Markets & Finance

Movers: Cisco Systems, Wal-Mart, Visa, Mastercard


Stocks in the news Thursday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchCisco Systems (CSCO) posts better-than-expected $0.32, vs. $0.38 a year ago, second quarter non-GAAP EPS on 7.5% sales decline. Street was looking for $0.30. However, says total product order growth fell 20% in second quarter as trends continued to deteriorate throughout the quarter. Expects third quarter revenue to fall 15%-20% year-over-year. Notes it is not planning for major layoffs, but headcount reductions may become necessary. S&P keeps hold; cuts estimate, target. Credit Suisse cuts estimates.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Up 1.23 to 47.65 WMT posts 1.5% higher total U.S. same-store sales, including fuel, in Jan., 1.8% higher total sales. Comps rose 2.1% without fuel. WMT will only be giving same-store guidance on a quarterly basis. Expects U.S. same-store sales without fuel during the period from January 31 through May 1 to increase between 1%-3%. S&P reiterates strong buy.

State Street (STT) announces plan to improve tangible common equity, which includes plans to cut quarterly dividend to $0.01 per share. Says it now expects its operating revenue for 2009 to decline 8%-12% from 2008 levels, operating EPS to decline 12%-16%, return on common equity to approach low end of its 14%-17% long-term range. Adjusted assumption based on a more conservative reinvestment plan, expectation that the S&P 500 will average about 900 for the year, plans to further restrain expenses.

Mastercard (MA) posts better-than-expected $1.84, vs. $2.26, fourth quarter EPS despite 14% revenue rise. Street was looking for $1.61-$1.62. Notes excl. special item, fourth quarter op. expenses dropped 16%.

Visa (V) posts $0.74, vs. $0.55 (pro forma), first quarter EPS on 17% revenue rise. S&P maintains hold.

Harman International Industries (HAR) posts $0.18 second quarter non-GAAP loss vs. $0.74 EPS on 29% sales rise. Says weak market conditions and unfavorable currency exchange contribute to net loss. Notes over 900 jobs were cut during the first half; expects to cut additional 1100 jobs by July 2009. Credit Suisse downgrades to underperform from neutral.

Estee Lauder Companies (EL) posts $0.80, vs. $1.14, second quarter EPS on 6% lower sales (excl. impact of forex). Street was looking for $0.77. Expects fiscal year 2009 sales to be flat to down 3% in constant currency, EPS to be between $1.30-$1.60, incl. expected negative impact of forex of about $0.25-$0.27.

Gymboree (GYMB) posts 2% lower fourth quarter same-store sales, 4% higher total sales. Expects fourth quarter EPS to be in the range of $0.96-$1.00. Says its marketing efforts focus on driving traffic helped drive top-line sales, EPS for quarter. However, continues to see fiscal year 2009 EPS below fiscal year 2008 levels.

THQ (THQI) posts $0.14 third quarter non-GAAP loss, vs. $0.14 EPS, on 24% lower non-GAAP sales. Notes third quarter results came in below plan and, having executed on its previously announced plan to cut costs by $120 million, THQI will cut costs by additional $100 million. This will include elimination of about 600 people, or 24% of THQI's workforce, and a reduction in product development spending. Also, THQI names Paul J. Pucino as Ex. VP, CFO, effective immediately. S&P reiterates strong buy.

Burger King Holdings (BKC) posts $0.33, vs. $0.36, second quarter EPS as negative impact of $0.05 due to forex offset 2.9% higher same-store sales, 3% higher total sales. Updates fiscal year 2009 EPS guidance to $1.44-$1.49, which which incl. estimated $0.10 negative impact due to forex.

Moody's (MCO) posts $0.37, vs. $0.49, fourth quarter EPS on 20% revenue decline. Current quarter results seen better than Street estimates. Expects 2009 revenue to decline in the low single-digit percent range, sees EPS of $1.40-$1.50.


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