Markets & Finance

Wal-Mart Reports Soft October Sales


From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchWal-Mart Stores (WMT) estimates October same-store sales rose about 0.5%, below its previous forecast of between 2% and 4%.

American Power Conversion (APCC) agrees to be acquired by France's Schneider Electric SA in cash deal valued at $6.1 billion, or $31 per share.

Trustreet Properties (TSY) agrees to be acquired by GE Capital Solutions, a unit of General Electric (GE), in a $3 billion deal. Terms: $17.05 cash for each TSY share held, and debt assumption.

Red Hat (RHAT) rose, as the stock has been recovering from Oct. 26's 23% fall, which was tied to news that Oracle (ORCL) plans to provide support for Linux at sharp discount to Red Hat. Separately, S&P Ratings Services says its ratings and outlook not affected by Red Hat's stock and debt buyback plan.

Humana (HUM) posts third-quarter earnings per share of 95 cents, vs. 28 cents a year ago, on a 48% revenue rise. It sees $2.82-$2.88 2006 EPS and $3.90-$4.10 for 2007. S&P keeps hold.

Diebold (DBD) posts third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations (GAAP) of 45 cents, vs. 19 cents, on a 17% revenue rise. The company sees $1.13-$1.16 2006 GAAP EPS, including restructuring charges and a 7 cents stock option expense, on 9%-11% revenue growth.

Tenet Healthcare (THC) sees a third-quarter net loss of $23 million, or 5-7 cents per share loss. It cites higher than expected bad debt expense and continuing softness in commercial managed care volumes. S&P keeps hold.

Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) cuts second-half 2006 coal production levels, not including purchased coal, by 1 million tons to 12-13 million tons. It expects produced and processed costs will be more than $2.00/ton higher than expected. S&P reiterates hold.

Verizon Communications (VZ) posts third-quarter earnings per share of 66 cents, vs. 67 cents a year ago, as a 2 cents per share charge for special items, including pension settlement charges, Verizon Center relocation, and merger integration costs, offset a 26% revenue rise.

Sysco Corp. (SYY) posts first-quarter EPS of 37 cents, vs. 31 cents, on an 8.3% revenue rise, before accumulated effect of accounting changes.

Clear Channel Communications (CCU) posts third-quarter EPS (GAAP basis) of 38 cents, vs. 38 cents, as higher corporate, interest expenses, and other factors offset a 7% rise in revenue.

Lancaster Colony (LANC) posts first-quarter EPS of 43 cents, vs. 53 cents, as higher nonfood raw material costs, some shifting of candle orders into the second quarter, and vless favorable mix of specialty food sales offset a slight sales rise.

Skywest (SKYW) posts third-quarter EPS of 63 cents, vs. 51 cents, on a 59% revenue rise.

Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) says it plans to reduce weekly chicken processing by 5% year-over-year, or about 1.3 million head per week, by January 2007 as part of a continuing effort to better balance supply and demand amid declining chicken prices and sharply higher costs for corn.

Max Re Capital (MXRE) says its Audit & Risk Management Committee reopened an internal investigation with respect to 2 of 3 contracts originally in question due to receipt of additional information. Robert Cooney, chairman and CEO, has resigned.

FPL Group (FPL) posts third-quarter EPS of $1.32, vs. 87 cents, on a 34% revenue rise. It sees 2006 adjusted EPS at the high end of $2.80-$2.90, and sees adjusted 2007 EPS at $3.35-$3.45, and 2008 of $3.60-$3.80.

Psychiatric Solutions (PSYS) and FHC Inc. announce an amended, restated stock purchase agreement under which Psychiatric Solutions would purchase Alternative Behavioral Services Inc. for $210 million in cash.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) estimates October same-store sales rose about 0.5%, below its previous forecast of between 2% and 4%.

American Power Conversion (APCC) agrees to be acquired by France's Schneider Electric SA in cash deal valued at $6.1 billion, or $31 per share.

Verizon Communications (VZ) posts third-quarter earnings per share of 66 cents, vs. 67 cents a year ago, as a 2 cents per share charge for special items, including pension settlement charges, Verizon Center relocation, and merger integration costs, offset a 26% revenue rise.

Sysco Corp. (SYY) posts first-quarter EPS of 37 cents, vs. 31 cents, on an 8.3% revenue rise, before accumulated effect of accounting changes.

Clear Channel Communications (CCU) posts third-quarter EPS (GAAP basis) of 38 cents, vs. 38 cents, as higher corporate, interest expenses, and other factors offset a 7% rise in revenue.

Lancaster Colony (LANC) posts first-quarter EPS of 43 cents, vs. 53 cents, as higher nonfood raw material costs, some shifting of candle orders into the second quarter, and vless favorable mix of specialty food sales offset a slight sales rise.

Skywest (SKYW) posts third-quarter EPS of 63 cents, vs. 51 cents, on a 59% revenue rise.

Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) says it plans to reduce weekly chicken processing by 5% year-over-year, or about 1.3 million head per week, by January 2007 as part of a continuing effort to better balance supply and demand amid declining chicken prices and sharply higher costs for corn.

Max Re Capital (MXRE) says its Audit & Risk Management Committee reopened an internal investigation with respect to 2 of 3 contracts originally in question due to receipt of additional information. Robert Cooney, chairman and CEO, has resigned.

FPL Group (FPL) posts third-quarter EPS of $1.32, vs. 87 cents, on a 34% revenue rise. It sees 2006 adjusted EPS at the high end of $2.80-$2.90, and sees adjusted 2007 EPS at $3.35-$3.45, and 2008 of $3.60-$3.80.

Psychiatric Solutions (PSYS) and FHC Inc. announce an amended, restated stock purchase agreement under which Psychiatric Solutions would purchase Alternative Behavioral Services Inc. for $210 million in cash.


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