Thursday's stocks in the news
From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchTarget (TGT) posts 1.1% higher November same-store sales (on calendar-adjusted basis). It says softness in the final week of November caused the month overall to fall short of its planned range. It says sales trends will need to meaningfully improve in December in order to achieve fourth quarter EPS growth.
Toll Brothers (TOL) reported October quarter loss per share of 52 cents, vs. EPS of $1.07 a year ago. The loss included $314.9 million in pretax writedowns, mainly for homes it could no longer sell at a profit. Without the writedowns, Toll Brothers would have posted fourth-quarter EPS of 72 cents, vs. $1.49 a year earlier.
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) posts 1.5% higher November total U.S. same-store sales (without fuel), up 1.9% (with fuel); 8.4% higher total company sales. It sees December U.S. same-store sales up 1%-3%.
Gap (GPS) posts flat November same-store sales, 11% higher total sales. It reiterates previous guidance of fiscal year 2008 GAAP EPS of $0.99-$1.05, excluding costs.
Nordstrom (JWN) posts 8.7% higher November same-store sales, 7.4% higher total sales.
BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ) posts 7.7% higher November same-store sales, 12% higher total sales.
TJX Cos. (TJX) posts 7% higher November same-store sales, 10% higher total sales.
Aeropostale (ARO) posts 6.6% higher November same-store sales, 28% higher total sales.
Limited Brands (LTD) posts 7% lower November same-store sales, 8.4% lower total sales.
Goldman Sachs Group (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) move down after Merrill downgrades both stocks to neutral from buy.
Convergys (CVG) expects to deliver record 2007 revenue, and EPS of approximately $1.20, consistent with previous guidance. For 2008, expects revenues of $2.85-$3.0 billion, EPS of $1.31-$1.36 (including pre-tax stock-based compensation expense).
Genentech (DNA) says the FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 5 to 4 that data are not sufficient to establish a favorable risk/benefit analysis for the use of Avastin, in combination with paclitaxel chemotherapy, for treatment of patients who have not received chemotherapy for their locally recurrent or metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer. Bear Stearns cuts estimates.
ConAgra Foods (CAG) says EPS from continuing operations for its fiscal 2008 second quarter, which ended Nov. 25, 2007, will be higher than planned. It cites stronger-than-expected performance in its Trading and Merchandising segment and its Food and Ingredients segment.
Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB) posts 15% higher Nov. same-store sales, 25% higher total sales.
Xilinx (XLNX) sees third quarter sequential sales growth of 2%-6%, consistent with previous guidance. It says gross margin and operating expense guidance remains unchanged: gross margin is expected to be 62%-63% and operating expenses expected to be flat sequentially. S&P keeps hold.
Cache (CACH) posts 4% lower November same-store sales, 4% lower total sales.
FirstEnergy (FE) affirms 2007 non-GAAP EPS guidance of $4.15-$4.25, excluding special items. It sees 2008 annual guidance for normalized EPS (non-GAAP) of $4.15-$4.35. It says 2008 will be "challenging". It says it will recommend to its Board of Directors a 10% increase in quarterly dividend.
Altera (ALTR) reaffirms fourth quarter sales guidance of flat to down 4% sequentially. It expects that fourth quarter diluted share count will be about 335 million shares, other income is now anticipated to be about $11 million. It plans to incur restructuring charges of $4-$6 million in the fourth quarter as a result of lease terminations and modifications and the elimination of about 65 positions. S&P keeps hold.
Comtech Telecommuncations (CMTL) Receives subpoena from Dept. of Homeland Security with regard to $2M Brazilian naval pact. Posts $0.54 vs. $0.41 Q1 GAAP EPS on 19% revenue rise.
Coco-Cola (KO) says President and Chief Operating Officer Muhtar Kent will succeed Neville Isdell as CEO as of July 1, 2008. Mr. Isdell will remain chairman of the Board of Directors until co.'s Annual Meeting of Shareowners in April 2009.
American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) posts flat November same-store sales, 16% higher total sales. It reiterates fourth quarter EPS guidance of $0.67-$0.70. S&P reiterates strong buy, but says November comps below its view.
Fred's (FRED) posts 4.5% lower November same-store sales, 1% higher total sales. It expects fourth quarter same-store sales to be flat to down 2%, expects EPS of $0.23-$0.28.
Zumiez (ZUMZ) posts 5.6% higher November same-store sales, 29% higher total sales. Same-store sales in the year ago period rose 12.1%.
Amgen (AMGN) announces that European Commission has granted a conditional marketing authorization for Vectibix as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) expressing metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with non-mutated (wild-type) KRAS genes after failure of standard chemotherapy regimens.
Gamestop (GME) will be added to S&P 500 after the close of trading on a date to be announced, replacing Dow Jones & Co., which is being acquired.
BE Aerospace (BEAV) will be added to S&P MidCap 400 after the close of trading on a date to be announced, replacing Gamestop.