Stocks in the news Wednesday
From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchAn unconfirmed report on Reuters says Citigroup (C) may sell both its Japanese investment bank and brokerage, as it looks to raise cash from a sale of global assets. A sale of the units could raise several billions of dollars, the Jiji Press and Sankei newspaper said.
Dollar Tree (DLTR) posts $1.15, vs. $1.04, fourth quarter EPS on 2.2% higher same-store sales, 6.8% higher total sales. Expects first quarter EPS to be in the range of $0.49-$0.54, sales to be in the range of $1.13-$1.16 billion, based on low-to mid-single digit comp store sales. Sees $2.55-$2.75 fiscal year 2010 EPS, $4.96-$5.09 billion sales.
Allstate (ALL) lowers its quarterly dividend to $0.20 per share, payable on April 1, 2009 to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 13, 2009. The company previously paid $0.41.
Dreamworks Animation SKG (DWA) posts $0.58, vs. $0.98 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 31% revenue decline. Earnings fell short of Street's $0.60 estimate. The company expects 2009 results to be driven primarily by Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Monsters vs. Aliens, which opens domestically on March 27, 2009.
First Solar (FSLR) posts $1.61, vs. $0.77 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on sharply higher revenue. Reportedly says short-term outlook for the solar industry has never looked more difficult. Sees 2009 revenue of $1.8-$1.9 billion.
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) posts $0.07, vs. $0.72, fourth quarter adjusted EPS on 14% revenue decline. Revenue drop was driven primarily by a decline in gaming volumes, significantly lower hold percentage and an overall reduction in non-gaming revenues in Las Vegas. Adjusted property EBITDA in fourth quarter was $127.5 million vs. year ago's $196.9 million.
Washington Post (WPO) posts $2.01, vs. $8.71, fourth quarter EPS (include several unusual one-time items) despite 3% revenue rise. Says increases in revenue due primarily to significant revenue growth at the education and cable divisions, partially offset by revenue declines at company's newspaper publishing, magazine publishing and television broadcasting divisions.
The Massachusetts attorney general's office says it reached a settlement with Chubb (CB) resolving allegations that CB's compensation practices offered improper incentives and enabled Boston-based insurance brokerage William Gallagher Associates to direct business to CB. Under the settlement, CB will pay $182,815 to William Gallagher customers and $56,196 to the Commonwealth. Separately, UBS Financial reportedly upgrades CB to buy from neutral, RBC Capital reportedly initiates coverage of CB with outperform.
Crown Castle International (CCI) posts wider-than-expected $0.24 fourth quarter loss, vs. $0.30 loss, on 5% higher site rental revenue. Sees first quarter net ranging from $0.14 loss to $0.06 EPS on site rental revenues of $363-$368 million.
J.M. Smucker (SJM) posts $0.88, vs. $0.79, third quarter non-GAAP EPS on 6% sales rise (excluding impact of acquisitions, forex). Cuts fiscal year 2009 sales forecast to $3.6-$3.7 billion from $3.8-$4 billion, sees non-GAAP EPS of $3.15-$3.30. Notes effect of lost peanut butter sales and margins, additional advertising and consumer communication costs, and unrecovered overhead are expected to result in a negative impact in the range of $0.05-$0.07.
United States Steel (X) revises fourth quarter, '08 results that were reported on January 27, 2009. Following the release of financial results, co. made certain updates and corrections mainly related to lower of cost or market inventory valuations. Net income was reduced by $18 million, or $0.15 per share, resulting in fourth quarterr net income of $290 million, or $2.50 per share, and full-year 2008 net income of $2.112 billion, or $17.96 per share.
FCStone Group (FCSX) says it expects to incur an additional $60-$80 million pre-tax bad debt provision for the second quarter in connection with previously-reported losses by a significant energy trading account for which company serves as the clearing firm. These losses, if realized, on an after-tax basis would be about $36-$48 million, or $1.30-$1.73 per share.
Dolan Media (DM) posts better-than-expected $0.12, vs. $0.12, fourth quarter EPS as higher operating expenses, narrowed operating margin offset 44% revenue rise. Sees 2009 revenue of $236-$240 million, EPS of $0.53-$0.61. Street was looking for 2009 EPS of $0.50.
Chicago Bridge & Iron N.V. (CBI) posts $0.72, vs. $0.46, fourth quarter EPS on 15% revenue rise. Sees $1.20-$2.00 2009 EPS on revenue of $4.4-$4.8 billion and new awards of $3.5-$5.5 billion. Street was looking for $2.15 2009 EPS. The company suspends quarterly dividend. S&P downgrades to hold from buy.