Markets & Finance

Movers: MBIA, Ambac, GM, Monsanto, Sprint Nextel, Schering-Plough


Tuesday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchMBIA (MBI) and Ambac (ABK) are seen higher as Buffett tells CNBC that last week he sent letter to three bond insurers offering to take over liabilities. Buffett says that one bond insurer rejected his offer, but he declined to say who.

General Motors (GM) posts $0.08, vs. $0.32 a year ago, fourth quarter adjusted EPS (excluding special items) on 7.3% lower revenue. Including special items, it posts $1.28 fourth quarter net loss, vs. $1.68 EPS. Also says it will offer buyouts or early retirements to all 74,000 U.S. hourly workers represented by the United Auto Workers.

Monsanto Company (MON) raises fiscal year 2008 ongoing EPS guidance to a range of $2.70-$2.80, vs. previous guidance range of $2.50-$2.60, reflecting increased confidence in its seed and traits business commitments and continuing strong performance of its Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides.

Sprint Nextel (S) announces the appointment of Ralph V. Whitworth to the company's Board of Directors. Whitworth is the founder and principal of Relational Investors LLC, a registered investment advisor based in San Diego, Calif. S&P notes that Mr. Whitworth is a 2% shareholder in Sprint; believes his addition to board is positive; it reiterates hold.

Wyndham Worldwide (WYN) posts $0.58, vs. $0.48 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 6.4% revenue rise. It affirms first quarter guidance range of $0.30-$0.35 EPS, which reflects a reduction of about $0.12-$0.15 for deferred vacation ownership revenue that will be recognized in future quarters. Still sees $2.23-$2.38 2008 EPS on $4.8-$4.9 billion revenue. S&P maintains buy.

Schering-Plough (SGP) posts $0.27, vs. $0.17 a year ago, fourt quarter non-GAAP EPS (excl. Organon BioSciences acquisition) on 41% revenue rise.

Indymac Bancorp (IMB) posts $6.43 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $0.97 EPS, noting it absorbed $863 million in total pre-tax credit provisions/costs in the latest quarter. It suspends its common stock dividend "in light of current financial performance." Says it remains well-capitalized, and anticipates posting a profit of roughly $13 million in 2008, including first quarter restructuring charges.

99 Cents Only Stores (NDN) posts $0.14, vs. $0.13 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 2.9% higher same-store sales, 7.6% higher total sales. It expects second half of fiscal year 2008 income to be higher than in second half of fiscal year 2007, and expects to be able to offset the effects of increased minimum wages compared to same period last year by anticipated pricing leverage and operating efficiency improvements.

Masco (MAS) posts $0.19, vs. $0.35 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations (excluding non-cash impairment charges for goodwill and other intangible assets) on about 7.8% lower sales. It sees $0.85-$1.15 2008 EPS, with sales declining by high-single to low-double digits percentage vs. 2007. Notes that economic conditions remain difficult in a number of markets.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) posts $0.66 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $0.22 loss a year ago, on 46% revenue decline. It notes increased costs for telaprevir development, decrease in collaboration revenues. Sees 2008 GAAP loss including restructuring charges and stock-based compensation expense of $380-$410 million, and non-GAAP loss excluding those items of $320-$350 million, on revenue of $200-$220 million. It sees R&D expenses of $490-$520 million.

Nokia (NOK) announces that Google's (GOOG) search engine will be integrated with the Nokia Search application. The integration will begin in select markets with the Nokia N96, Nokia N78, Nokia 6210 Navigator and Nokia 6220 classic. Ultimately, the company will make Google search available to its customers in over 100 countries around the world, serving mobile owners speaking more than 40 languages.

Dycom Industries (DY) sees lower-than-expected second quarter revenue of $285 million and GAAP loss from continuing operations of $0.07-$0.08. It sees non-GAAP EPS from continuing operations of $0.03-$0.04, which is $0.11-$0.12 below low end of guidance provided in November. Cites "significant" decline in customer spending during January.

Lincare Holdings (LNCR) posts $0.70, vs. $0.59 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 12% revenue rise. Currently estimates that 2008 revenues will be negatively impacted by about $65-$70 million due to reductions in Medicare reimbursement for certain items provided by the company to Medicare beneficiaries.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) posts $0.31, vs. $0.25 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 7.2% higher revenue. Sees $1.57-$1.63 2008 EPS.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) posts $0.69, vs. $0.53 a year ago, fourth quarter adjusted EPS on 13% sales rise.

Hanger Orthopedic Group (HGR) posts $0.23, vs. $0.17 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 11% sales rise, including an 8.0%, increase in same-center sales in its patient care business.

Dyax (DYAX) says the company and Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) entered into agreements in which SNY granted exclusive worldwide license for development, commercialization of fully human monoclonal antibody DX-2240, nonexclusive license to DYAX's proprietary antibody phage display technology. DYAX is eligible to receive up to $500 million in license fees and milestone payments in the caseof full commercial success of the first five antibody candidates, incl. DX-2240.

Nuance Communications (NUAN) posts $0.18, vs. $0.13 a year ago, first quarter non-GAAP EPS on 55% rise in non-GAAP revenue. Reportedly sees second quarter non-GAAP EPS of $0.17-$0.18 on revenue of $210-$218 million.

American Science & Engineering (ASEI) posts $0.43, vs. $0.86 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 11% revenue decline, lower gross margins attributed to product mix, new product development costs, a 119% increase in R&D costs, and a $0.12 per share charge related to the write-down of a note receivable ASEI has deemed uncollectible.


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