Updated from 7:11 a.m. EST
( CHIR) said Tuesday night that it will restate the second, third and fourth quarters of 2004 to correct its accounting for sales of its travel vaccines. The revision reduces full-year 2004 non-GAAP earnings to 67 cents from 70 cents a share, and lowers full-year GAAP earnings to 28 cents from 32 cents a share. Chiron said revenue from certain vaccines that was recorded in the second quarter should have been recorded in the third and fourth quarters of 2004, "and possibly in later quarters." In addition, Chiron said it had identified three material weaknesses in internal controls over financial reporting during its year-end review of compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The stock lost $1.31 to $36.70.
( LU) edged higher Wednesday morning after unveiling a slew of overseas contracts overnight, including a pact in which a Chinese company will resell communications systems to oil and gas companies. Shanghai Wantel will be the exclusive reseller of Lucent's optical, data and VoIP systems to China's oil and gas companies. Lucent also announced system sales in China and Germany. The stock added about 2 cents to $3.07 on Instinet.
( PLA) announced plans Tuesday night to sell $100 million of 20-year convertible subordinated notes, subject to market conditions. The money will be used to cover a previously announced bond redemption and consent solicitation and to repurchase up to $5 million of Playboy Class B shares in privately negotiated transactions. The company said shareholder Hugh Hefner plans to purchase up to $5 million worth of Playboy's Class B shares concurrent with the offering.
Higher commodity costs and stabilizing markets led
to boost its earnings guidance Tuesday night. The Tennessee-based chemical firm sees net income at the high end of the existing Wall Street range, which currently tops out at $1.19 a share. Eastman Chemical said continued strong sales volume and cost-reduction measures are also contributing to the improved profitability.
swung to a fourth-quarter profit on a big increase in sales that reflected the acquisition of Vitis, a hospice provider. Excluding items, the company earned 82 cents a share on revenue of $214 million. The Wall Street consensus estimates were for earnings of 74 cents a share on sales of $224.7 million. For the current fiscal year, Chemed expects to earn $3.30 to $3.50 a share; the Wall Street consensus is $3.35 a share, according to Thomson First Call. The stock rose 40 cents to $77.30.
( HUG) said fourth-quarter earnings rose 120% from a year ago to $20.7 million, or 31 cents a share, beating analyst estimates by 2 cents. Revenues for the fourth quarter increased 41% to $1.12 billion, slightly above the one analyst estimate listed on First Call. Hughes' board also announced an increase in the company's quarterly dividend of 38%, to 9 cents from 6.5 cents. The dividend will be payable on May 13, 2005. The stock rose 35 cents to $32 Wednesday morning.
AMN Healthcare Services
reported earnings for the fourth quarter Tuesday night and said its chairman will step down. Earnings fell 8% from a year ago to $4.5 million, or 14 cents a share, on revenue of $158.3 million. Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 14 cents a share on sales of $156.8 million. For 2005, AMN expects to earn 64 cents to 68 cents a share on sales of $654 million to $660 million. Analysts were calling for earnings of 64 cents a share on sales of $663 million, according to Thomson First Call. Robert Haas will also step down as chairman, effective May 4, 2005, but will remain on the board. He will be succeeded by Steven Francis, co-founder and current CEO. The stock rose 10 cents to $14.65 Wednesday.