Markets & Finance

Movers: Merrill Lynch, Pitney Bowes, Procter & Gamble, Energizer


Tuesday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchMerrill Lynch (MER) says chairman and chief executive officer Stan O'Neal has decided to retire from the company effective immediately. The company said the board of directors has elected Alberto Cribiore as interim non-executive chairman. S&P reiterates buy on valuation.

Pitney Bowes (PBI) posts $0.58 third quarter EPS from continuing operations (GAAP), vs. $0.64 a year ago, on 5.2% revenue rise. It notes third quarter EPS was below its guidance of $0.68-$0.72. It sees fourth quarter revenue growth of 6%-9%, $0.67-$0.71 adjusted EPS from continuing operations. It sees 2007 revenue growth of 6%-8%, $2.67-$2.71 2007 adjusted EPS from continuing operations. S&P cuts estimates, target, keeps hold.

Smith & Wesson Holding (SWHC) sees $0.05-$0.07 second quarter EPS on $69-$71 million revenue. It cuts fiscal year 2008 guidance to $0.53 EPS from $0.63, to $325 million revenue from $330 million.

American Medical Systems (AMMD) posts $0.09 third quarter EPS, vs. $0.84 loss per share a year aog, on 20% revenue rise, $0.15-$0.20 EPS. It sees $124-$130 million fourth quarter revenue. It cuts $470-$482 million 2007 revenue guidance to $458-$464 million, $0.52-$0.60 EPS to $0.40-$0.45. Stifel Nicolaus downgrades to hold from buy.

Sepracor (SEPR) posts better-than-expected third quarter EPS of $0.37, vs. $0.56 a year ago, on 1.8% revenue drop. It narrows $1.00-$1.30 2007 EPS guidance to $1.05-$1.15. It sees $2.35-$2.45 2008 EPS.

Procter & Gamble (PG) posts first quarter EPS of $0.92 (including tax benefit), vs. $0.79 a year ago, on 8% sales rise. It sees $0.95-$0.97 second quarter EPS on sales growth of 6%-8%. It raises fiscal year 2008 EPS forecast to $3.46-$3.49 (including tax benefit). S&P maintains strong buy.

Energizer Holdings (ENR) posts lower-than-expected fourth quarter EPS of $1.03, vs. $0.66 a year ago, on 5.4% sales rise.

Colgate-Palmolive (CL) posts third quarter EPS (excluding charges) of $0.86, vs. $0.73 a year ago, on 12% rise in worldwide sales. It expects to deliver double-digit EPS growth for the balance of 2007 and full year 2008. S&P maintains strong buy.

UBS AG (UBS) posts CHF 726 million third quarter operating loss, vs. 6.236 billion profit a year ago. It cites substantial losses, writedowns in trading positions related to U.S. sub-prime residential mortgage-backed securities market. It believes it unlikely that the Investment Bank will contribute positively to UBS results for the last three months of the year.

United States Steel (X) posts third quarter EPS of $2.27, vs. $3.42 a year ago, despite 6% sales rise. It notes diverse challenges, including general economic concerns that affected its major markets. It sees a decline in overall results for the fourth quarter mainly due to normal seasonal effects, several scheduled blast furnace outages.

Bradley Pharmaceuticals (BDY) agrees to be acquired by Nycomed US Inc., a unit of Nycomed S.C.A., SICAR, in a deal valued at about $346 million. Terms: BDY holders to get $20.00 per share in cash for each share held.

Sohu.com (SOHU) posts third quarter non-GAAP EPS of $0.30, vs. $0.22 a year ago, on 46% higher revenue. It sees $0.33-$0.35 fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS on $53.5-$55.5 million revenue.

Martin Marietta Materials (MLM) posts third quarter EPS of $2.12, vs. $1.65 a year ago, on 4% sales rise. It sees $1.37-$1.72 fourth quarter EPS and $6.10-$6.45 for 2007.

Corn Products International (CPO) posts lower-than-expected $0.66, vs. $0.49 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 30% revenue rise. It notes third quarter 2007 includes a $0.05 gain from CPO's holdings in CME Group Inc. It expects 2007 EPS to be in upper range of $2.35-$2.55 guidance.

Rent-A-Center (RCII) posts third quarter GAAP EPS of $0.37, vs. $0.36 a year ago, on 21% higher revenue. It sees $0.38-$0.44 fourth quarter EPS on $708-$723 million revenue (vs. third quarter's $709.7 million). Additionally, RCII says it reached a potential settlement in a putative class action that would include $3.6 million cash paid by the company's insurance carrier.

BJ Services (BJS) posts fourth quarter EPS of $0.64, vs. $0.76 a year ago, as higher operating expenses offset 5.2% revenue rise. It sees $0.58-$0.60 first quarter EPS, $2.35-$2.45 for fiscal year 2008.

AirTran Holdings (AAI) posts $0.18 (excluding one-time charge) third quarter EPS, vs. $0.05 loss per share a year ago, on 25% operating revenue rise.

Freightcar America (RAIL) posts better-than-expected $0.73, vs. $2.88 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 59% lower sales.

Fresh Del Monte Produce (FDP) posts $0.51 third quarter EPS, vs. $1.44 loss per share a year ago, on 3.8% revenue rise.

FMC Technologies (FTI) posts $0.59, vs. $0.43 a year ago, third quarter EPS (GAAP) on 22% higher revenue. It also says it plans to spin off its FoodTech and Airport Systems operations in a tax-free distribution to shareholders in mid-2008. Raises its 2007 EPS from continuing operations guidance to $2.16-$2.21.

CB Richard Ellis Group (CBG) posts $0.55, vs. $0.40 a year ago, third quarter non-GAAP EPS on 54% higher revenue. It still sees 2007 EPS growth of about 50% (excluding one-time items).

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) posts $0.64, vs. $0.74 a year ago, third quarter EPS as higher costs, expenses offset 3.5% sales rise. CFO Dan Suesskind plans to retire in mid-2008; Eyal Desheh, currently CFO of Checkpoint Software Technologies, appointed to succeed Mr. Suesskind as Teva's CFO.

R.R. Donnelley & Sons (RRD) posts $0.81, vs. $0.67 a year ago, third quarter non-GAAP EPS on 26% sales rise. It raises 2007 non-GAAP guidance to $2.85-$2.88 from its previous forecast of $2.70-$2.75. It names Miles W. McHugh Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Andrew B. Coxhead Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer.

Beckman Coulter (BEC) posts third quarter adjusted EPS of $0.77, vs. $0.66 a year ago, on 6.0% revenue rise. It sees $3.15-$3.22 2007 EPS on 7%-9% revenue growth.

EOG Resources (EOG) posts third quarter non-GAAP EPS of $0.79, vs. $1.12 a year ago, as lower natural gas prices offset 23% revenue rise.


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