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Saks Posts Weaker Earnings

Payless swings to a profit; American Eagle Outfitters has stronger results; plus more stocks in the news Wednesday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchSaks (SKS) posted 14 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) vs. 22 cents loss from continuing operations on 9.9% higher same-store sales.

Fremont General (FMT) Seen higher on a newswire report that the company is in talks with five or six companies interested in buying its residential mortgage business.

New Century (NEW) Seen lower on market speculation that New would seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Separately, David Einhorn resigns from the board.

Nucor Corp. (NUE) Sees $1.15 to $1.25 first quarter EPS, consistent with previously issued guidance.

Costco Wholesale (COST) Posts $0.54 vs. $0.62 second quarter EPS as higher preopening expenses, provision for impaired assets, and closing costs offset a 7% total revenue rise.

Payless Shoesource (PSS) posted 37 cents fourth quarter EPS (including 22 cents tax reserve benefit) vs. 8 cents loss on a 13% sales rise. The company plans to acquire Collective International for $91 million.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) posted 66 cents vs. 47 cents fourth quarter EPS on 14% higher same-store sales and 27% higher total sales. The company posted 6% February same-store sales and 16% higher total sales. American Eagle initiated 31 cents to 33 cents first quarter EPS guidance.

Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) In an SEC filing, OppenheimerFunds, SAC Cap. Mgmt, Tudor Investment, DE Shaw Valence Portfolios, and ZelnickMedia say they plan to nominate 6 people to Take-Two's board at the Mar. 23 annual meeting.

Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS) reiterated its previous guidance for first quarter revenue to decline 3% to 6% and gross margin to fall 50 to 100 basis points sequentially. Outlook excludes the results of consolidation System General Corp.

Talbots (TLB) posted breakeven fourth quarter vs. 59 cents EPS on 1.6% lower same-store sales. The company reconfirms 36 cents to 43 cents first quarter EPS (on reported basis) guidance.

Panera Bread (PNRA) posted 0.6% lower February system-wide comparable bakery-cafe sales. Said severe weather in the Midwest, where Panera has a high concentration of its bakery-cafes, significantly impacted its comparable bakery-cafe sales.

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