Markets & Finance

Movers: Oracle, Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, FedEx, Circuit City


Thursday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchOracle (ORCL) reports fiscal first-quarter earnings per share that was slightly above analysts' prediction. The software maker said EPS rose 25% from a year ago to 16 cents for the three months ended in August. Excluding stock option expenses, Oracle's EPS came in at 22 cents -- a penny above analysts' estimate. Revenue rose 26% to $4.53 billion, with new software license revenues up 35% to $1.1 billion.

Bear Stearns (BSC) posts weaker-than-expected third quarter earnings per share of $1.16, vs. $3.02 a year ago, on 38% lower net revenues. It sets a $2.5 billion stock buyback.

Goldman Sachs Group (GS) posts third quarter EPS of $6.13, vs. $3.26 a year ago.

FedEx (FDX) posts first quarter earnings per share of $1.58, vs. $1.53 a year ago, on 7.6% revenue rise. It sees EPS of $1.60-$1.75 for the second quarter and $6.70-$7.10 for fiscal year 2008.

Circuit City Stores (CC) reports a wider than expected loss of $0.38 per share for the second quarter, vs. $0.06 EPS a year ago, on 7.9% same-store sales drop, 6.2% total sales drop. The electronics retailer sees continued weakness in third quarter results, but with a net loss from continuing operations narrower than that of the second quarter.

Athenahealth (ATHN) jumped 5.60 to 35.50 in its IPO of 6.3 million shares priced at $18.

Nasdaq Stock Market (NDAQ) and Borse Dubai enter into agreements, including: Borse Dubai to become a 19.99% shareholder in NDAQ (capped at 5% voting rights); NDAQ will acquire all of Sweden's OMX shares to be purchased by Borse Dubai in its offer for OMX; NDAQ will become a strategic shareholder and the principal commercial partner of Dubai Intl Financial Exchange. In addition, Borse Dubai has acquired 28% of the total issued share capital in London Stock Exchange Group PLC from NASDAQ at a price of £14.14. S&P maintains hold.

Meridian Gold (MDG) rises after it says Yumana Gold (AUY) announced it has reduced minimum tender condition relating to the offer to acquire all of outstanding common shares of MDG to 50.1% and extended offer deadline to Oct. 2, 2007. MDG shareholders will now be entitled to receive 2.235 AUY common shares plus C$6.50 in cash for each MDG common share tendered and taken up by AUY.

ConAgra Foods (CAG) posts $0.36, vs. $0.33 a year ago, first quarter EPS on 10% revenue rise. It sees $1.48 fiscal year 2008 EPS (excluding items).

The New York Times reports that the consortium that had agreed to buy SLM Corp. (SLM), or Sallie Mae, for $25 billion may scuttle the deal if it is unable to negotiate a lower price.

American Greetings (AM) posts $0.16 second quarter EPS, vs. $0.22 loss from continuing operations, on 1.6% revenue rise. It affirms previously announced $1.35-$1.55 fiscal year 2008 EPS from continuing operations forecast.

Palm (PALM) sees first quarter non-GAAP EPS of $0.08-$0.09, and expects first quarter revenue of $359-$361 million, with Smartphone revenue seen in the range of $300-$302 million and Smartphone sell-through of 685,000 units to 690,000 units. It sees GAAP EPS of breakeven to a loss of $0.01.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR) posts $0.49 second quarter loss per share, vs. $0.84 loss a year ago, despite 3.6% same-store sales drop, 7% total revenue drop.

Scholastic (SCHL) posts $0.07 first quarter loss per share, vs. $1.12 loss a year ago, on 75% revenue rise. It maintains $2.35-$2.85 fiscal year 2008 EPS forecast.

Monolithic Power Systems (MPWR) raises $33-$35 million third quarter revenue guidance to $38-$39 million. It cites strong demand in notebook and flat panel TV markets.

Herman Miller (MLHR) posts $0.54, vs. $0.43 a year ago, first quarter EPS on 9.3% sales rise. It says orders in the quarter were $483.8 million, down 3.9% from year ago quarter. It sees $0.51-$0.57 second quarter EPS on sales of $475-$500 million.

Steelcase (SCS) posts $0.26, vs. $0.18 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 4.5% revenue rise. It sees 3%-7% third quarter revenue growth, EPS of $0.27-$0.32.

Netscout Systems (NTCT) raises $28-$29 million second quarter revenue guidance to $29-$30 million, $0.08-$0.09 EPS to $0.09-$0.10. Separately, it agrees to acquire Network General Corp. in a $205 million deal.

Biocryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX) says preliminary findings from Phase II study with intramuscular (i.m.) injection of peramivir, the company's product candidate for treatment of seasonal and life-threatening influenza, indicate that a single dose of peramivir demonstrated a treatment improvement over placebo, but that improvement was not statistically significant.


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