Markets & Finance

Movers: Thornburg Mortgage, Merrill Lynch, Wal-Mart, Coldwater Creek


Stocks in the news on Thursday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchThornburg Mortgage (TMA) says in a regulatory filing that it has suffered defaults under a variety of lending agreements, and that its obligations under those agreements are "material." The company also said JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) plans to exercise its rights under an agreement under which it lent $320 million, after TMA failed to meet a $28 million margin call. The notification from JP Morgan triggered cross-defaults under all its other reverse repurchase agreements and secured loan agreements. S&P downgrades to sell from hold, while Bear Stearns cuts to underperform from peer perform.

Annaly Capital Management (NLY) falls 3.47 to 15.81 after S&P cuts target price and says it thinks NLY shares under pressure as result of Carlyle Capital's failure to meet margin calls. S&P maintains buy.

Anworth Mortgage Asset (ANH) falls 2.62 to 6.23 after Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reportedly downgrades ANH and MFA Mortgage Investments (MFA) to market perform from outperform.

Merrill Lynch (MER) says it is discontinuing mortgage origination at its First Franklin unit in U.S, and will explore the sale Home Loan Services, a mtge loan servicing unit for First Franklin. It says the decision to discontinue lending by First Franklin is because of the deterioration of the subprime lending market. Separately, it announces that it has amended terms of its Exchange Liquid Yield Option Notes due 2032.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) posts 2.6% higher total U.S. February same-store sales, excluding fuel, 3.0% higher with fuel, 8.9% higher total company sales. Results were stronger than expected. The retailer sees U.S. March same-store sales flat to up 2%.

Washington Mutual (WM) falls after S&P Ratings Services lowers its long-term counterparty credit ratings on WM to 'BBB' from 'BBB+' and its long-term counterparty credit ratings on Washington Mutual Bank to 'BBB+' from 'A-'. S&P Ratings Services also places all of its WM ratings on CreditWatch with negative implications.

KKR Financial Holdings (KFN) falls after S&P Ratings Services lowered its ratings on the extendible asset-backed commercial paper notes issued by KKR Atlantic Funding Trust and KKR Pacific Funding Trust programs and removed them from CreditWatch with negative implications.

Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) are seen lower as mortgage-backed and corporate "agency" debt obligations issued by companies fell relative to U.S. government securities.

According to a regulatory filing, Carl Icahn has raised his stake in Motorola (MOT) to 6.3% from 5%.

Coldwater Creek (CWTR) posts $0.19 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $0.17 EPS a year ago, on 19% lower same-store sales, 5.7% lower total sales. Sees $0.14-$0.17 first quarter loss, $0.20 loss to breakeven in fiscal year 2009. Roth Capital downgrades to hold from buy. S&P cuts estimate, maintains hold.

J.C. Penney (JCP) posts 6.7% lower February same-store sales, compared with guidance for a low-single digit decrease. For the five-week period ending April 5, expects low-single digit decrease in comparable store sales, while total sales for March period are expected to be about flat, and will benefit from the opening of 10 new and relocated stores at the beginning of the March period.

Gap (GPS) posts 6% lower February same-store sales, flat total sales.

Target (TGT) posts 0.5% higher February same-store sales, 5.9% higher total sales. Says its comparable store sales performance in February was in line with its planned range.

Nordstrom (JWN) posts 5.8% lower February same-store sales, 3.3% lower total sales.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) posts 2% lower February same-store sales, 11% higher total sales. Says total company direct-to-consumer net sales increased 39% for February.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) posts 4% lower February same-store sales, 5% higher total sales. Says February sales were below the company's expectations, reflecting underperformance of women's assortment and lower traffic. Based on February results, expects negative comp-store sales to continue in the first quarrter, and sees higher markdowns compared to last year; sees $0.25-$0.27 EPS vs. $0.35 last year.

Limited Brands (LTD) posts 9% lower February same-store sales, 16% lower total sales.

H&R Block (HRB) posts $0.08 (before $0.05 severance charge), vs. $0.07 a year ago, third quarter EPS from continuing operations on 4.4% higher revenue. Reportedly sees fiscal year 2008 EPS toward the low-end of its $1.30-$1.45 forecast. Also reportedly says it in advanced negotiations with more than one party to sell its remaining mortgage loan servicing business.

Martek Biosciences (MATK) posts $0.26, vs. $0.08 a year ago, first quarter EPS on 18% revenue rise. Sees second quarter EPS of $0.24-$0.26 on revenue of $83-$88 million.

Petsmart (PETM) posts $0.59, vs. $0.56 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 14% higher total sales, 0.8% higher same-store sales. Sees flat-to-single digit growth in first quarter comps, low single-digit growth for fiscal year 2009. Also expects $0.29-$0.33 first quarter EPS, $1.51-$1.59 fiscal year 2009 EPS, high single-digit total sales growth for first quarter and fiscal year 2009.

Zumiez (ZUMZ) posts 2.6% lower February same-store sales, 12% total sales rise. Piper Jaffray reportedly downgrades to neutral from buy.

Comtech Telecommunications (CMTL) posts $0.91, vs. $0.68 a year ago, second quarter GAAP EPS on 36% sales rise, reflecting significant growth in the mobile data communications and RF microwave amplifiers segments, partially offset by lower net sales in the telecommunications transmission segment.

Longs Drug Stores (LDG) posts $1.00, vs. $0.80 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations on 11% total sales rise. Same-store sales on a comparable 13-week basis declined 0.6% with pharmacy same-store sales increasing 0.7% and front-end same-store sales decreasing 1.7%. Says its goal is to grow income from cont. ops at a compound growth rate of 10%-15% over the next three years. Sees fiscal year 2009 revenue from continuing operations rising 5%-7%, same-store sales rising 1%-3%, EPS from continuing operations of $3.02-$3.12.

Harris (HRS) sees fiscal year 2009 GAAP EPS of $4.00-$4.10, an increase of about 16%-19% compared to its current non-GAAP EPS guidance for fiscal year 2008. It expects fiscal year 2009 revenue of $5.7-$5.8 billion, an increase of 8%-10% above current fiscal year 2008 guidance.

TiVo (TIVO) posts $0.06 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $0.20 loss a year ago, despite 3.6% revenue decline. Says adjusted EBITDA was $1 million, vs. loss of $15 million, exceeding guidance. Announces that the TiVo service on Cox is currently in tech trials and it will be launching in Cox's New England market. It sees first quarter net loss of $1-$3 million on service and technology revenue of $53-$55 million.

ADC Telecommunications (ADCT) posts $0.24 first quarter GAAP loss from continuing operations, vs. $0.08 EPS a year ago, as inclusion of charges in the first quarter fiscal year 2008 offset 14% sales rise. Sees second quarter sales sequentially higher by 10%-15% as customers begin spending their 2008 capital budgets. Believes sales will peak in the third quarter at a level slightly above the second quarter. Sees fiscal year 2008 sales of $1.48-$1.505 billion, GAAP EPS diluted EPS from continuing operations of $0.32-$0.42.


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