Stocks to Watch: Symantec Backs Guidance, Celera in Research Pact

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Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

legal woes aren't over. Four days after the Justice Department unveiled a proposed settlement in its antitrust case against Microsoft, only half of the 18 states involved in the case said Tuesday they could live with the deal. That leaves the other half, or some portion of them, in a position to continue to pursue the software monopolist in court.

Earnings Reports & Warnings

Chico's FAS

(CHS) - Get Report

reported a 6.5% increase in October same-store sales. The company lowered its third-quarter earnings outlook to 31 cents to 32 cents a share, citing higher-than-expected marketing costs and store expenses. Analysts are calling for 33 cents.

Jack in the Box

(JBX)

earned 50 cents a share in the fourth quarter, topping estimates by a penny. The company forecast first-quarter earnings of 60 cents to 61 cents a share and reaffirmed its full-year outlook of $2.18, both of which are in line with expectations.

Panera Bread

(PNRA)

reported third-quarter earnings of 20 cents a share, a penny ahead of estimates. System-wide sales increased 50% to $127.8 million, and the company raised its guidance for 2002.

Symantec

(SYMC) - Get Report

reiterated its revenue and earnings guidance for the third quarter and fiscal 2002. For the third quarter, the company expects earnings of 60 cents to 70 cents a share on revenue of $260 million to $270 million. The company forecast 2002 earnings of $2.30 a share and a top line of $1.02 billion.

UtiliCorp

(UCU)

posted third-quarter income of 58 cents a share, 2 cents better than the consensus estimate. Sales rose 16% to $9.3 billion and the company said it remains on track for 15% growth in full-year earnings.

Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures

Celera Genomics

(CRA)

and Inpharmatica will jointly develop and commercialize a new version of Inpharmatica's Biopendium target and drug discovery platform.

Genencor

(GCOR)

signed a five-year supply contract with

Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

to provide protease enzymes for laundry and dish detergents. The agreement is estimated at up to $600 million and extends the prior relationship between the companies.

Walter B. Hewlett, Eleanor Hewlett Gimon and Mary Hewlett Jaffe, children of

Hewlett-Packard's

(HWP)

founder, said Tuesday that they plan to vote their H-P shares against the company's proposed merger with

Compaq

(CPQ)

if stockholders are given a chance to weigh in on the deal. The William R. Hewlett Revocable Trust is also opposing the union. Additionally, Walter Hewlett said he has been informed that the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has reached a preliminary conclusion to vote against the merger. The family members, the trust and the foundation together own more than 100 million Hewlett-Packard shares, or about 5% of the company's stock. Compaq and H-P said they plan on seeing the merger through. David Packard, the son of the other founder of H-P, also appears set to oppose the agreement.

StorageNetworks

(STOR) - Get Report

and bankrupt Web hosting outfit

Exodus Communications

(EXDSQ)

resolved the outstanding financial matters between the companies. Exodus has agreed to assume all material contracts between the companies. The agreement is designed to ensure that joint customers will continue to receive uninterrupted storage services.

After Tuesday's Close

Amdocs

(DOX) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share, a penny ahead of analysts' estimates. Amdocs' board also approved a share buyback plan covering 5% of the company's common stock.

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

posted fourth-quarter income that came in light of analysts' expectations and projected earnings for 2002 that would also be short of Wall Street's estimates. The company reported quarterly earnings of 23 cents a share, excluding an accounting change and other items. Analysts, according to First Call, were looking for income of 25 cents. The company also forecast earnings of 21 cents to 24 cents a share in the first quarter, compared with estimates of 27 cents, and a bottom line of $1.10 to $1.20 a share for 2002. Analysts are expecting income of $1.22.