Markets & Finance

Wal-Mart Gains on Higher February Sales


Wal-Mart (WMT) posted higher March U.S.-same store revenue. February sales rose 11 percent to $22.4 billion, vs. 6.2% last year.

ChevronTexaco Corp. (CVX) is considering a bid to buy smaller rival Unocal Corp. (UCL), according to the Wall Street Journal.

Best Buy (BBY) posted 2.8% higher fourth-quarter same-store sales and 9% higher total sales. Based on revenue results, the company expects fourth-quarter earnings per share will be at the low end of, or slightly below, its prior $1.56 to $1.66 guidance. S&P keeps strong buy.

Taser International (TASR) announces a lawsuit against the company was dismissed without prejudice.

Kohl's Corp. (KSS) posted 6.1% higher February same-store sales and 20% higher total sales.

CVS Corp. (CVS) posted 9.2% higher February same-store sales and 36% higher total sales. The company raises 59 cents to 61 cents first-quarter earnings per share guidance to 66 cents to 69 cents and $2.62 to $2.68 2005 earnings per share to $2.66 to $2.72.

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) posted 9% higher February same-store sales and 23% higher total sales.

PetsMart (PETM) posted 43 cents, vs. 38 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (adjusted) on 4.6% higher same-store sales and 11% higher total sales. The company is to correct accounting for certain leases. Restatements will be required. It sees $1.25 to $1.26 fiscal 2006 earnings per share on 5% to 6% higher comps.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR) posted 15% lower February same-store sales and 9.7% lower total sales. Due to weak sales and merchandise margin in February, the company sees 25 cents to 27 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share.

Coach (COH) sees at least $400 million third-quarter sales and 43 cents earnings per share. The company sees at least $400 million fourth-quarter sales and 42 cents earnings per share. It raised its second-half earnings per share forecast of at least 83 cents to at least 85 cents. It sees at least $1.89 fiscal 2005 earnings per share.

Viisage Technologies (VISG) posted an 11-cent fourth-quarter loss, vs. a 6-cent loss as an impairment charge and non-cash deferred tax expense offset an 84% revenue rise. The company sees $15 million to $17 million in first-quarter revenue and $73 million to $80 million in 2005. It says it is not sharing specific EBITDA targets.

Napster (NAPS) raises $14 million in fourth-quarter revenue guidance to $15 million based on robust growth in its subscription service.

Pep Boys (PBY) posted a 17-cent fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations, vs. a 9-cent loss despite 6% higher comparable merchandise sales, 1.2% lower comparable service revenue, and 4.6% higher total sales.

Michaels Stores (MIK) posted 80 cents, vs. 68 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 7% higher same-store sales and 11% higher total sales. The company says same-store sales for the first-quarter are trending towards the high-end of its 3% to 5% guidance. Wachovia and Lehman reportedly upgrade.

Bombay Company (BBA) posted 6.5% lower February same-store sales and 2% lower total sales. The company says it is reevaluating its lease accounting practices.

Bebe Stores (BEBE) posted 25% higher February same-store sales and 37% higher total sales.

Hot Topic (HOTT) posted flat February same-store sales and 16% higher total sales. The company will restate its consolidated financial statements for certain prior periods to reflect changes related to lease accounting.

Chico's Fashions (CHS) posted 18 cents, vs. 14 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 13% higher same-store sales and 33% higher total sales. S&P reiterates buy.


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