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Sprint Nextel Posts Higher Earnings

Merck hikes its forecast; Home Depot expects declining earnings; plus more stocks in the news Wednesday

Sprint Nextel (S) Posts $0.09 fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations vs. breakeven on 6.7% higher net operating revenues. Reiterates 2007 operating revenue guidance of $41 to $42 billion.

Merck (MRK) Raises first quarter EPS guidance to $0.63 to $0.67 and 2007 guidance to $2.55 to $2.65, both excluding restructuring charges. Cites early revenue trends across the company's range of products.

Home Depot (HD) Sees fiscal year 2008 retail comps in the negative mid-single-digit area and total sales growth of flat to 2%. Sees EPS decline of 4% to 9%. Notes that targets reflect 52 weeks and do not include the impact of the 53rd week.

Dreamworks Animation (DWA) Posts $0.20 fourth quarter loss vs. $0.61 EPS despite an 18% revenue rise. Says Flushed Away didn't meet estimates. Expects 2007 to be driven by Shrek the Third; sees significant portion of 2007 EPS occuring in the second half and sets a $150 million buyback.

Leap Wireless (LEAP) Posts $0.60 fourth quarter loss vs. $0.08 EPS as a sharp increase in capex offset a 37% revenue rise. Says it had about 262,000 net new customers and more than four times that in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Novatel Wireless (NVTL) Posts $0.14 fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS vs. breakeven on a 58% revenue rise. Sees first quarter revenue of about $80 million and non-GAAP EPS of $0.16.

Verasun Energy (VSE) Posts $0.27 vs. $0.05 fourth quarter EPS on a 46% revenue rise.

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