Friday's stocks in the news
From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchBed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) posts $0.52 (including tax benefit), vs. $0.50 a year ago, third quarter EPS on slightly higher same-store sales, 11% higher total sales. It sees fourth quarter EPS of $0.64-$0.67 on flat same-store sales percentage, bringing BBBY's fiscal year 2008 EPS estimate to $2.08-$2.11, below the current consensus view. S&P cuts ests, target; reiterates buy. Morgan Keegan cuts estimates, maintains market perform.
Micrel (MCRL) cuts $66.5-$67.8 million fourth quarter revenue guidance to about $64 million. It cites lower-than-expected turns-fill orders received during last few weeks of the fourth quarter. It expects first quarter revenues will be flat from fourth quarter levels. It sees fourth quarter EPS of $0.10-$0.11, down from previous guidance of $0.13. S&P cuts estimate, target; reiterates hold. Caris maintains Below Average rating, cuts estimates, target.
Intel (INTC) falls after JP Morgan downgrades to neutral from overweight.
Wendy's International (WEN) posts preliminary average same-store sales at U.S. company-restaurants decreased 0.8% for the fourth quarter, vs. a 3.1% year-ago, average same-store sales at U.S. franchise restaurants increased 0.2%, vs. 2.7% increase.
UAL Corp. (UAUA) reports December passenger load factor of 78.8%, 1.2% decline in total scheduled revenue passenger miles (RPMs) on capacity decrease of 0.1% in scheduled available seat miles (ASMs). Cites "extremely" challenging December, with company recording 19 severe weather days, the highest in its recorded history for the month, and more than double last December. Says it raised fares to offset fuel costs.
Motorola (MOT) falls after CIBC World says it believes handset demand for MOT, which was solid through mid December, decelerated significantly in the last weeks of the quarter; it now believes MOT will ship below 40 million units in the fourth quarter 2007; and sees EPS downside. Maintains sector outperform based on sum-of-parts valuation.
Global Payments (GPN) posts $0.48, vs. $0.42 a year ago, second quarter GAAP EPS on 18% revenue rise. It sees fiscal year 2008 revenue of $1.231-$1.257 billion, EPS of $1.89-$1.96. It says guidance excludes the impact of future significant acquisitions, and potential restructuring and other charges. S&P maintains hold. Credit Suisse downgrades to underperform from neutral.
YRC Worldwide (YRCW) falls after Fitch Ratings downgrades ratings on YRCW and its Roadway LLC and USF Corp units.
Talbots (TLB) says quarter-to-date sales for its Talbots, J. Jill brands trending below expectations. Separately, says it will exit its Talbots Kids, Talbots Mens concepts by September 2008. It sees total revenue impacted by about $100 million on annualized basis. It sees pre-tax expenses of about $5 million, or $0.06 per share in fourth quarter 2007, pre-tax expenses of about $34-$42 million, or $0.40-$0.49 per share in fiscal year 2009.
North Pointe Holdings (NPTE) agrees to be acquired by QBE Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of QBE Insurance Group Ltd., in a cash transaction valued at approximately $146 million. Terms: $16.00 cash for each NPTE share.
Arctic Cat (ACAT) falls as it says due to lower-than-anticipated sales of all-terrain vehicles, cuts $170-$180 million third quarter net sales forecast to $155-$160 million. It widens $0.30-$0.37 third quarter loss per share estimate to $0.55-$0.60, primarily due to previously disclosed reduction in snowmobile production. Cuts $710-$736 million fiscal year 2008 sales forecast to $645-$665 million and $0.89-$0.95 EPS to $0.01-$0.07.
Regions Financial (RF) plans to increase its loan loss provision to about $360 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of about $270 million from the third quarter. It cites weakening credit quality, primarily in its residential builder loan portfolio. It expects fourth quarter net loan charge-offs and non-performing assets to rise to about an annualized 46 basis points of average loans and 91 basis points of period-end loans and foreclosed properties. S&P cuts estimates, target; maintains hold.
Cleveland Biolabs (CBLI) says it was informed by the Department of Defense that Protectan CBLB502, its candidate for the treatment of gastrointestinal effects of acute radiation syndrome was not selected for award.
Westlake Chemical (WLK) falls after Lehman reportedly downgrades to equal-weight from overweight.
US Airways Group (LCC) says December revenue passenger miles (RPMs) fell 4.5%, capacity fell 4.4%, passenger load factor fell 0.2%.
Osiris Therapeutics (OSIR) gets $224.7 million contract, including purchase options, from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop and stockpile Prochymal, an adult stem cell therapy, for the repair of gastrointestinal injury resulting from radiation exposure.