Markets & Finance

Movers: Hartford Financial, Toyota, Weyerhaeuser


Stocks in the news Friday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchHartford Financial Services Group (HIG) posts $0.72 fourth quarter core loss per share, vs. $2.66 core EPS a year ago. Says fourth quarter 2008 net realized capital loss was $610 million, after-tax, vs. net realized capital loss of $230 milliion, after-tax, in fourth quarter 2007; fourth quarter 2008 also included $597 million after-tax write off of goodwill. Sees $5.80-$6.20 2009 core EPS. Intends to cut quarterly dividend by 84% to $0.05 per share.

Weyerhaeuser (WY) posts $5.73 fourth quarter loss, vs. $0.30 loss a year ago, on 55% total net sales drop. Notes fourth quarter 2008 includes $827 million goodwill impairment, real estate-related charges totaling $313 million after tax. Excl. items, posts $0.99 fourth quarter 2008 loss, wider than Street's $0.57 loss estimate.

Toyota Motor (TM) posts Yen 164.7B third quarter net loss vs. Yen 458.6B net income on 28% lower revenue. Posts Yen 360.6B third quarter operating loss vs. Yen 601.5B op. profit. Posts third quarter consolidated vehicle sales of 1.84M units, down 443,000 units from year ago. Sees consolidated vehicle sales of 7.32M units for fiscal year 2009, down 220,000 units from its Dec. forecast. Also sees fiscal year 2009 consolidated net rev. of Yen 21 trillion, operating loss of Yen 450B, and net loss of Yen 350B.

Biogen Idec (BIIB) posts $0.93, vs. $0.89, fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS on 20% revenue rise. Says revenue rise driven primarily by the continued growth of Tysabri revenue to $156 million in the quarter, Avonex sales up 13% to $566 million, Rituxan revs up 20% to $303 million. Sees 2009 revenue growth in high single-digits, non-GAAP EPS above $4.00.

Corning (GLW) says it has designed its financial plan on a sales cycle that would result in about $5 billion of sales in 2009. Notes that GLW has prepared for the possibility of a prolonged recession with $2.8 billion in cash, short-term investments at yearend 2008, compared to only $1.6 billion in debt, 15% which is due in next four years. Says company has also significantly reduced its capital spending and suspended share repurchases to preserve cash.

Syncronoss Technologies (SNCR) posts better-than-expected $0.12, vs. $0.22, fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS on 14% revenue decline. Street was looking for $0.10 EPS. S&P reiterates strong sell.

Phase Forward (PFWD) posts $0.13, vs. $0.41, fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS on 28% lower revenue (GAAP). For first quarter, it sees $0.12-$0.13 non-GAAP EPS on revenue of $47-$48 million. For 2009, sees $0.50-$0.54 non-GAAP EPS on revenue of $200-$205 million. Street was looking for 2009 EPS of $0.60. Says Roger Weismann will retire as CFO, effective June 1. He will be succeeded by Christopher Menard, currently vice president of finance.

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) expects to record a pre-tax non-cash impairment charge of about $165-$180 million, which will decrease fiscal year 2009 EPS by about $1.29-$1.37. Excluding asset impairment charge, DKS expects fourth quarter EPS at least at midpoint of previously-announced $0.49-$0.56 guidance and says fourth quarter comparable-store sales fell about 8.6%, within expected range of 6%-10% decline; both figures excl. costs from Golf Galaxy and Chick's Sporting Goods integration.

Bebe Stores (BEBE) posts $0.08, vs. $0.26, second quarter EPS on 11% lower net sales. For third quarter, forecasts a $0.05-$0.10 loss per share and anticipates the same-store sales decrease will be greater than the previous quarter.

Multi-Fineline Electronix (MFLX) posts $0.56, vs. $0.54, first quarter EPS on 18% higher revenue. Sees $170-$190 million second quarter revenue, a sequential decline, and 13%-15% gross margin; notes economic downturn, seasonal effect of December holidays and January Chinese New Year.

Oneok (OKE) reaffirms previously issued '08 EPS guidance, seeing EPS at low end of $2.95-$3.05 range. For 2009, OKE sees $2.25-()$2.75 EPS, reflecting lower-than-expected earnings at OKS, partially offset by higher-expected-earnings in its distribution, energy services segments.

Ralcorp Holdings (RAH) posts lower-than-expected $0.80, vs. $0.69, first quarter EPS (excluding special items) on 49% sales rise. Street was looking for $0.84.

Pitney Bowes (PBI) posts $0.77, vs. $0.72, fourth quarter adjusted EPS (excluding items) despite 7.2% lower revenue. Sees 2009 $2.55-$2.75 adjusted EPS from continuing operations (excluding estimated negative impact of $0.30-$0.35 from currency, incremental pension expense) on revenue in range of 1% growth-to-2% decline (excl. negative 5% currency impact). Also announces first quarter 2009 dividend will increase 3% to $0.36 a share.

Skechers U.S.A. (SKX) sees fourth quarter loss of $0.45-$0.50 on sales of $290-$300 million. Cites decrease in gross margin of about 1,000 basis points from year ago. Says extremely weak retail climate caused SKX to manage its inventory levels down at reduced prices. Expects to increase its reserves for inventory and accounts receivable by over $15 million. Now expects to break even in H1 2009, to return to profitability in H2, achieve 2009 revenues of $1.2-$1.3 billion. Wedbush downgrades to hold from buy.

Bankrate (RATE) posts $0.33, vs. $0.33, fourth quarter adjusted EPS despite 59% revenue rise. Street was looking for $0.34 EPS; revenue also seen below analysts' estimates. Given continued uncertainty and the lack of visibility in financial environment, RATE says it feels it is wise to refrain from issuing guidance for 2009.


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