Markets & Finance

Movers: Alcoa, VMware, Office Depot, Indymac, Novartis


Tuesday's stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchAlcoa (AA) reports second quarter net income of $546 million, or $0.66 per share, on revenue of $7.6 billion. That beat analysts' consensus forecast of 65 cents for EPS and $7.37 billion in revenue. EPS was $0.37 in first quarter 2008 and or $0.81 in the same quarter a year ago.

VMware (VMW) shares drop after it says president and CEO Diane Greene will depart and will be replaced by Paul Maritz. VMW is 85% owned by EMC (EMC).

Office Depot (ODP) says due to additional pressure from weakening business conditions in the second quarter, North American retail same-store sales decreased nearly 10% versus prior year, total company sales were down slightly. Anticipates its second quarter EBIT margin to have declined for by 200 basis points, more than 200-250 basis points decline previously indicated on year-over-year basis as sales trends worsened late in second quarter. S&P maintains hold.

Indymac Bancorp (IMB) says it has not been successful in its efforts to raise additional capital; doesn't expect to be able to raise capital until there is more stability, less uncertainty in housing, mortgage markets. Expects second quarter loss to be greater than the first quarter. Banking regulators have advised IMB that it's no longer "well capitalized"; IMB is no longer permitted to accept new brokered deposits or renew or roll over existing ones, unless it gets a waiver from FDIC. To cut workforce by about 3,800 employees over next couple of months.

Helen of Troy Ltd. (HELE) posts $0.42, vs. $0.32, first quarter non-GAAP EPS on 3.4% sales rise. S&P raises estimate, target, reiterates hold.

McClatchy (MNI) falls 0.25 to 5.22. S&P says, as the largest pure-play publisher in the U.S., it expects MNI to continue experiencing top-line pressure from cyclical and secular weaknesses facing the print industry for the foreseeable future. S&P cuts estimates, target; reiterates sell.

Interdigital (IDCC) Down 5.68 to 19.58 IDCC says the staff of the U.S. International Trade Commission has recommended against concluding that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. violated certain trade rules by importing patented mobile handsets and components. Notes the staff's recommendation is not binding for the judge overseeing the investigation, for which evidentiary hearings began today.

Novartis AG (NVS) says a head-to-head study, published in the June Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, confirms that Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate HCl) extended-release capsules offer greater improvements in managing symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder compared with Concerta (d,l- methylphenidate HCl) extended-release tablets at two hours post-dose, the primary study endpoint.

Apollo Group (APOL) appoints Charles "Chas" B. Edelstein as CEO, effective Aug. 26, 2008. APOL's founder, Dr. John G. Sperling, continues to act as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Wyndham Worldwide (WYN) announces plans to expand the Wyndham brand in China with the construction of a 337-room, 15-story luxury hotel in Shanghai. The Wyndham Baolian Hotel is scheduled to open in April 2010.

Cardinal Health (CAH) announces a consolidation of its businesses into two primary operations and reporting segments. Says its network of pharmaceutical, medical product distribution centers, nuclear pharmacies will form the Healthcare Supply Chain Services segment, while its products for infusion, medication dispensing, respiratory care and infection prevention will be grouped in the Clinical and Medical Products segment. CAH will reduce its workforce by about 600 positions under a restructuring charge of approximately $63 million.

Haverty Furniture Companies (HVT) posts 13% lower second quarter same-store sales, 10% lower total sales.

VSE Corp. (VSEC) says it received a subcontract in June 2008 as part of the winning team chosen to support the U.S. Army's Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate. This contract has a ceiling of about $487 million, and VSE will be eligible to compete for tasks under the new award. Separately, VSEC says it will share a five-year $85 million contract with joint venture partner New West Technologies LLC to provide technical, engineering, analytical and management support services for all Department of Energy research and development programs in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) posts $0.78, vs. $0.70 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 4.8% revenue rise. Sees 5%-6% 2008 revenue growth and $2.30-$2.38 EPS.

Stage Stores (SSI) posts 1.2% higher June same-store sales, 6.4% higher total sales. Expects to meet or exceed high-end of previously provided second quarter same-store sales forecast of down 3.0%. Believes second quarter EPS will also be at or above high end of its previous forecast of $0.23.

State Auto Financial (STFC) preliminarily expects second quarter results will include $76-$84 million in pre-tax catastrophe losses. Notes over past five years it experienced an average of $27.6 million in pre-tax catastrophe losses during second quarter. Cites unusually harsh storm activity in second quarter 2008.

Greenbrier Companies (GBX) posts better-than-expected $0.49, vs. $0.81, third quarter EPS on 1.2% revenue drop.

Medivation (MDVN) says top-line results of Phase 2 study showed that its investigational drug Dimebon "significantly improved" cognitive function in patients with mild-to-moderate Huntington's disease (HD). Rodman & Renshaw upgrades to market outperform.


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