Markets & Finance

Movers: Countrywide, Motorola, Dell, XM Satellite Radio, J.Crew


Friday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchCountrywide Financial (CFC) and other financial stocks are higher following a Wall Street Journal article which said the White House and the mortgage industry are near a pact that would temporarily freeze interest rates on certain troubled subprime home loans. S&P thinks such a plan would benefit CFC.

Motorola (MOT) elects Greg Brown, 47, as chief executive officer. Brown currently serves as president and chief operating officer. Brown will succeed Edward Zander as CEO, and Zander, 60, will continue to serve as chairman until the annual meeting of stockholders in May 2008. S&P maintains hold.

Dell (DELL) falls after posting $0.34 third quarter EPS, vs. $0.27 a year ago, on 9% revenue rise. It notes desktop PC revenue fell 1.0%, but revenue from mobility products increased 19%. It says near term results could be hurt by a slower decline in component costs and a seasonal shift in mix to U.S. consumer and international regions. S&P keeps hold. Bear Stearns, Broadpoint Capital cut estimates.

XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) rises after Bear Stearns says the Dept. of Justice decision on XMSR's proposed acquisition of Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) is imminent; could come as early as today or Monday. Bear Stearns expects DoJ to announce it will not block the deal, which could provide upside in XMSR shares to $20, SIRI shares to $4.50.

Tiffany & Co. (TIF) posts $0.72 third quarter EPS from continuing operations, vs. $0.23 a year ago, on 8% higher US same-store sales, 10% higher international same-store sales, 18% higher total sales. The luxury retailer sees fiscal year 2008 sales growth of approximately 15%, EPS from continuing operations of $2.69-$2.74 (including items).

J.Crew Group (JCG) posts $0.42 third quarter EPS, vs. $0.40 a year ago, on 19% higher same-store sales, 21% higher total revenue. Based on better-than-anticipated third quarter results, it raises fiscal year 2008 EPS view to $1.50-$1.52, vs. previous guidance of $1.42-$1.46. S&P reiterates buy.

Zumiez (ZUMZ) posts $0.28 third quarter EPS, vs. $0.24 a year ago, on 13% higher same-store sales, 27% higher total sales. It sees $0.92-$0.94 fiscal year 2008 EPS.

Omnivision Technologies (OVTI) posts $0.51 second quarter non-GAAP EPS, vs. $0.28 a year ago, on 69% revenue rise. It sees third quarter revenue of $220-$240 million, non-GAAP EPS of $0.41-$0.54. S&P keeps hold; raises estimate.

Mentor Graphics (MENT) posts $0.10 third quarter GAAP loss (breakeven non-GAAP), vs. $0.03 EPS a year ago, on 2.3% revenue decline. It says revenue timing issues on certain key orders impacted results for the quarter. It sees fiscal year 2008 revenue of $860 million, GAAP EPS of about $.50, non-GAAP EPS of about $1.02. Preliminary guidance for fiscal year 2009 is for revenues of $920 million, GAAP EPS of about $.78, non-GAAP EPS of $1.22.

United States Steel (X) says its Chairman and CEO John Surma plans to announce the details of a proposed major capital investment program in the Mon Valley during a press conference scheduled for Friday, Nov. 30, 2007, at 2 p.m. at the company's Clairton Plant coke making operation.

Freddie Mac (FRE) prices its $6 billion fixed-to-floating rate non-convertible non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock at $25 a share. The shares have a fixed dividend rate of 8.375% through Dec. 31, 2012. The dividend will then rise to 416 basis points over 3-month LIBOR or 7.875%.

Big Lots (BIG) posts $0.14 third quarter EPS, vs. $0.02 a year ago, despite 0.5% same-store sales drop, 1.8% total sales drop. It sees fourth quarter same-store sales to be slightly negative compared with prior guidance of up 1%-3%. It sees $0.81-$0.86 fourth quarter EPS and $1.37-$1.42 fiscal year 2008 EPS from continuing operations. It sets $150 million share buyback.

Longs Drug Stores (LDG) posts slightly lower November same-store sales, 1.8% higher total sales from continuing operations.

Alliance Data Systems (ADS) confirms that it has not been approached by Blackstone Capital Partners V L.P. or its affiliates regarding any renegotiation of the $81.75 per share cash purchase price to be paid by to holders of ADS common stock under the terms of the agreement and plan of merger entered into on May 17, 2007, among Alliance Data, Aladdin Holdco, Inc. and Aladdin Merger Sub, Inc.

Newmont Mining (NEM) agrees to sell its royalty assets and certain other non-core investments to Franco-Nevada Corp. in a $1.3 billion deal. NEM expects to record pre-tax gain from discontinued operations of about $950 million in the fourth quarter in connection with completion of the sale.

Andersons (ANDE) raises 2007 EPS guidance to $3.40-$3.60 from $3.15-$3.35. It cites further income improvements in the Plant Nutrient Group and continued increases in its grain business and income from its investment in Lansing Trade Group.


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