Markets & Finance

H&R Block Shares Fall


Shares of H&R Block (HRB) moved lower Friday after the company posted 9 cents vs. 28 cents third quarter EPS (GAAP) despite a 12% revenue rise. The company plans to restate results for fiscal year 2004 and fiscal year 2005, as well as previously reported quarterly results for fiscal year 2006. It will also cut 600 jobs. The company cut its $1.90 to $2.15 fiscal year 2006 EPS guidance to between $1.65 and $1.85.

Time Warner (TWX) announced that CNN founder Ted Turner has decided not to stand for re-election to its board, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Research In Motion (RIMM) The legal squabbles between BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and privately held NTP will come to a head at 9 a.m. in a third-floor courtroom in Richmond, Va.

Home Depot (HD) sets an additional $1 billion stock buyback, bringing the total authorized share repurchase program to $12 billion.

Western Silver (WTZ) agrees to be acquired by the Reno, NV-based gold miner Glamis Gold (GLG) in a $1 billion deal, at 0.688 Glamis Gold shares, or one share in the newly created exploration & development company, for each Western Silver share.

Gap (GPS) posts 39 cents vs. 40 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) on 6% lower same-store sales and 1.6% lower total sales. It expects comparables to remain negative during the first half, sets an additional $500 million stock buyback and plans to raise its dividend 78%.

Mills (MLS) says its 2005 EPS and funds from operation will be significantly below estimates and will not meet the 10-K filing deadline. It sets a further workforce reduction of about 77 jobs and names Mark Ordan Chief Operating Officer. It also plans to explore strategic alternatives.

Midway Games (MWY) posts 42 cents fourth quarter loss vs. 19 cents EPS on a 9.6% revenue decline and $10.8 million restructuring charge. It sees 2006 revenue growth of about 3% to $155 million and net loss of about $66 million. It also sees about $13 million first quarter revenue and $22 million net loss.

Nordstrom (JWN) posts 69 cents vs. 50 cents fourth quarter EPS on a 5.8% same-store sales rise and 9.3% sales rise. It sees 39 cents to 44 cents first quarter EPS on low-single-digit growth in comparables.

KeySpan (KSE) National Grid confirms it is in talks concerning a potential transaction with the gas distributor; it says any deal would be all cash.

Marvell Technology Group (MRVL) posts 30 cents vs. 18 cents fourth quarter EPS (GAAP) on a 44% revenue rise. It sets a 2-for-1 stock split.

Kohl's (KSS) posts $1.08 vs. 92 cents fourth quarter EPS on 2.7% higher same-store sales and 14% higher total sales.

Avon Products (AVP) says the cost to implement its multi-year, four-part turnaround plan would be at the high end of a previously announced $300 million to $500 million range.

Netease.com (NTES) posts 7% higher fourth quarter net profit, or 96 cents per American Depositary Shares, on a 5.3% revenue rise. It says online game revenues were better than it expected.

Baxter (BAX)'s European unit receives a contract from the UK's National Health Service to produce a stockpile of 2 million doses of candidate H5N1 influenza vaccine based on avian strain.

Viasys Healthcare (VAS) posts 39 cents vs. 28 cents fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations (adjusted) on a 40% revenue rise.

Agile Software (AGIL) posts better-than-expected breakeven third quarter vs. 2 cents EPS (non-GAAP) as higher operating costs offset an 8.3% revenue rise.

Merge Technologies (MRGE) delays issuance of fourth quarter results in order to allow additional time to complete the audit of its financial statements. It sees $23 million to $26 million fourth quarter sales.

Renovis (RNVS) posts 20 cents fourth quarter loss vs. 43 cents loss on a sharp revenue rise. It sees total contract revenue from existing agreements of $8.8 million to $9.2 million in 2006, and total operating expenses, excluding stock option expense, of $38 million to $43 million.

Webex Communication (WEBX) President Bill Heil is to leave the company.


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