Markets & Finance

Altria Group Rallies on Court Ruling


Altria Group (MO) was higher on reports the Illinios Supreme Court tossed out $1.1 billion verdict vs. State Farm. The ruling is seen as indicating that the $10.1 billion award against Altria Group's U.S. cigarette unit may be thrown out.

Google (GOOG) shares fell after the Internet search company files a registration statement with the SEC for a proposed public offering of 14.159 million shares.

Myogen (MYOG) jumped after the biotech outfit announces positive top line results of its Phase 2b trial evaluating darusentan in resistant hypertension. JP Morgan upgrades the stock to neutral from overweight. First Albany reiterates strong buy.

Tommy Hilfiger (TOM) is preparing to put itself on the auction block in coming weeks, though it's not certain move will result in a sale, according to people familiar with matter, reports WSJ.com. The stock jumped on the news.

Six Flags (PKS) says Daniel Snyder initiated a shareholder proxy contest to take control of the company by seeking to control 3 of 7 seats on the board and upping his personal stake in the company to nearly 35%. S&P, Bear Stearns upgrade the stock.

Bear Stearns upgrades Northwest Airlines (NWAC) to outperform from peer perform.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) posts 18 cents, vs. 12 cents, second-quarter earnings per share on a 4.3% rise in same-store sales and 6% rise in revenue. The book store chain cites strong sales of recent installment of Harry Potter series. It sees 1-4 cents third-quarter loss on low-single digit same-stores sales.

New York & Co. (NWY) posts 21 cents second-quarter earnings per share, vs. 20 cents loss, on flat same-store sales and 4.8% sales rise. The retailer sees flat third-quarter same-store sales and 15-18 cents EPS, and 5%-8% fourth-quarter same-store sales rise and 44-50 cents EPS.

Hot Topic (HOTT) posts 2 cents, vs. 9 cents, second-quarter earnings per share on 3.5% lower same-store sales and 12% higher total sales. The retailer says comps month-to-date have decreased about 8%; it lowered its forecast for third-quarter earnings per share to 15-18 cents; it sees lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

Limited Brands (LTD) posted second-quarter earnings of $113.1 million, or 27 cents a share, a 24% drop from the same quarter a year ago. Gross margins slipped during the quarter, and the company said it expcects same-store sales to slip slightly in August on softness at Express. The apparel retailer sees 1 cent third-quarter loss to 1 cent EPS, and $1.36-$1.38 fiscal year 2006 EPS.

Children's Place (PLCE) posts 66 cents second-quarter loss per share, vs. 37 cents loss, as higher costs and expenses offset a 4% same-store sales rise. The retailer sees 86-91 cents third-quarter EPS, and $1.61-$1.66 in the fourth quarter. It raises $2.15-$2.25 fiscal year 2006 EPS estimate to $2.20-$2.30.

Network Appliance (NTAP) posts 16 cents, vs. 13 cents, first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP basis) on a 25% rise in revenue. The company sees 17-18 cents second-quarter EPS on a 25%-28% rise in revenue; fiscal year 2006 (April) EPS of 74-77 cents on a 25%-28% rise in revenue.

Salesforce.com (CRM) posts 4 cents, vs. 1 cent, second-quarter earnings per share on a 77% rise in revenue as paying subscribers rose 83%. It sees 2-4 cents third-quarter EPS on sales of $78 million to $80 million. It raises fiscal year 2006 (January) EPS estimate to a range of 13-16 cents on revenue of $298 million to $303 million.

Men's Wearhouse (MW) posts 43 cents, vs. 33 cents, second-quarter earnings per share (including Eddie Rodriguez losses) on 11% higher U.S. same-store sales and 15% higher total sales. The retailer sees 33-35 cents third-quarter EPS on high single- digit U.S. comps. S&P reiterates hold.

Harman International (HAR) posts $1.01, vs. 76 cents, fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 10% sales rise. It sees first-quarter EPS of 64 cents, and fiscal year 2006 EPS of $3.80.

Medtronic (MDT) ppsts 50 cents, vs. 43 cents, first-quarter earnings per share (before charge) on 15% revenue rise. The medical devices maker sees $2.10-$2.15 fiscal year 2006 EPS, and $2.37-$2.47 for fiscal year 2007.

Synopsys (SNPS) posts 12 cents, vs. 26 cents, third-quarter earnings per share (GAAP basis) on an 11% revenue drop. It sees $248 million to $258 million fourth-quarte revenue and a 2 cent loss to 1 cent EPS (GAAP). The company sees $985 million to $995 million fiscal year 2005 revenue and breakeven to 3 cents loss (GAAP).


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