Markets & Finance

Movers: Best Buy, Lehman Brothers, Kroger, E*Trade


Tuesday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchBest Buy (BBY) posts second quarter EPS of $0.55, vs. $0.47 a year ago, on 3.6% higher same-store sales, 15% higher total sales. Given better-than-expected results, expects to finish in upper half of new guidance range of $3.00-$3.15 for fiscal year 2008.

Lehman Brothers (LEH) posts better-than-expected third quarter EPS of $1.54, vs. $1.57 a year ago, despite 3.1% revenue rise. S&P keeps sell.

Kroger (KR) posts second quarter EPS of $0.38, vs. $0.29 a year ago, on 5.1% identical supermarket sales rise (excluding fuel), 6.6% total sales rise. It sees identical supermarket sales growth of 4%-5% for fiscal year 2008 (excluding fuel), EPS of $1.64-$1.67, up from the previous range of $1.60-$1.65.

Accredited Home Lenders (LEND) posts $10.29 first quarter loss per share ,vs. $1.61 EPS a year ago, on sharply higher operating expenses, higher provisions for losses on mortgages held.

Furniture Brands International (FBN) expects third quarter net sales to be down 12%, EPS to be in range of a loss of $0.19 to a loss of $0.23 (includes $0.22 in charges).

Ruby Tuesday (RT) posts 4.8% drop in first quarter company-owned restaurant sales, 2.9% drop in same-restaurant sales at domestic franchise. It sees $0.21 first quarter EPS. S&P reiterates sell.

Sonoco Products (SON) lowers third quarter non-GAAP EPS guidance to $0.55-$0.58 range, vs. previously announced $0.62-$0.65 forecast. Guidance excludes restructure, asset impairment, environment charges, and other items. It expects base earnings for 2007 to be in the range of $2.23 to $2.26 per diluted share, vs. previously announced range of $2.36-$2.40.

E*Trade Financial (ETFC) announces that it will exit wholesale mortgage operations and restructure its institutional sales trading business. It raises allowance for loan losses. The company cuts 2007 EPS GAAP EPS view to $1.05-$1.15 from $1.53-$1.67. S&P downgrades to hold from buy.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) posts $0.45, vs. $0.29 a year ago, third quarter non-GAAP EPS on 41% revenue rise. It sees fourth quarter revenue of $860-$890 million and non-GAAP EPS of $0.46-$0.48.

Yahoo (YHOO) agrees to acquire Zimbra Inc. for about $350 million. Zimbra provides collaboration software for universities, businesses and service providers.

Novastar Financial (NFI) says it will not proceed with declaring a dividend on its common stock. As such, its status as Real Estate Investment Trust is terminated.

AutoZone (AZO) reports fourth quarter (ended August) EPS of $3.23, $0.02 worse than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $3.25; revenues rose 3.1% year/year to $2 billion, vs. the $2.03 billion consensus.

American Express (AXP) agrees to sell its international banking subsidiary, American Express Bank, to Standard Chartered for $1.1 billion.

CBRL Group (CBRL) reports fourth quarter (July) EPS of $1.15, $0.13 better than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $1.02. Revenues rose 12.2% from a year ago to $632.1 million, vs. the $635.2 million consensus. The operator of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store chain issues in-line guidance for fiscal year 2008 of EPS of $3.05-3.20, vs. $3.08 consensus. It announces Lawrence White will retire as Senior Vice President and CFO, effective Feb. 1, 2008.

Micrus Endovascular (MEND) sees fiscal year 2008 revenues of $65-$75 million, vs. previous view of $80-$85 million. It cites expectations of product approval delays in China, as well as uncertainty regarding possible approval delays in Japan, slower-than-anticipated sales in North America. CIBC World downgrades to sector perform from sector outperform.

Forest Laboratories (FRX) says single doses of inhaled aclidinium produced a significant bronchodilatory response in 17 patients with COPD according to results of a phase IIa trial presented today at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress in Stockholm.

Factory Card & Party Outlet (FCPO) agrees to be acquired by unit of AAH Holdings Corp. for $72 million (including payments with respect to outstanding stock options and warrants assumption of debt) or $16.50 per share in cash. It posts second quarter EPS of $0.65, vs. $0.57 a year ago.


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