Markets & Finance

Best Buy Rises


Best Buy (BBY) posted 4.3% higher second-quarter same-store sales and 13% higher total sales. Best Buy expects second-quarter earnings per share of 44 cents to 46 cents, after 7 cents in charges. The second-half outlook includes a 3% to 5% gain in comparable-store sales. S&P reiterates buy.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) posted 24% higher August consolidated same-store sales, and raised the third-quarter earnings per share forecast to 56 cents to 58 cents. It set a 24-cent annual cash dividend. S&P raised its target. CIBC World upgraded.

Sears (S) posted 6.1% lower August same-domestic-store sales and 7.1% lower total domestic store sales.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) says it's actively continuing a previously announced consideration of strategic alternatives. However, MGM says reports that value the company at a price as high as $5 billion in a possible transaction are inaccurate. Late Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal Online reported that Time Warner was preparing an all-cash offer of $4.5 billion to $4.6 billion compared with a previous plan to offer cash and stock, citing unidentified sources.

Wal-Mart (WMT) posted slightly higher August same-store sales and 8.8% higher total sales. It sees 2% to 4% higher September same-store sales.

Career Education (CECO) confirmed that the U.S. Dept. of Justice is investigating the company. The education provider says it hasn't obtained any information on the focus of investigation and cannot comment further at this time.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) posted 5% lower August same-store sales and 11% higher total sales.

AnnTaylor (ANN) posted 4.5% lower August same-store sales and 10% higher total sales. It continues to forecast 48 cents to 50 cents third-quarter earnings per share and 47 cents to 49 cents in the fourth quarter.

Gap (GPS) posted 1% lower same-store August sales and 1% higher total sales.

Dollar General (DG) posted 2.8% higher August same-store sales and 11% higher total sales.

Walgreen (WAG) posted 9.7% higher August same-store sales and 15% higher total sales.

Del Monte Foods (DLM) posted 4 cents, vs. 7 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations as higher expenses offset a 2.4% sales rise. Del Monte sees 17 cents to 21 cents second-quarter earnings per share on 4% to 6% sales growth, and reaffirmed the fiscal 2005 guidance of 81 cents to 86 cents earnings per share from continuing operations on 1% to 2% sales growth.

Boeing (BA) finalized an order with Air China for seven new Next-Generation 737-700 jetliners, which will boost its Boeing's fleet to 139 airplanes. The order is valued at about $360 million at list prices.


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