Markets & Finance

Viacom Posts Loss On Charge


Viacom (VIA) posted a $10.99 fourth-quarter loss, vs. a 22-cent loss as charges offset 5.8% revenue rise. The company sees mid-single-digit 2005 growth in revenues, operating income, and high single-digit growth in earnings per share.

RBC Capital downgrades Google (GOOG) to sector perform from top pick. S&P reiterates a positive outlook on Internet Software & Services sub-industry.

Yahoo (YHOO) falls on RBC Capital downgrade to sector perform from outperform. S&P reiterates positive outlook on Internet Software & Services sub-industry.

Boeing (BA) and RyanAir (RYAAY) announces an order for 225 Blended Winglet Systems, with purchase options for up to 200 more, and a plan to transition its entire fleet to Performance Enhanced Next Generation Boeing 737-800s. S&P keeps hold.

Krispy Kreme Dounuts (KKD) says the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York will seek to conduct interviews of certain current and former officers and employees. The company believes this relates to matters currently under formal investigation by the SEC.

J.C. Penney (JCP) posted $1.16, vs. 83 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on 3.0% higher same-store sales and flat total sales. The company sees 48 cents to 53 cents first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations and $2.89 to $3.01 fiscal 2006 earnings per share.

Staples (SPLS) posted 50 cents, vs. 42 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 13% sales rise. The company sees 29 cents to 30 cents first-quarter earnings per share and fiscal 2006 earnings per share up 15% to 18%. The company sets a 3-for-2 stock dividend. It raises its annual dividend 25%.

Limited Brands (LTD) posted 95 cents, vs. 74 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 2% same-store sales rise and 3.0% total sales rise. The company sees 13 cents first-quarter earnings per share and 13% to 15% fiscal 2006 earnings per share growth.

Clear Channel (CCU) says the company and Howard Stern have agreed to withdraw their lawsuits and respective claims for money damages relating to Clear Channel's decision to remove his program from its radio stations.

Duke Energy (DUK) sets a $2.5 billion stock buyback, funded in part by restructuring of its ownership interest in Duke Energy Field Services LLC (DEFS) with COP and a sale by DEFS of general partner of TEPPCO Partners L.P. to its EPCO Inc. unit.

Par Pharmaceutical (PRX) posted 12 cents, vs. $1.08 fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 49% revenue drop. It notes an impact of additional entrants into key product categories, delays in new product introductions, a disappointing ribavirin launch, and higher research and development costs.

Bear Stearns upgrades Network Appliances (NTAP) to outperform from peer perform.

Applebee's (APPB) posted 5.2% higher February system-wide comparable sales, 6.2% higher comparable sales for franchise restaurants, and 2.3% higher comparable sales for company restaurants. The company says if positive sales continue through March, it sees an upward bias to first-quarter earnings per share.

Michaels Stores (MIK) says on Feb. 17, it received a grand jury subpoena from the D.A.'s Office of County of New York for documents and records in inquiry concerning non-U.S. trusts that directly or indirectly hold, have held Michaels Stores shares and options.


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