBC World Markets. The brokerage firm moved Georgia-Pacific to buy from hold due to the company's ongoing restructuring efforts and what it called the company's "compelling valuation." CIBC said the stock appears to be priced too low to be ignored, despite the ongoing uncertainty with unresolved asbestos litigation and the company's debt level. Shares of Noven Pharmaceuticals (NOVN) were rising 2% to $19.97 after the company said its second-quarter earnings will exceed its earlier forecast. Noven, which makes drug delivery skin patches, said it expects to earn more than its earlier 14 cents to 17 cents guidance, but the company didn't offer any more details. Analysts are looking for 17 cents a share in the quarter.
The Day's LosersShares of Aspen Technology (AZPN) were plunging 40% to $4.19 after the company warned of a fourth-quarter revenue shortfall. Aspen said its revenue will be between $84 million and $85 million, down 8% from prior guidance of $92 million and below the consensus estimate of $86 million. Aspen said that, based on these numbers, it expects to post a loss of $4 million to $6 million for the quarter. The company blamed customer order delays and the uncertain market for the shortfall. Genesis Microchip (GNSS) was dropping 7% to $6.82 on a downgrade from Prudential. The brokerage house cut its rating on Genesis to hold from buy based on a negative pricing outlook for Genesis' 15-inch IC products. Prudential also slashed its price target on the stock to $5 from $15. Knight Trading Group (NITE) was shedding 8% to $4.29 after announcing a 10% workforce reduction and warning of lower than expected second-quarter results. The company expects to lose 4 cents to 6 cents a share in the quarter, excluding charges. Wall Street had been looking for break-even results. Knight also said it will take charges up to 15 cents a share, including up to 4 cents for the staff reduction. Knight added that its domestic equity operations remained profitable, but market conditions continued to affect all of its other businesses. Overland Storage (OVRL) slid 5% to $13.78 after warning that order delays will cause its fourth-quarter results to be lower than expected. The company sees revenue in excess of $34 million for the quarter, but that's still below the company's original forecast and the consensus estimate of $41.9 million. Going forward, Overland said it has added a new customer that will contribute to earnings and revenue in the first half of 2003.
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