Markets & Finance

Movers: Citigroup, Staples, Activision, Bidz.com


Tuesday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchCitigroup (C) agrees to sell Equity Units, with mandatory conversion into common shares, in a private placement to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, in the amount of $7.5 billion. S&P maintains hold.

Staples (SPLS) posts $0.38 third quarter EPS, vs. $0.39 a year ago, despite 8.7% total sales rise. It notes third quarter fiscal year 2008 results reflect a pre-tax charge of $38 million, while third quarter 2007 results reflect a lower tax rate. It sees EPS growth of 15% for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2008, excluding items. It sees low-teens EPS growth, excluding items, for fiscal year 2009.

Activision (ATVI) says based on better-than-expected consumer response to its holiday slate worldwide, it expects $0.66 third quarter EPS on $1.225 billion in revenue, and $0.75 fiscal year 2008 on $2.30 billion revenue.

Bidz.com (BIDZ) says sales during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, from Friday to Sunday, were up 78% over last year. It reaffirms its outlook for the fourth quarter; it expects revenues of $56-$58 million, pre-tax income of about $5.6-$6 million.

Pulte Homes (PHM) says it remains "committed" to its previous guidance for fourth quarter pre-impairment earnings and cash position, despite weak new housing demand and elevated supply levels.

Bare Escentuals (BARE) announces that Diane Miles, President of Wholesale and International Sales, resigns. Goldman says it difficult to surmise whether there are additional operational issues that have come about culminating in her resignation, but given recent weakness it believes the stock already reflects bad news, maintains buy.

Tech Data (TECD) posts $0.73 third quarter EPS (GAAP), vs. $0.19 a year ago, on 9.1% sales rise. For the fourth quarter, it anticipates net sales to be in the range of $6.35 billion to $6.50 billion, which assumes low double-digit year-over-year growth in the Americas and a mid-to-high single-digit decline in Europe on a local currency basis. S&P raises estimates, reiterates hold.

Barclays PLC (BCS) expects 2007 EPS to be "broadly in line" with the current market consensus.

Deckers Outdoor (DECK) rises after Sterne Agee & Leach initiates coverage with buy and a $155 12-month target price. DECK says there is no news, notes analyst comments.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) posts $0.45, vs. $0.44 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 2% same-store sales rise, 6.9% total sales rise. It says November month-to-date same-store sales are slightly positive; sets fourth quarter EPS guidance of $0.67-$0.70, vs. $0.66 last year.

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) agrees to acquire privately-held Chick's Sporting Goods for approximately $40 million in cash. Including the assumption of approximately $31 million of indebtedness, the transaction values Chick's at approximately $71 million, and will be financed using DKS's existing credit facility.

Computer Sciences (CSC) announces that it has been notified by the staff of the SEC that the SEC's investigation into CSC's stock option grant practices has been completed, and that the staff does not intend to recommend any enforcement action by the SEC against CSC. However, Moody's Investors Service says it has revised its rating outlook to negative from stable, to reflect CSC's more aggressive financial policies since its fiscal year ended March 31, 2007.

Arbitron (ARB) says it will delay the commercialization of its Portable People Meter (PPM) radio ratings service in nine markets. As such, it cuts 2007 EPS guidance to $1.30-$1.35 from $1.35-$1.45. It estimates 2008 EPS to be reduced by $0.22-$0.33. Bear Stearns downgrades to peer perform from outperform.

Express Scripts (ESRX) expects 2008 EPS to be in range of $2.80-$2.87, cash flow from operations to be in range of $875-$975 million.

Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) gets final approval from FDA on its Abbreviated New Drug Application of Oxycodone Hydrochloride and Ibuprofen Tablets, which is the equivalent to FRX's Combunox, in 5mg/400mg strength.

Gymboree (GYMB) sets additional $25 million stock buyback.

Genesco (GCO) says it received subpoena from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for documents relating to the company's negotiations and merger agreement with The Finish Line (FINL). The subpoena states that the documents are sought in connection with alleged violations of federal fraud statutes.

Tribune (TRB) posts 9.3% drop in consolidated revenues for period ending Oct. 28, 2007; publishing revenue fell 7.9%, advertising revenues fell 10.6%.


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