Markets & Finance

Movers: Lehman Brothers, Countrywide Financial, Biogen Idec


Thursday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchLehman Brothers (LEH) posts $1.54 fourth quarter EPS, vs. $1.72 a year ago, on 4% revenue decline. Fixed Income Capital Markets (FICM) revenue fell 60% due to "very challenging" markets, but Equities Capital Markets revenue of $1.9 billion more than doubled the year ago level.

Countrywide Financial (CFC) says mortgage loan fundings for November fell 40%; average daily mortgage plan application activity declined 32%; mortgage loan pipeline was $43 billion, vs. $62 billion a year ago. It says its mortgage loan servicing portfolio continues to grow, reaching $1.47 trillion at Nov. 30, 2007, an increase of 15% from a year ago.

Honeywell International (HON) sees 2008 sales of $36.1-$36.7 billioin, up 5%-7%, EPS of $3.65-$3.80, an increase of 16%-21% vs. 2007. It says cash flow from operations is expected to be $4.1-4.3 billion and free cash flow is expected to be up 7%-13% to $3.2-$3.4 billion.

Biogen Idec (BIIB) says after completing a review of strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value, it will continue on its present course as an independent company. S&P downgrades to hold from buy.

Ciena (CIEN) posts $0.30 fourth quarter GAAP EPS, vs. $0.14 a year ago, on 35% revenue rise. It expects to deliver up to 5% sequential revenue growth in the first quarter and 20% annual revenue growth in fiscal year 2008. It names James E. Moylan, Jr. CFO.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB) posts $0.38 third quarter EPS, vs. $0.30 a year ago, on 9.9% total sales rise.

Dow Chemical (DOW) and Petrochemical Industries Co. (PIC) of the State of Kuwait, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), agree to form a 50/50 joint venture global petrochemicals company. DOW will sell to PIC a 50% interest in business assets included in deal for $9.5 billion (pre-tax).

ADC Telecommunications (ADCT) posts $0.06 fourth quarter loss from continuing operations, vs. $0.39 EPS, as $29.4 million impairment charge offsets 7% revenue rise. It expects 3%-7% first quarter sales decline from the previous quarter. It expects second quarter sales to be higher than the first quarter as customers begin spending their 2008 capital budgets. It sees $0.68-$0.78 fiscal year 2008 GAAP EPS from continuing operations on $1.450-$1.475 billion. Merriman Curhan reportedly upgrades to buy from neutral.

Moneygram International (MGI) says Euronet Worldwide (EEFT) has offered to acquire MGI for $1.65 billion, or about $20 per share. Terms: 0.6179 EEFT share for each MGI share held.

Markek Biosciences (MATK) posts $0.23 fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS, vs. $0.10 a year ago, on 22% revenue rise. It sees first quarter total revenue of $79-$83 million and EPS of $0.21-$0.23.

Savient Pharmaceuticals (SVNT) announces statistically significant positive results for the Puricase (pegloticase) Phase 3 program in treatment-failure gout patients, which has been conducted under the auspices of a Special Protocol Assessment with FDA.

Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) raises 2007 EPS guidance to $2.17-$2.20, from $2.15-$2.18, expects operating free cash flow to exceed $570 million, vs. previous guidance of $560-$570 million. It sees 2008 adjusted EPS of $2.30-$2.38.


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