Markets & Finance

Movers: DuPont, AT&T, Merck, Nokia, Wal-Mart


Stocks in the news Thursday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchDuPont (DD) announces aggressive actions to strengthen competitiveness and increase cash flow, and forecasts a $0.20-$0.30 fourth quarter loss, excluding an estimated $0.40 charge for its restructuring plan. On a reported basis, DD says it expects to post a $0.60-$0.70 fourth quarter loss, and for full-year 2009, it sees EPS of about $2.25-$2.75.

AT&T (T) announces it plans to cut about 12,000 jobs, about 4% of the company's total workforce, citing economic pressures, changing business mix and more streamlined organizational structure. AT&T will take fourth quarter charge of about $600 million in to pay severance to affected employees. The company. plans to reduce 2009 capital expenditures from 2008 level.

Merck & Co. (MRK) reaffirms guidance for 2008 non-GAAP EPS of $3.28-$3.32, excluding certain items; 2008 GAAP EPS of $3.45-$3.55. However, it expects 2009 top-line growth to be offset by effects of volatile global economy, fluctuations in forex markets, continued challenges for certain key products. Sees 2009 non-GAAP EPS of $3.15-$3.30, excluding certain items; 2009 GAAP EPS of $2.95-$3.17.

Amazon.com (AMZN) rises 2.37 to 47.58 after Barclays upgrades AMZN to overweight from equal-weight.

Intersil (ISIL) sees fourth quarter revenue of $125-$135 million, an estimated decline of 38%-43% from third quarter vs. its previous guidance to be down 20%-25% from third quarter. Sees third quarter non-GAAP EPS of $0.09-$0.12. Separately, David Zinsner has resigned from his position as Sr. Vice President and CFO to pursue another opportunity; Jonathan Kennedy appointed interim CFO. S&P keeps hold. Goldman downgrades to neutral from buy.

Nokia (NOK) estimates that fourth quarter 2008 industry mobile device volumes will be lower than previous estimate of approximately 330 million units, expects 2009 industry mobile device volumes to decline 5% or more from 2008 levels. Separately, it announces that Research In Motion (RIMM) has renewed a multi year patent license agreement. Agreement covers worldwide use of standards essential patents for GSM, WCDMA, CDMA2000 technologies. Financial terms of deal consist of up-front payment, on-going royalties payable to NOK.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) posts 3.4% higher total U.S. same-store sales without fuel, 3.0% higher with fuel, 1.6% higher total company sales. Notes sales for Wal-Mart U.S. during the November four-week period exceeded expectations.

Costco Wholesale (COST) posts 5% lower November same-store sales, 3% lower total sales.

Target (TGT) posts 10% lower November same-store sales, 6.1% lower net retail sales. Says November comps were below company's planned range. Results from post-Thanksgiving holiday sales, particularly Friday, were stronger than the rest of the month, but were insufficient to offset earlier weakness.

Macy's (M) posts 13% lower November same-store sales, 14% lower net sales. Backs fourth quarter same-store sales guidance of down 1%-6%.

TJX Companies (TJX) posts 6% lower November same-store sales on a constant currency basis, 9% lower net sales. Notes same-store sales were down 12% including the negative impact of "dramatically declining" foreign currency exchange rates vs. the US$.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) posts 28% lower November same-store sales, 24% lower net sales.

Aeropostale (ARO) posts $0.63, vs. $0.48, third quarter EPS on 7% same-store sales rise, 17% total sales rise. Sees fourth quarter EPS of $0.84-$0.90 vs. $0.93 (excluding items) last year. Posts 5% lower November same-store sales, 4.5% total sales rise. S&P lowers estimate, reiterates hold.

Gap (GPS) posts 10% lower November same-stores sales, 10% lower total sales. Current same-store sales were seen down 17.4%. Reaffirms fiscal year 2009 GAAP EPS guidance of $1.30-$1.35 vs. $1.05 a year ago.

Synopsys (SNPS) posts $0.32, vs. $0.27 a year ago, fourth quarter GAAP EPS on 12% revenue rise. Sees first quarter revenue of $332-$340 million and GAAP EPS of $0.26 - $0.31. Sees 2009 revenue of $1.380-$1.410 billion and GAAP EPS of $1.07-$1.26. Citigroup upgrades to hold from sell.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) says it believes it will achieve fourth quarter revenue of $912-$915 million, GAAP EPS of $0.45-$0.46, non-GAAP of $0.59-$0.60. Street was looking for $0.51. Says global economic crisis significantly impacted revs. Also announced restructuring plan that will reduce headcount by about 600 full-time positions globally, will result in expected pre-tax charges totaling $44-$50 million (including $28-$30 million recorded in fourth quarter). Sees first quarter revenue of $800-$850 million. Baird downgrades to neutral from outperform.

UAL Corp. (UAUA) reports November passenger load factor of 76.9%, total scheduled revenue passenger miles (RPMs) decreased in November by 17% on a capacity decrease of 14.2% in scheduled available seat miles (ASMs) compared with the same period in 2007.

Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS) sees 2009 revenue of $1.24-$1.27 billion and EPS of $1.10-$1.20. Consensus view is for 2009 EPS of $1.25.

Capital One Financial (COF) and Chevy Chase Bank today announce definitive agreement under which COF will acquire Chevy Chase ($11 billion in deposits) in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $520 million. Under the agreement, COF will purchase Chevy Chase for $445 million in cash and 2.56 million COF shares. COF expects deal will be accretive to operating EPS in 2009 and accretive to GAAP EPS in 2010.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) posts $0.10 third quarter loss, vs. $0.25 EPS a year ago, on 21% lower third quarter same-stores sales, 16% lower total sales. Assumes that year-over-year revenue declines it saw in October and November are going to continue into December and January, and as such, reiterates fourth quarter revenue guidance of $940 million to $1 billion (a decline of 27%-32%), EPS of $0.10-$0.30. For fiscal year 2009, it sees $3.29-$3.35 billion (a decline of 15%-17%), EPS of $0.27-$0.47. Notes, on Dec. 2 2008, the company terminated its $150 million share repurchase program.

Dynamex (DDMX) posts $0.30, vs. $0.39, first quarter EPS despite 3.3% higher sales.

RPM International (RPM) discontinues fiscal year 2009 guidance, says results would likely be below the prior year.

Steelcase (SCS) cuts $840-$875 million third quarter revenue view to about $805 million. In addition, given lower-than-expected volume and significant decline in the cash surrender value of company-owned life insurance (COLI) policies, SCS expects to report a modest net loss, incl. about $4 million after-tax restructuring costs for third quarter vs. previous EPS estimate of $0.16-$0.21.

Alloy (ALOY) posts $0.67, vs. $0.50, third quarter EPS (before extraordinary item) on 5.1% revenue rise. Cuts fiscal year 2009 revenue guidance to $215-$220 million and adjusted EBITDA to $16.0-$18.0 million.

I2 Technologies (ITWO) announces that it has terminated its Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of Aug. 10, 2008, with JDA Software Group (JDAS) and Iceberg Acquisition Corp, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JDAS. ITWO expects to receive the non-refundable termination fee of $20 million from JDAS within three business days.

Sanderson Farms (SAFM) posts $2.56 fourth quarter loss, vs. $1.19 EPS, as an adjustment to record inventory values at the lower of cost or market of $29.7 million, net of the income tax benefit, or $1.46 per share offset 7.8% sales rise. Excl. adjustments, posts $1.16 fourth quarter loss.

Jo-Ann Stores (JAS) posts $0.40 (including gain), vs. $0.32, third quarter EPS on 1.5% same-store sales drop, flat total sales. Sees fiscal year 2009 same-store sales approximately flat vs. previously announced range of up 2.0%-3.5%; it cuts $0.95-$1.05 EPS guidance to $0.75-$0.85.

Cirrus Logic (CRUS) sees third quarter revenue of $42-$45 million and down 8%-14% from year ago.


Later, Baby
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