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Knight Trading Confirms Guidance

The market maker sticks to earnings and revenue forecasts for the current quarter and 2004.

Knight Trading


confirmed that it expects fourth-quarter 2003 earnings and full-year 2004 sales and earnings to meet or beat Wall Street's consensus.



market maker said at an analyst meeting Monday that it expects to earn 65 cents to 85 cents a share for full-year 2004 on sales of $760 million to $850 million. Analysts' estimates call for a profit of 68 cents a share on sales of $732 million.

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The results would be an increase from expected 2003 earnings of 53 cents a share on $645.02 million in revenue, according to Thomson First Call estimates. In 2002, the company lost 9 cents a share on $527.36 million in sales.

In its current fourth quarter, the company said it expects to earn 15 cents to 20 cents a share, which is in line with analysts' average forecast of 17 cents a share. The company earned 3 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2002.

In its most recent third quarter, the company swung to a profit of 20 cents a share from a loss of a penny a share a year earlier. Sales were $182.3 million.

Separately, Jersey City, N.J.-based Knight was upgraded to peer perform from underperform by Bear Stearns, which said the company has "stabilized and diversified its business model, distinguished itself as a proven market share leader and positioned itself for continued earnings growth."

The brokerage estimates Knight's full-year 2004 earnings will derive 65% from equity market making, 25% from asset management and 10% from its options business. In contrast, 80% of 2000 earnings came from market making, the firm said.

Bear Stearns also upped its estimates on the company to earnings of 72 cents a share in 2004 from a previous outlook of 52 cents a share. (Bear Stearns makes a market in Knight's equity securities.)

Shares of Knight were off 11 cents, or 0.8%, to $14.49 in morning trading.