U.S. stocks to watch
Esco Electronics Corp. (ESE) /zigman2/quotes/208880925/composite ESE +0.39% , which specializes in commercial defense systems, announced a second-quarter net profit of 26 cents a share, 2 cents ahead of the consensus forecast. Converse (CVE) /zigman2/quotes/209205351/composite CVE +1.77% posted a first-quarter net loss of 7 cents per share, far below the Zacks' estimate of a 9 cent profit. The atheletic-shoe maker says it sees a "sluggish" industry throughout 1998.
Software-developer Macromedia (MACR) reported fourth-quarter income of 5 cents per share, 2 cents ahead of Zacks' estimate of 3 cents.
The Sports Authority (TSA) warned that it expects to report a first-quarter loss of 12 cents a share. The average of the analysts' estimates called for the sporting goods retailer to earn 8 cents a share. Ahead of the report, the company announced it was being bought by Woolworth (Z) /zigman2/quotes/204413973/composite Z -0.75% .
America Online (AOL) rose 1 3/4 to 89 3/4 Thursday after the largest Internet service posted an operating profit of 16 cents a share, surpassing estimates. The company had been expected to earn 12 cents a share based on a survey of analysts by First Call. The company's revenue rose 54 percent year-over-year to $693.6 million. and .
AnnTaylor (ANN) rose 3 3/8 to 20 after the company said it expects to make 17 to 20 cents a share in its first quarter. Analysts expected the clothing store to report 13 cents a share.
Chrysler (C) /zigman2/quotes/207741460/composite C +0.84% shares rose4 7/16 to a new high of 53 1/4 on the news that its merger with Daimler-Benz has been approved. The deal values the stock at $61.22 a share. General Motors (GM) /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM +2.72% shares fell 1 1/16 to 66 7/8 and Ford (F) /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F +6.24% lost 1/8 to 45 5/8.
Computer Learning Centers (CLCX) rose 2 13/16 to 16 1/4 after Illinois regulators allowed the computer technology school to resume operations at its Schaumberg campus. The company was under investigationfor misrepresenting facts in a marketing campaign.
Cubist Pharmaceutical (CBST) rose 1 1/8 to 5 11/16 after the company said it expanded its research and development agreement with Merck (MRK) /zigman2/quotes/209956077/composite MRK -1.10% . Merck licensed Cubist's data and a compound for research. In addition Merck agreed to give the company funding and royalty payments for certain drug development achievements.
Envirotest Systems (ENR) /zigman2/quotes/209643437/composite ENR +1.21% jumped 2 to 12 3/4 after the company said it hired investment banking firm Credit Suisse First Boston to research options to "maximize shareholder value."
Recoton Corp. (RCOT) rose 3 5/8 to 29 1/4 after the car audio sales company said it made 30 cents a share in its first quarter, far ahead of analysts' expectations of 12 cents a share.
Talbots jumped 3 15/16 to 23 3/8 after the retailer said its 29 percent sales growth in April will boost its quarterly earnings.
3Com (COMS) /zigman2/quotes/201007310/composite COMS -5.34% fell 2 5/32 to 32 1/4, after Deutsche Morgan Grenfell lowered its earnings forecasts for the company citing weakness in gross margins and declining sales in Asia.
Credit Management Solutions (CMSS) lost 2 1/8 to 5 7/8 after reporting a loss of 18 cents a share for its first quarter. Analysts expected a loss of 10 cents a share.
ErgoBilt (ERGB) dropped 1 1/8 to 3 3/8 after the company warned it would report a loss for its 1998 fiscal year. Analysts expected ErgoBilt to report a profit of 58 cents a share for the year.
Telecommunications software developer Information Management Associates, (IMAA) fell 2 9/16 to 11 1/4 after reporting a first-quarter loss of 75 cents per share compared to a loss of 9 cents per share a year ago. The company said the results reflected the cost of two recent acquisitions.
Mellon Bank (MEL) shares dropped 5 11/16 to 72 5/16 as speculation of a merger waned. The stock had surged in overnight trading on reports Chase Manhattan would emerge as a white knight bidder to block Bank of New York's unsolicited takeover offer. On April 22 Mellon rejected Bank of New York's bid.
MEMCO Software (MEMCF) lost 5 5/8 to 23 after the company announced it is buying two security software companies, AbirNet and Network Information Technology, for $43.7 million in stock and $11.3 million in cash.
Signature Resorts (OWN) fell 2 to 17 after the company reported first-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share vs. the 19 cents a share analysts expected.