Markets & Finance

Movers: Ambac, Christopher & Banks, Cal-Maine


Plus more stocks making headlines in Friday's market

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchAMBAC FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. (ABK)

Down 3.95 to 25.19

The Wall Street Journal reports Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) is starting a bond insurer to help state and local governments lower their borrowing costs, directly challenging rivals that are struggling with deteriorating credit markets. Ambac and MBIA (MBI) are the two largest bond insurers that may be hurt by Buffet's entry into the business.

CHRISTOPHER & BANKS CORP. (CBK)

Down 1.57 to 11.35

Posted 29 cents vs. 24 cents third quarter EPS on 9% higher same-store sales and 13% higher total sales. Sees 2 cents-5 cents fourth-quarter EPS on flat to low single-digit decline in same-store sales. Sees fiscal 2008 EPS of 72 cents-75 cents. Merriman Curhan cuts estimates, keeps neutral.

CAL-MAINE FOODS, INC. (CALM)

Up 2.39 to 28.24

Posted $1.69 vs. 27 cents second quarter EPS on 62% revenue rise.

FINISH LINE, INC. (THE) (FINL)

Down 0.78 to 2.27

GENESCO INC. (GCO)

Up 5.34 to 38.40

Tennessee court orders Finish Line to specifically perform the terms of its merger agreement with Genesco (GCO). Finish Line says it disappointed with ruling, is studying court's decision and is considering its options, including possibility of an appeal. S&P reiterates hold on Finish Line shares.

THERAVANCE, INC. (THRX)

Down 2.40 to 18.90

The company says it received notice from FDA that the agency's Anti-Infective Drugs Advisory Committee "may soon meet" to review the NDA for telavancin, a novel, bactericidal, once-daily injectable antibiotic proposed to treat complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) caused by Gram-positive bacteria, including resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Credit Suisse keeps outperform.

CDC CORP. (CHINA)

Up 0.79 to 4.90

The company says directors and executives purchased about 467,825 CHINA shares since insider trading window was opened on Dec. 17. Also, in the fourth quarter, the company and its subsidiaries repurchased 366,000 common shares.

CENTERLINE HOLDING COMPANY (CHC)

Down 2.62 to 7.65

Completes securitization of its $2.8 billion tax-exempt affordable housing bond portfolio with Freddie Mac (FRE). Sees one-time charges of $45-$55 million in the fourth quarter, and expects the charges to reduce net income by $30-$40 million. Cuts $1.89 2007 cash available for distribution guidance to $1.70-$1.75, excluding transaction related costs from securitization. Sees $1.00-$1.10 2008 adjusted EPS.

CHECKPOINT SYSTEMS, INC. (CKP)

Up 2.99 to 25.70

Sees $1.65-$1.75 2008 EPS on double digit revenue growth, forecasts further growth in 2009.

CHORDIANT SOFTWARE, INC. (CHRD)

Up 0.43 to 8.55

In $26.1 million deal with Vodafone (VOD), whereby Chordiant will provide perpetual enterprise licenses, support for Decision Management and Marketing Director product suites for group of companies or subsidiaries. Sees first quarter revenue of $27.5-$29 million, non-GAAP loss of 3-4 cents per share. CIBC World reiterates sector outperform.

MSC INDUSTRIAL DIRECT CO., INC. (MSM)

Down 1.73 to 39.97

Bear Stearns downgrades to peer perform from outperform.

NATIONAL COAL CORP. (NCOC)

Down 0.14 to 5.60

Sells 2 million NCOC shares in a private placement netting total proceeds of about $8 million.


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