Markets & Finance

Top Abercrombie & Fitch Exec Quits


Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) said its president and COO Robert Singer will leave the company. The clothing retailer posted a 24% rise in August same-store sales and reaffirmed its $3.10 to $3.30 earnings per share guidance for the fiscal year 2006.

Hutchinson Technology (HTCH) shares dropped after the company cut fourth-quarter earnings per share guidance to between 5 cents and 20 cents and sales between $150 million and $165 million. Hutchinson cited weakness in demand earlier in the quarter, as well as a shift in the mix toward advanced products that produced lower yield and productivity levels.

Dycom Industries (DY) shares fell after the contracting services company posted fourth-quarter loss of 25 cents per share (including charges), vs. 35 cents earnings per share. Dycom said its revenue fell 3.6% in the quarter. The company sees 17 cents to 23 cents first-quarter earnings per share on revenue of between $225 million and $245 million. S&P maintains its strong buy opinion on the stock.

According to preliminary risk assessments, insurance industry companies such as Allstate (ALL) now collectively face as much as $26 billion in claims from Hurricane Katrina.

Chevron (CVX) said that its marketing organization is implementing controls at all of its motor gasoline and diesel supply terminals in the Eastern U.S. until further notice. Hurricane Katrina was expected to disrupt oil producers such as Chevron.

Semiconductor maker Marvell Technology Group (MRVL ) agreed to acquire QLogic's (QLGC) hard disk drive controller and tape drive controller business for $225 million, or $180 million in cash and $45 million in Marvell stock. Separately, QLogic set a $350 million stock buyback.

Sprint Nextel (S) plans to acquire Gulf Coast Wireless for about $287.5 million, including the assumption of debt. Additionally, Sprint agreed to acquire IWO Holdings for about $427 million including $208 million debt assumption.

Motorola (MOT) shares rose after news that Apple Computer (AAPL) has reached an agreement with Cingular Wireless to offer Motorola cellphones that will play songs from Apple's iTunes, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Action Performance (ATN), International Speedway (ISCA), and Speedway Motorsports (TRK) said they formed a joint venture called Motorsports Authentics. The new company will produce motorsports products and operate as an independent company equally owned by International Speedway and Speedway Motorsports. Under the agreement, Motorsports Authentics will buy Action Performance for $13 per common share, or approximately $245 million, in cash.

ImClone Systems (IMCL) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) announced that ImClone submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration for approval of its medical treatment Erbitux. The application seeks U.S. marketing approval for the use of Erbitux in combination with radiation for advanced head and neck cancer cases, among other things.

The Finish Line (FINL) posted 2% lower second-quarter same-store sales. The specialty retailer cut its 48 cents to 50 cents second-quarter earnings per share guidance to between 37 cents and 39 cents due to a decrease in sales, product margin pressure, negative leverage on occupancy costs, and expenses. The Finish Line sees $1.16 to $1.21 fiscal year earnings per share for 2006.

The digital media company ATI Technologies (ATYT) cut its fourth-quarter revenue guidance to between $465 million and $480 million from the $550 million to $580 million range.

McDermott International (MDR ) share prices surged after the energy producer announced a revised asbestos claims settlement agreement in Chapter 11 proceedings involving Babcock & Wilcox Co. and its units.

Electronics Boutique Holdings (ELBO) posted 14 cents, vs. 16 centd, second-quarter operating earnings per share, despite a 2.6% rise in same-store sales and 24% higher total sales. The video game retailer reiterated its expectations for the fiscal year 2006 of between $2.34 and $2.44 earnings per share, excluding merger related costs.

DHB Industries (DHB ) said that it has stopped producing all bullet resistant products containing Zylon due to the National Institute of Justice's decision to revoke previously issued certification of such vests.

Flotek Industries (FTK) agreed to acquire the assets of the privately held Precision-LOR Ltd. for about $3.7 million in cash and $1.2 million in Flotek stock.

Metretek Technologies( MEK) share prices rose. The energy measurement company announced that its PowerSecure unit has been awarded a contract to provide an Interactive Distributed Generation system to customers in state. The project is expected to generate about $600,000 in revenue.

Zale (ZLC ) posted results below expectations. The specialty retailer had 8 cent vs. 13 cent fourth quarter earnings per share on flat same-store sales. The company will close 30 to 35 Bailey Banks & Biddle stores, and sees a 25 cent per share charge in the fiscal year 2006. Zale also expects fiscal year 2006 operating earnings per share to rise between 5% and 7%.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is threatening to fine Morgan Stanley (MWD) more than $10 million for failing to keep email that might have impacted the agency's recent cases against the firm, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Machinery manufacturer Terex (TEX) said it's the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission probe regarding the previously announced restatement of its financial reports for the three years ended Dec. 31, 2000 to 2003. Separately, the company has been subpoenaed concerning certain transactions with one unit.

The funeral and cemetary services company Service Corporation International (SCI) posted 7 cents, vs. 5 cents, second-quarter earnings per share on a 3.9% rise in funeral related revenue.

McKesson (MCK) set a $250 million stock buyback.


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