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Earnings Analysis: 
Cooper Companies Net Up
Author: George Shopov

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The Cooper Companies Inc. posted after the bell Tuesday quarterly profits that rose 21% from a year earlier, driven by solid gains in its CooperVision subsidiary. Results topped analysts' forecasts.

The Cooper Companies, Inc. (COO: chart) announced after market close Tuesday that its quarterly earnings improved 21%, helped by strong performance in its CooperVision unit. The Lake Forest, California-based maker of specialty contact lenses and medical devices turned in net income of $24 million, or 70 cents per share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2004, up from net income of $18.7 million, or 58 cents per share, last year. Excluding items, the earnings came to 69 cents a share, a penny a share ahead of the average analysts’ estimate. For the quarter ended July 31, Cooper recorded revenue of $129.1 million, a 19% rise from $108.4 million, for the same period a year ago. The company’s CooperVision unit increased revenue by 17% to $102.8 million, while subsidiary CooperSurgical had revenue of $26.3 million, up 27% from last year.

For the fourth quarter, Cooper projected a profit of 70 cents to 72 cents per share, on revenue of $128 million to $133 million.

Cooper shares slipped 1.06% to close Tuesday at $57.95. The stock gained 40 cents to $58.35 in after-hours trading.

The SCO Group, Inc. (SCOX: chart) said after the bell Tuesday that it swung to a quarterly loss from a year-earlier profit, due to a decline in revenue. The Lindon, Utah-based owner of the UNIX operating system reported a net loss of $7.4 million for its fiscal third quarter, against a profit of $3.1 million a year ago. The company said that it had third-quarter net income applicable to common shareholders of $7.5 million, or 38 cents per share, which includes a one-time contribution of capital of $15.5 million related to a repurchase of convertible stock. Quarterly revenue tumbled to $11.2 million from $20.1 million, largely due to a decrease in SCOsource licensing revenue.

The stock dipped 3.31% on Tuesday to $3.80. SCO shares inched up 5 cents to $3.85 in after-market trade.

The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS: chart) reported Tuesday that its third-quarter net profits rose 17%, boosted by strong performance across all of its major business segments. The Toronto, Canada-based bank posted a profit of $733 million, or 71 cents per share, for the quarter, in contrast to $626 million, or 60 cents per share, generated in the third quarter of fiscal 2003. Revenue in the quarter eased to $2.57 billion from $2.64 billion. The company said the decrease in bad loans also helped lift the results.

Company shares closed Tuesday at $27.41, down 41 cents, or 1.47%.

Engineered Support Systems, Inc. (EASI: chart) of St. Louis, Missouri, posted Tuesday net income of $20.5 million, or 73 cents per share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2004, compared with net income of $12.4 million, or 48 cents per share, for the prior-year period. Excluding items, the defense contractor had earnings of $21.3 million, or 76 cents a share, for the quarter ended July 31. Analysts were looking for a profit of 75 cents a share, on average. Quarterly revenue jumped 43% to $222 million. The company attributed the results to higher U.S. military spending.

The stock edged up 7 cents to $43.21 at market close Tuesday.

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN: chart) announced Tuesday fourth-quarter earnings of $5.1 million, or 14 cents per share, down from earnings of $6.8 million, or 19 cents per share, for the 2003 corresponding period. Results were in line with analysts’ expectations. The Melville, New York-based natural food company blamed the profit drop on increased costs. Sales in the quarter climbed 17% to $137.4 million.

Company shares gained 30 cents on Tuesday to $17.55. The stock rose 2.56% to $18.00 in the extended-hours trading.

Hudson's Bay Company ((HBC.TO)) reported Tuesday a loss of C$10 million ($7.6 million), or 19 Canadian cents per share, for its second quarter, a turnaround from a profit of C$5 million, or 3 Canadian cents per share, a year ago. Canada’s largest department store chain said results were due to cool weather, as it weakened quarterly sales. The mean analysts’ forecast was for a profit of 3.8 Canadian cents per share. Second-quarter sales inched down 2% to C$1.63 billion from C$1.66 billion.

Mediware Information Systems, Inc. (MEDW: chart) posted Tuesday quarterly earnings that dropped 25% from last year, hurt by higher operating expenses. The Lenexa, Kansas-based developer of medical data management systems announced a fourth-quarter profit of $875,000, or 11 cents per share, against a profit of $1.2 million, or 15 cents per share, for the 2003 comparable quarter. Total revenue in the quarter rose to $9.2 million from $8.8 million, aided by a 6% increase in product sales.

Mediware shares closed Tuesday down 24 cents, or 2.33%, at $10.04.

Open Text Corporation (OTEX: chart) of Waterloo, Canada, said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income slid to $9 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with net income of $9.4 million, or 22 cents a share, for the 2003 equivalent. The software company cited higher operating expenses as main factor for the results. Quarterly sales were $105 million, a 98% jump from year-ago sales of $53.1 million.

The stock shed 20 cents to close Tuesday at $21.57. Company shares plummeted 16.97% to $17.91 in extended trade.

Versant Corporation (VSNT: chart) announced Tuesday a wider quarterly loss, citing weak North American sales. The Fremont, California-based maker of database management systems posted a third-quarter loss attributable to common shareholders of $3.8 million, or 11 cents per share. For the prior-year period, loss was $153,000, or a penny per share. Third-quarter revenue advanced to $6.1 million compared with $5.4 million a year earlier.

Company shares rose 3.57% to $0.87 at market close Tuesday. The stock dropped a penny to $0.86 in after-market trade.
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