American Power Conversion ( APCC) tacked on 3% to $11.07 despite a drop in second-quarter earnings. The company posted earnings of 15 cents a share, down from 18 cents a year ago, but ahead of the consensus estimate of 13 cents. Sales fell to $308.2 million from $356 million last year, but revenue increased sequentially for the first time in over a year. The stock was upgraded to buy from market perform by Adams Harkness after the results. Noven Pharmaceuticals ( NOVN) was climbing 21% to $12.24 after the company reported higher-than-expected second-quarter profits on strong sales of its drug delivery patches. The company earned $6.6 million, or 28 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $3.2 million, or 14 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had been expecting about 17 cents a share. Revenue was up 28% to $16.2 million. Shares of Tekelec ( TKLC) climbed 27% to $8.30 after the telecom-equipment maker said second-quarter profits tripled. The company earned $6.3 million, or 10 cents a share, excluding charges, up from $2.1 million, or 3 cents a share, last year. Previously, Tekelec had predicted earnings of 5 cents to 6 cents a share in the quarter, while analysts had been looking for 5 cents. For the third quarter, the company forecast earnings of 8 cents to 10 cents. Walgreen ( WAG) was up 2% to $34.67 after reporting a July same-store sales increase of 11%. The company said total sales for the month were up almost 17% to $2.41 billion, while pharmacy sales jumped 22%. Wild Oats Markets ( OATS) added 7% to $11.96 after the natural food retailer earned $1.5 million, or 6 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared with a loss of $381 million, or $1.55 a share, a year ago. Wall Street had been expecting 4 cents a share. Sales were up 3% to $236.2 million, and the company forecast earnings of 27 cents to 28 cents for the year, ahead of estimates of 22 cents.
The Day's Losers
Astro Power ( APWR) fell 5% to $9.44 after posting lower earnings. The solar power products maker said it earned $365,000, or 2 cents a share, in the latest quarter, down from $1.7 million, or 7 cents a share a year ago. Analysts had been looking for 11 cents a share. The stock was downgraded by Wachovia Securities, First Albany, RBC Capital Markets, Stephens and Wedbush Morgan on the news. Marvell Technology ( MRVL) lost 18% to $13.88 on a downgrade from Salomon Smith Barney to outperform from buy. The firm said it has concerns about Marvell's long-term gross margins, noting that pricing in the company's two most important markets is eroding. Salomon cut its 2003 and 2004 estimates on the company and also lowered its price target on the stock to $22 from $42. National Semiconductor ( NSM) was falling 6% to $16.09 after reducing its first-quarter sales guidance. The company now expects the first quarter to be flat with the fourth quarter's $419.5 million, down from earlier guidance of growth of 6% to 8%. The company said overall order rates were less than anticipated in June, but have now improved and are more consistent with earlier estimates. The order slowdown was particularly strong for PC products and related peripherals, the company said. Shares of discount retailer Ross Stores ( ROST) dropped 7% to $33.54 on a downgrade by Morgan Stanley. The brokerage firm lowered its rating on Ross to equal-weight from overweight on valuation concerns, adding that the company's sales and earnings comparisons with year-ago results will get more difficult from here.