Markets & Finance

Fremont General Says Loan Deal Not Assured


Express Scripts sweetens bid for Caremark; Target posts higher sales; plus more stocks in the news on Thursday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchIn connection with recent news reports, Fremont General (FMT) says there can be no assurance that the company will be able to enter into any transaction involving its residential loan origination platform.

Express Scripts (ESRX) sweetened its offer to acquire Caremark (CMX) for $29.25 in cash and 0.426 Express Scripts shares per Caremark share, representing additional cash consideration of about 6% per annum on the $29.25 cash portion of Express Scripts' offer.

Target (TGT) posted 5.7% higher Feb. same-store sales and 11% higher total sales.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) posted 0.9% higher Feb. U.S. comp-store sales and 8.1% higher total company sales. Expects March U.S. comp-store sales to rise 1% to 2%.

Federated Department Stores (FD) posted lower-than-expected 1.2% higher February same-store sales and flat total sales. The company says sales in Feb. were impacted by a series of snow and ice storms in the eastern half of the U.S.

Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) posted 9.1% higher Feb. same-store sales and 9.5% higher total sales.

Gap (GPS) posted 4% lower Feb. same-store sales and 5% higher total sales.

J.C. Penney (JCP) posted slightly lower Feb. comp-department store sales and 1.6% higher total dept store sales. Expects March comp-department store sales to increase to the high-single digits.

Anntaylor Stores (ANN) posted 2.9% lower February same-store sales and 4.6% higher total sales.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) posted 6% lower Feb. same-store sales and 7% higher total sales.

TiVo Inc (TIVO) posted 19 cents fourth quarter loss vs. 25 cents loss on a 29% revenue rise. The company sees first quarter service, technology revenue of $57 million to $58 million and $4 million net loss-to-breakeven.

Foot Locker (FL) posted 70 cents vs. 61 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations on 5.6% higher sales and stronger gross margin. The company says sales declines in Europe continued. Sets $300 million stock buyback. It sees $1.55 to $1.65 fiscal year 2008 EPS from continuing operations and 34 cents to 37 cents EPS in the first quarter.

Wet Seal (WTSLA) posted 5% higher Feb. same-store sales and 14% total sales. Expects low single digit increase in comparable stores sales for the remaining two months of the first quarter.

Bebe Stores (BEBE) posted 2.2% lower Feb. same-store sales and 7.0% higher total sales.

Limited Brands (LTD) posted 3% higher Feb. same-store sales and 15% higher total sales.

Aeropostale (ARO) posted 2.3% higher Feb. same-store sales and 12% higher total sales.

General Dynamics (GD) raised its 23 cents quarterly dividend 26% to 29 cents.


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