Markets & Finance

Applied Materials Falls


Applied Materials (AMAT) posted 27 cents, vs. 1 cent fourth-quarter earnings per share on an 80% sales rise. The company says as the fourth quarter progressed, some customers became more cautious in response to inventory concerns. First Albany downgraded the stock, while S&P kept its buy rating. The shares traded lower Thursday.

Google (GOOG) says in an SEC filing that it expects in the future, revenue growth rates will decline over time. It also anticipates downward pressure on operating margins.

Limited Brands (LTD) posted 16 cents, vs. 25 cents third-quarter earnings per share despite a 1% same-store sales rise and a 2.4% total sales rise. The company notes third-quarter fiscal 2004 results included gains and interest refund. It remains comfortable with 85 cents to 92 cents fourth-quarter earnings-per-share estimate.

Intuit (INTU) posted a 24-cent first-quarter loss, vs. a 27-cent loss (GAAP) on an 11% revenue rise. The company reaffirms fiscal 2005 guidance of $1.97 billion to $2.02 billion in revenue, and $1.82 to $1.90 earnings per share (GAAP). S&P maintains its hold rating.

Williams (WMB) raised its 1 cent quarterly dividend to 5 cents.

Medtronic (MDT) posted 44 cents, vs. 39 cents third-quarter earnings per share on an 11% sales rise. The company reportedly sees third-quarter earnings per share at the low end of the Street's current range. Piper Jaffray downgrades to market perform from outperform.

Men's Wearhouse (MW) posted 34 cents, vs. 23 cents third-quarter earnings per share on 6.1% higher U.S. same-store sales, 9.7% higher Canada comparable sales, and 11% higher total sales. The retailer sees 61 cents to 63 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on positive mid-single digit U.S. same-store sales growth.

Claire's Stores (CLE) posted 27 cents, vs. 26 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 12% revenue rise. The company cuts its $412 million to $414 million fourth-quarter revenue forecast to $396 million to $405 million, and sees 61 cents to 66 cents earnings per share. It sees $1.28 billion in fiscal 2005 revenue, and $1.49 to $1.54 earnings per share. It raises its quarterly dividend 13%.

Foot Locker (FL) raised its quarterly dividend 25% to .075 cents.

XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) plans to offer $300 million of Senior Convertible Notes due 2009.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) posted 24 cents, vs. 20 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a 14% revenue rise. The company raises its $1.57 to $1.61 fiscal 2005 earnings-per-share forecast to $1.58 to $1.62.

NetFlix (NFLX) sees 3 cents to 8 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on revenue of $139 million to $143 million. It says subscriber growth is exceeding earlier expectations, and churn appears to be heading toward historical lows.

Salesforce.com (CRM) posted 2 cents third-quarter earnings per share, vs. breakeven on an 82% revenue rise. The company raises fiscal 2005 earnings-per-share guidance to 4 cents to 5 cents, and initiates 10 cents to 12 cents fiscal 2006 earnings-per-share guidance. CSFB downgrades to underperform from neutral.

PLATO Learning (TUTR) announced John Murray, chairman, president, and CEO, will be leaving the company, after he and the board reach a mutual agreement that this would be in the best interest of both parties. Jefferies downgrades to hold from buy.

MapInfo (MAPS) rises after JP Morgan upgrades the stock to overweight from neutral.


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