Markets & Finance

Movers: AIG, Wal-Mart, Boeing, Ciena, Hovnanian


Stocks in the news on Thursday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchAmerican International Group (AIG): NY Posts reports that AIG is considering forming a separate company to hold billions in securities that have dogged its balance sheet for the past several quarters. According to sources familiar with the matter, AIG is working with JPMorgan Chase to arrange what is known in Wall Street lingo as a "good bank/bad bank," or in AIG's case a "good insurer/bad insurer," structure, according to the article. S&P keeps hold.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) posts 3.0% higher August U.S. same-store sales without fuel, 3.5% higher with fuel, 8.7% higher total co. sales. Sees September U.S. same-store sales, excluding fuel, up 2%-3%.

Boeing's (BA) largest labor union voted to strike Wednesday night, but the union agreed to postpone a walkout for 48 hours after federal mediators urged both sides to return to the bargaining table in a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement: WSJ.

Ciena (CIEN) posts $0.37, vs. $0.41 a year ago, third quarter non-GAAP EPS as higher operating expenses offset 24% revenue rise. Street was looking for $0.37. Sees $190-$210 million fourth quarter revenue.

Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) posts $2.67 third quarter loss, vs. $1.27 loss, on 35% revenue decline, narrowed homebuilding gross margins. Deliveries, excluding unconsolidated joint ventures, well 31%, while the number of net contracts, excluding unconsolidated joint ventures, declined 38% to 1,584 homes. S&P downgrades to sell from hold.

Celgene (CELG) announces that Amrubicin has been granted Fast Track product designation by U.S. FDA for treatment of small cell lung cancer after first-line chemotherapy.

Exelon (EXC) revises its non-GAAP adjusted operating EPS guidance range for 2008 to $4.15-$4.30 from original range of $4.00-$4.40. Sets $1.5 billion stock buyback, which it expects to complete within the next six months. Separately, Jefferies upgrades to buy from hold on valuation.

Movado Group (MOV) posts $0.32, vs. $0.45, second quarter GAAP EPS on 7% sales drop. Notes second quarter fiscal year 2009 EPS includes charge related to the company's previously announced expense reduction plan. Excl. charge and cost savings associated with expense reduction plan, MOV maintains fiscal year 2009 EPS guidance of $1.65-$1.72 based on a projected tax rate of 24%. Company founder Gedalio Grinberg, age 76, plans to retire as chairman of the board, but will remain on the board with title of founder and chairman emeritus. Efraim Grinberg will be named chairman and will continue to serve as president and CEO.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) posts 11% lower August same-store sales, 5% lower total sales.

Navistar International (NAV) posts $3.68 third quarter EPS, vs. $0.05 loss, on 34% higher sales. Raises fiscal year 2008 EPS guidance to $6.35-$7.45. Separately, NAV said two new contracts for nearly $92 million highlight increased sales of Medium Tactical Vehicles to the U.S. military from Navistar Defense LLC unit. The contracts, awarded by the U.S. Army, are extensions of earlier military awards for Medium Tactical Vehicles and other variants of NAV's International 7000 Series trucks.

Target (TGT) posts 2.1% lower August same-store sales, 3.1% higher total sales. Says same-store sales performance in August was in line with its planned range.

TJX Companies (TJX) posts flat August same-store sales, 4% higher total sales. Says Aug. comps were slightly below plan, driven by the unanticipated negative impact of foreign exchange rates.

Limited Brands (LTD) posts 7% lower August same-store sales, 4.1% higher total sales.

Massey Energy (MEE) says third quarter will be the most challenging quarter of the year. Results also will include pre-tax charge of about $15 million related to tender offer of senior notes. Expects fourth quarter results to be stronger, driven by increased coal shipments, favorable timing of metallurgical coal shipments and new higher priced contracts phasing in, which will result in a higher overall average price per ton. Expects third quarter produced tons sold to be in range of 10.3-10.7 million at average price of $64-$66 per ton.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) posts 5% lower August same-store sales, 3% higher total sales. Maintains third quarter EPS guidance of $0.31-$0.36. According to Reuters, analysts were looking for a 6.5% same-store sales decline.

Wet Seal (WTSLA) posts 8.7% lower August same-store sales, 1.3% lower total sales.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Services (JTX) posts $0.69 first quarter adjusted loss, vs. $0.57 loss, on 27% revenue decline. Cites lower territory sales vs. comparable period a year ago.


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