Stocks in the news Tuesday
From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchState Street (STT) posts $0.15, vs. $0.57 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS despite 8% revenue rise. Posts $1.18 fourth quarter operating EPS. Reflecting ongoing illiquidity in markets at Dec. 31, 2008, says after-tax, unrealized mark-to-market losses in investment portfolio increased to $6.3B. Expects 2009 revenue to be approximately flat with 2008, down from its long-term goal of 8%-12% growth; 2009 operating EPS to also be about flat with 2008, below its LT goal of 10%-15% growth.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) shares are sharply lower. Yesterday, while U.S. markets were closed, ordinary shares tumbled in London as the company forecast a fiscal year 2008 loss of GBP7B-GBP8B, pre-goodwill impairments. RBS said it expects impairment charge in region of GBP15-GBP20. Company also reached agreement with Treasury to replace GBP5B of preferred shares with new ordinary shares.
PNC Financial Services Group (PNC) falls 12.34 to 25.20. S&P Equity Research downgrades PNC to hold from buy. Notes PNC shares are down sharply this month, as investors flee most bank stocks due to general concerns about oversized loan-loss provisions, securities write-downs and possible dividend cuts. S&P lowers estimates and target for PNC.
Bank of New York Mellon (BK) reschedules its fourth quarter financial results conference call to 5 p.m. EST today (Jan. 20) from previously scheduled date of Jan. 22. Says its Tier 1 Capital Ratio is expected to be 13.1% vs. 9.3% at Sept. 30, 2008, and the Tangible Capital Equity Ratio is expected to be 3.8% compared to 3.9% at Sept. 30, 2008.
Bank of America (BAC) falls after Stifel downgrades BAC to hold from buy. On Friday, the company said the U.S. government agreed to assist in Merrill acquisition by making a further investment in BAC of $20 billion in preferred stock. Says governmentt has also agreed to provide protection against further losses on $118 billion in selected capital markets exposure. BAC cut its quarterly dividend to $0.01, and posted $0.48 fourth quarter loss vs. $0.05 EPS as significant increase in credit provision losses, other expenses offset 19% rev. rise. S&P maintained sell.
Wells Fargo (WFC) - Friedman Billings cuts estimates, target for WFC; it believes the company will have to cut its dividend (if not this quarter, then sometime in the first half 2009). Reiterates underperform.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) posts $0.97, vs. $0.82, fourth quarter EPS despite 4.9% drop in sales. Sets 2009 EPS guidance of $4.45-$4.55, which excludes impact of special items, includes anticipated dilution of $0.03-$0.05 from acquisition of Mentor Corp. (expected to close in Jan. 2009). Guidance is seen as lower than expected.
Logitech International (LOGI) posts $0.22, vs. $0.71, (including items) third quarter EPS on 16% revenue decline. Sees declines in fourth quarter sales and operating income before restructuring charges, gross margin similar to or worse than in third quarter. Also plans restructuring, incl. reduction to global salaried workforce of 550-600; sees total restructuring charges of about $20-$24 million over next 12 months, including about $16-$18 million in fourth quarter (prior story said $16-$18 million fourth quarter cost savings). Dresdner downgrades to add from buy.
Gannett Co. (GCI) says it is offering to sell certain assets of the Tucson (AZ) Citizen. If a sale is not completed by March 21, 2009, GCI will have to close the newspaper.
Regions Financial (RF) posts $0.35 fourth quarter non-GAAP loss, vs. $0.24 EPS, on 11% drop in net interest income. Street was looking for loss of $0.08. Notes net loan charge-offs rose to $796 million, or to annualized 3.19% of average loans, from third quarter's $416 million; provision for loan losses increased to $1.150 billion, $354 million above net charge-offs and $733 million higher than third quarter.
H.B. Fuller (FUL) post $0.86 fourth quarter loss (including $1.09 after-tax impairment charges), vs. $0.51 EPS, on 3.0% lower revenue. Says decline in adjusted income from continuing operations primarily driven by lower volumes, corresponding to the sharp decline in global markets, and ongoing impact of high raw material costs.
Forest Laboratories (FRX) posts $1.03 (excluding items), vs. $0.96, third quarter EPS on flat revenue. Raises $3.30-$3.40 fiscal year 2009 EPS view to $3.35-$3.45. Cites reduced R&D spending in third quarter and excludes impacts of one-time charge related to termination of Azor co-promotion agreement in first quarter and the new product licensing fee payments made to Phenomix and Pierre Fabre in third quarter for development and marketing rights to dutogliptin and F2695, respectively.
MGIC Investment (MTG) posts $2.21 fourth quarter loss, vs. $18.17 loss, on 3.1% revenue rise. Street was looking for a loss of $1.14. Says losses incurred in fourth quarter were $903.4 million reflecting continued increase in the number of delinquent loans, up from $788.3 million in third quarter 2008.
United Rentals (URI) lowers 2008 revenue guidance to $3.27 billion from $3.3-$3.4 billion, 2008 guidance for free cash flow to $330-$340 million from $350-$400 million. Cites further deterioration in company's end markets. Excl. impact of non-cash goodwill impairment charge, gain related to fourth quarter repurchases of the certain notes, expects actual results for 2008 to be below most recent guidance for EPS and EBITDA. Expects to record fourth quarter non-cash goodwill impairment charge of about $1.1 billion.
Ultralife (ULBI) says that based on preliminary review of fourth quarter results, sees revenue of approximately $49 million (an increase of 33% year-over-year), bringing revenue to about $117 million for H2 2008 vs. previous guidance of approximately $130 million. Says shortfall primarily reflects a delayed spare parts order for communications systems arising from late-in-the-quarter changes in a government contract associated with the order. Notes orders for automotive telematics batteries during the quarter were also weaker than expected.
Forest Laboratories (FRX) posts $1.03 (excluding items), vs. $0.96, third quarter EPS on flat revenues. Ups $3.30-$3.40 fiscal year 2009 adjusted EPS guidance to $3.35-$3.45, to reflect reduced research and development spending in current quarter, excludes impacts of 1x charge related to termination of Azor co-promotion agreement in first quarter, new product licensing fee payments made to Phenomix and Pierre Fabre in third quarter for development and marketing rights to dutogliptin and F2695, respectively.
TD Ameritrade Holding (AMTD) posts $0.31, vs. $0.40, first quarter EPS on 4.8% revenue drop. Adjusts fiscal year 2009 EPS guidance to $0.90-$1.15.
Parker-Hannifin (PH) posts $0.96, vs. $1.23, second quarter EPS on 5% sales drop. Cuts $5.35-$5.75 fiscal year 2009 EPS from continuing operations guidance to $3.85-$4.25.
Suncor Energy (SU) posts C$0.24 fourth quarter loss, vs. C$1.13 EPS, on 54% drop in cash flow from operations. Cites significant decreases in benchmark commodity prices over the course of fourth quarter 2008, higher operating expenses in its oil sands business.
CononoPhillips (COP) announces that it has approved a lower 2009 capital spending plan. Also says it would cut about 4% of its work force and book goodwill impairment charges of $25.4 billion.
Natus Medical (BABY) expects fourth quarter EPS of $0.21-$0.22 (vs. $0.17 a year ago) on revenue of approximately $43.5 million; first quarter EPS of $0.06-$-0.08 on $37-$38 million revenue; $0.57-$0.61 2009 EPS on $166-$170 million revenue. Notes, while BABY has attempted to be prudent, conservative in providing the following financial guidance, it again stressed the difficultly of providing guidance in these unsettled economic conditions.