Markets & Finance

Movers: Intel, 3Com, Children's Place, FedEx, Credit Suisse, Nike, Borders


Stocks making headlines on Thursday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchIntel (INTC) raises quarterly dividend by 10% to $0.14.

3Com (COMS) falls 0.26 to 1.96 on news that an affiliate of Bain Capital Partners, LLC advises COMS that it is terminating the Merger Agreement with the company because the U.S. Government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) said it intended to take action to prohibit that transaction.

Children's Place Retail Stores (PLCE) posts $2.01 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $1.48 EPS a year ago, as impairment charges, other costs related to exit the Disney Store North America business offset 4% sales rise. It says as part of strategic review, plans to exit Disney Store North America business, reduce workforce and reduce capex in 2008. Disney (DIS) confirms it's in talks with PLCE whereby it might acquire ownership of a portion of the Disney Store chain in North America.

FedEx (FDX) posts $1.26 (including $0.08 benefit from reduction in effective tax rate), vs. $1.35 a year ago, as higher fuel prices and a weak U.S. economy offset 10% revenue rise. The company sees fourth quarter EPS of $1.60-$1.80, compared to $1.96 a year ago.

Credit Suisse Group (CS) completes internal review related to revaluation of certain asset-backed securities positions in Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO) trading business within its Investment Banking division. Takes total valuation reduction of CHF 2.86 billion ($2.65 billion), of which CHF 1.18 billion is related to fourth quarter 2007, CHF 1.68 billion to first quarter 2008. Net income for fourth quarter 2007 has been revised by CHF 789 million to CHF 540 million. It believes it is unlikely to be profitable in first quarter 2008.

Nike (NKE) posts $0.92, vs. $0.68 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 16% revenue rise. The sports shoe and apparel maker says weak dollar aided sales. It sees low double digit fourth quarter revenue growth.

Borders Group (BGP) launches strategic alternative review and investigation of wide range of alternatives including sale of the company and/or certain units for purpose of maximizing shareholder value. It posts $1.44, vs. $1.45 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations despite 2.8% rise in consolidated sales from continued operations (excluding the impact of an extra week during fiscal year 2007).

Barnes & Noble (BKS) posts $1.79, vs. $1.83 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 1.7% revenue rise. Raises quarterly dividend to $0.25 from $0.15. The book seller expects first quarter EPS to be in range of $0.05-$0.10, same-store sales to be slightly negative.

CIT Group (CIT) is down 3.10 to 8.54 after it says it is drawing upon its $7.3 billion in unsecured U.S. bank credit facilities. It will use the proceeds to repay debt maturing in 2008, including commercial paper, and provide financing to it core commercial franchises. Over the near term, the company will continue to actively seek additional funding sources, as well as explore and execute on the sale of non-strategic assets and/or business lines. Late yesterday, Fitch Ratings said it placed the Issuer Default Rating and debt ratings of CIT on Rating Watch Negative. S&P downgrades to sell.

Epix Pharmaceuticals (EPIX) tumbles after it says it is discontinuing clinical development of PRX-00023 due to lack of significant efficacy shown in the recently completed Phase 2b trial in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).

Dillard's (DDS) posts $0.63, vs. $1.90 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS (GAAP) on 9.7% lower net sales.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) and Takeda Pharmaceutical to end their 50/50 joint venture in Tap Pharmaceutical, with ABT retaining rights to prostate cancer drug Lupron and receiving an undisclosed upfront cash payments estimated at $1.5 billion. S&P downgrades to buy from strong buy.

PepsiCo (PEP) and Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) agree to jointly acquire a 75.53% stake in Russia's leading branded juice company, JSC Lebedyansky, excluding its baby food and mineral water business, for $1.4 billion.

Winnebago Industries (WGO) posts $0.09, vs. $0.24 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 18% revenue decline.

Progress Software (PRGS) posts $0.29, vs. $0.20 a year ago, first quarter GAAP EPS on 5.5% revenue rise. Sees second quarter revenue of $127-$129 million and GAAP EPS of $0.31-$0.33; fiscal year 2008 revenue of $520-$530 million and GAAP EPS of $1.35-$1.40.

Valley National Bancorp (VLY) agrees to acquire Greater Community Bancorp (GFLS) in a deal valued at $167 million. Separately, GFLS says it mutually terminated an agreement to be acquired by Oritani Financial (VLY). Under the VLY/GFLS deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, VLY will swap 0.95 VLY shares for each GFLS share outstanding. In addition, for every 10 shares of GFLS held, VLY will issue a warrant to buy one share at a price equal to $2 above VLY's average closing stock price for a period of time prior to closing.

Guess? (GES) posts $0.59, vs. $0.49 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 13% higher same-store sales, 30% higher total revenue. Sees $0.44-$0.46 first quarter EPS on revenue of $445-$460 milion, and $2.35-$2.45 for fiscal year 2009 on revenue of $1.97-$2.05 billion. It sets $200 million stock buyback.

CRA International (CRAI) posts $0.28, vs. $0.56 a year ago, first quarter EPS as higher SG&A costs offset 3.4% revenue rise.

Cato (CTR) posts $0.06 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $0.40 EPS a year ago, on 9% lower sales. Expects 2008 to continue to be a difficult environment for retail, as a result, expects fiscal year 2009 gross margin rate to be flat with fiscal 2008, same-store sales in a range of down 3% to flat, EPS in a range of $0.72-$0.93.


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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