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Mortgage Woes Haunt H&R Block

Cheesecake Factory posts weaker earnings; Yum Brands forecasts 2007 growth; plus more stocks in the news Friday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchH & R Block (HRB) posted 49 cents second quarter loss vs. 25 cents loss on a 6.9% revenue drop. The company cites ongoing weakness in the mortgage industry. Notes it continues to consider strategic alternatives for its Option One unit.

Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) posted 23 cents vs. 27 cents third quarter earnings per share (EPS) on 1.6% lower comps. The company also posted second quarter EPS of 30 cents on 0.8% lower comps. Cheesecake sees 22 cents to 24 cents fourth quarter EPS on revenue of $351 million to $354 million.

Yum Brands (YUM) For full year 2007, Yum expects EPS growth of at least 10% and worldwide reported revenue growth of 5% to 6%.

McData (MCDTA) posted 3 cents third quarter loss vs. 2 cents EPS (non-GAAP) on a 7.4% revenue decline and narrowed gross margin.

Longs Drug Store (LDG) posted 2.7% higher retail drug store same-store sales in Nov.; pharmacy comps rose 4.9% and front-end comps rose 0.6%. The company says total sales rose 11% in Nov.

Isle of Capri (ISLE) Posts an $0.11 second quarter EPS vs. $0.14 loss on a 16% revenue rise.

Claire's Stores (CLE) Retains Goldman Sachs to explore alternatives for enhancing shareholder value, including the possible sale of the company.

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