Markets & Finance

Movers: Bear Stearns, JPMorgan, Tiffany, Walgreen, Palm


Stocks in the news on Monday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchJPMorgan Chase (JPM) amends its merger agreement with Bear Stearns (BSC). Under revised terms, each share of BSC stock would be exchanged for 0.21753 JPM stock (up from 0.05473 shares), reflecting implied value of about $10 per BSC share. Earlier, S&P maintained sell on BSC, buy on JPM.

Tiffany & Co. (TIF) posts $1.27, vs. $1.07 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations (excluding items) on 1% higher worldwide same-store sales, 10% higher total sales. For fiscal year 2009, it sees net sales growth of about 10%, including same-store sales increasing by low-single-digits in the U.S., mid-single-digits internationally (assumes opening of six U.S. stores, about 20 international locations), EPS of $2.75-$2.85.

Walgreen (WAG) posts $0.69, vs. $0.65 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 4.7% higher same-store sales, 11% higher total sales. Reaches agreement to be exclusive specialty pharmacy provider for Prime Therapeutics; WAG to serve the specialty pharmacy users among more than 20 million health plan members.

Sherwin-Williams (SHW) sees $0.56-$0.61 first quarter EPS on net sales in the range of low-to-mid single digit percentage increase, below previous expectations. Says lower-than-expected EPS due primarily to negative impact on first quarter operations of lower domestic net sales, timing and severity of raw material cost increases.

Palm (PALM) posts $0.16 third quarter non-GAAP loss per share, vs. $0.16 EPS a year ago, on 24% revenue decline. Adjusted EBITDA totaled negative $9.5 million. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services announces that it placed its 'B' corporate credit rating and other ratings on Palm on CreditWatch with negative implications.

TierOne (TONE) says its Board of Directors has terminated the merger agreement between TONE and CapitalSource (CSE). Pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement, either party had the right to terminate the merger agreement if the proposed merger was not completed by February 17, 2008. No termination fee is payable by TONE as a result of its termination of the merger agreement. TONE board also okays repurchase of up to 10% of its shares.

Polyone (POL) expects first quarter consolidated sales to increase 9%-11%. It says demand is expected to weaken in the later portion of the quarter as the North American economic downturn is impacting other industrial end markets beyond automotive and building and residential construction, such as wire and cable.

Sunrise Senior Living (SRZ) says it filed its Form 10-K for 2006, has now completed its financial restatement, accounting review. As a result, its stock will continue to trade on NYSE. Notes cumulative impact of restatement reduced net income for all periods affected, including 1996-2005, by about $173 million, after-tax.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, which operates separately from S&P Equity Research, revises its outlook for Lehman Brothers (LEH) and Goldman Sachs (GS) to negative from stable. Oppenheimer reportedly downgrades LEH shares to perform from outperform.

Luby's (LUB) posts $0.01, vs. $0.08 a year ago, second quarter EPS from continuing operations on 1.6% lower same-store sales, slightly higher total revenue. Says restaurant sales declined about $1.1 million, due primarily to declines in guest traffic. Expects to open one new restaurant on Mar. 27, 2008, one replacement restaurant in May and five additional new restaurants in calendar 2008.

Hercules Offshore (HERO) COO John Rynd, regarding current market conditions, says: "While our international segments have continued to perform well, the first quarter has been extremely challenging, with demand and utilization remaining very weak in all of our domestic segments."


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