Markets & Finance

Movers: Home Depot, Saks, Target, Staples, MF Global


Tuesday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchHome Depot (HD) posts $0.41 (excluding charge), vs. $0.53 a year ago, first quarter EPS on 6.5% same-store sales drop, 3.4% total sales drop. Says housing and home improvement markets remained difficult in first quarter; in fact, conditions worsened in many areas of the country.

Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney believes the credit crisis will extend well into 2009, cuts estimates for U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Wachovia (WB) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

Saks (SKS) posts lower-than-expected $0.13, vs. $0.07, first quarter EPS on 8.4% higher same-store sales, 8.8% higher total sales. Sees comparable-store sales growth in mid-single digits for fiscal year 2009, with low-single-digit comparable-store sales growth in the second quarter.

Target (TGT) posts $0.74, vs. $0.75 a year ago, first quarter EPS on 0.7% lower same-store sales, 5.0% higher total sales. Also says it closed on May 19 the deal to sell an undivided interest in about 47% of its credit card receivables to JPMorgan Chase (JPM) for cash proceeds of about $3.6 billion. It notes it expects the deal provide it with sufficient liquidity to implement its business plans, including previously announced capital investment and share repurchase activity, without the need to access term debt capital markets again this year.

Netflix (NFLX) is up 0.65 to 31.63. With Roku Inc. unveils The Netflix Player, a device that enables NFLX subscribers to instantly stream a growing library of movies and TV episodes from NFLX directly to the TV. Separately, Lehman upgrades NFLX to overweight from equal-weight.

MF Global Ltd. (MF) posts $0.48, vs. $0.34, fourth quarter adjusted GAAP EPS on 10% adjusted revenue rise. Inks deal with an affiliate of J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC in which J.C. Flowers has agreed to provide a backstop commitment of $300 million toward the sale of equity-linked securities.

Staples (SPLS) posts $0.30, vs. $0.29, first quarter EPS on 6% lower North American same-store sales, 6.4% higher total sales. Expects weak economic climate to continue throughout fiscal year 2009, therefore sees flat second quarter EPS growth, single-digit sales growth, high single-digit EPS growth for fiscal year 2009 (excluding charges).

Jazz Technologies (JAZ) agrees to be acquired by Tower Semiconductor (TSEM) in $169 million deal (including net debt). Terms: Each outstanding JAZ share will be converted into right to receive 1.8 TSEM shares.

United Natural Foods (UNFI) posts $0.36 (excluding the effect of Millbrook acquisition), vs. $0.32, third quarter EPS on 21% sales rise. Narrows fiscal year 2008 sales guidance to $3.3-$3.35 billion, which represents 19%-20% increase over fiscal year 2007. Reaffirms fiscal year 2008 EPS guidance of $1.12-$1.14 (including Millbrook acquisition).

Medtronic (MDT) posts $0.78, vs. $0.66, fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS on 18% sales rise.

Tween Brands (TWB) appoints Rolando de Aguiar executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective June 2. Notes Mr. de Aguiar, 59, was most recently a managing director with Abacus Advisors LLC, a New York-based management advisory company, with extensive background in consulting with the retail industry. Prior to joining Abacus, he was a senior officer of Ames Department Stores.

China Sunenergy (CSUN) posts $0.01, vs. $0.17, first quarter EPADS as higher costs, expenses offset 32% revenue rise. Street was looking for a loss of $0.05. Maintains its 2008 production target at 125-145 MW.


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