Markets & Finance

Movers: Cisco Systems, AIG, Sotheby's, First Solar


Thursday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchCisco Systems (CSCO) posted $0.37 (before $0.03 tax benefit) vs. $0.31 a year ago, first quarter non-GAAP EPS. Revenue rose 16.7% to $9.6 billion - above the company's forecast of $9.45 billion to $9.55 billion. Analysts expected the company to report EPS of 36 cents on revenue of $9.54 billion, according to Thomson Financial. It expects second quarter sales growth of 16% year-over-year. S&P downgrades to hold from buy.

American International Group (AIG) posts lower than expected $1.35, vs. $1.53 a year ago, third quarter adjusted EPS. Included in third quarter adjusted EPS was a charge of about $229 million after tax for net unrealized market valuation loss related to AIG Financial Product Corp.'s (AIGFP) super senior credit default swap portfolio. Estimates further unrealized market valuation loss through October 2007 of about $550 million (before tax) for AIGFP's super senior credit default swap portfolio. S&P keeps buy.

Morgan Stanley (MS) says as a result of the decline in value of its U.S. subprime related balance sheet exposures, says revenues for the two months ended October 31, 2007, were reduced by $3.7B (representing a decline of approximately $2.5B in net income on an after-tax basis). The actual impact on fourth quarter financial results, which will include results for the month of November, will depend on future market developments and could differ from the amounts noted.

Ford Motor (F) posts $0.01 third quarter loss from continuing operations, vs. $0.45 loss per share a year ago, on 11% revenue rise. It says it's ahead of its 2007 plan both on a pre-tax and net income basis, sees substantial year-over-year improvement in fourth quarter results. It continues to explore in greater detail potential sale of Jaguar and Land Rover, and anticipates talks will culminate in an agreement no later than early next year.

Rio Tinto PLC (RTP) rejects the recent offer from BHP Billiton whereby each RTP share would be exchanged for three BHP shares.

Sotheby's (BID) plunges after Banc of America says yesterday's key Impressionist/Modern evening sales came in below estimates; downgrades BID to neutral from buy.

Oracle (ORCL) falls 1.83 to 20.27 - S&P thinks shares lower today in sympathy with comments from Cisco regarding softness in the U.S. enterprise sector and among CSCO's large customers. S&P maintains strong buy recommendation on ORCL.

First Solar (FSLR) posts $0.58, vs. $0.06 (pro forma) a year ago, third quarter EPS on more than tripled revenue rise. CIBC World upgrades to sector outperform from sector perform, sets $230 target.

Washington Mutual (WM) down 0.74 to 19.30. S&P believes an expanding investigation into the integrity of WM's appraisal process will weigh further on its shares, maintains sell.

Nokia (NOK) falls 1.99 to 38.94. S&P sees an opportunity for NOK to work more closely with carrier customers via its Ovi platform and by offering navigation assistance. However, with its revenue projection for 53.4B euros in 2008, S&P does not see any meaningful new revenue contributions for NOK through 2009 from fees or advertisements. Maintains sell.

American Railcar Industries (ARII) posts $0.23, vs. $0.52 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 7% revenue drop. Notes reduction of hopper railcar shipments. JP Morgan cuts estimates, keeps neutral.

Barr Pharmaceuticals (BRL) posts $0.36, vs. $0.49 a year ago, third quarter EPS as lower margins offset 81% revenue rise. It sees fourth quarter adjusted EPS of $0.73-$0.83, bringing its full year adjustsed EPS to $3.10-$3.20. S&P says its fourth quarter guidance below Street, maintains buy.

Gap (GPS) posts 5% lower third quarter same-store sales, flat total sales. It posts 8% drop in October same-store sales. It sees $0.28-$0.30 third quarter EPS, as GPS continues to make progress on its strategies of driving earnings with healthy margins and controlling expenses.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) posts 0.4% higher October total U.S. same-store sales rise, without fuel; 0.7% higher sales rise with fuel. It also posts 8.4% higher total company sales. It expects November same-store sales of its U.S. operations to be between flat and 2%.

Target (TGT) posts 4.1% higher October same-store sales, 9.7% higher total sales.

Macy's (M) Posts 1.5% lower Oct. same-store sales, 0.5% lower total sales. Posts 0.8% lower third quarter same-store sales, 0.4% higher total sales. Notes this was within co.'s third quarter guidance for total sales of between $5.9B-$6B, and for same-store sales to be in range of down 1% to up 1%.

McDonald's (MCD) posts 5.4% higher October U.S. same-store sales, 6.9% higher global same-store sales, 14% higher global system-wide sales.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) posts 3% lower October same-store sales, 13% total sales rise. It says October sales were consistent with its recent expectations. It reiterates third quarter EPS of $0.44-$0.45, compared to $0.44 last year. S&P keeps strong buy.

True Religion Apparel (TRLG) posts $0.42 third quarter adjusted EPS on 13% sales rise. It reiterates 2007 guidance of net sales of approximately $167 million, adjusted EPS of $1.24-$1.27. It says its Audit Committee has determined that a correction is needed to its previously issued financial reports for 2005 and 2006, including the quarters therein, and the quarters ended Mar. 31, 2007 and June 30, 2007.

Heelys (HLYS) posts $0.24, vs. $0.48 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 31% sales decline. It sees fourth quarter EPS at breakeven.

Zumiez (ZUMZ) sees third quarter EPS of $0.27-$0.28, which lower than expected. It sees fiscal year 2008 EPS of $0.92-$0.94. It posts 5.1% higher October same-store sales, vs. year ago's 16% rise; total sales for October rose 25%.

Gymboree (GYMB) posts 8% higher third quarter same-store sales, 18% higher total sales. It now sees $0.88-$0.90 third quarter EPS.

Dean Foods (DF) posts $0.05, vs. $0.54 a year ago, third quarter EPS as higher costs offset 24% sales rise. On adjusted basis, the company posted $0.14 vs. $0.56 third quarter EPS.

Hansen Natural (HANS) posts lower-than-expected $0.46, vs. $0.27 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 38% net sales rise.

WebMD Health (WBMD) posts $0.19 vs. $0.01 third quarter EPS on 31% revenue rise. It sees fourth quarter revenue of $94-$98 million; it says revenues will be impacted by timing of delivery of certain advertising programs being more weighted to 2008 than had been expected and the lengthening sales and implementation cycle in the private portal business. It sees fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA of $30-$32.5 million. It sees 2008 revenue of $420-$435 million, EPS of $0.71-$0.85. Also, HLTH Corp. (HLTH) indicates its intent to propose transaction to modify its 84% ownership of WBMD, under which HLTH would merge into WBMD for combination of cash, WBMD stock.


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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