Thursday's stocks in the news
From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchLiz Claiborne (LIZ) sees 2008 EPS of $1.50-$1.70, below current estimates. Separately, it inks pact with a group of investors including Radius Partners LLC, William Sweedler of Windsong Brands LLC, Barry Sternlicht and Marvin Traub to sell substantially all of the assets and liabilities of Ellen Tracy brand.
Investment banking and brokerage stocks move lower on report that an analyst at Lehman Brothers cut earnings estimates on Goldman Sachs (GS) by more than half, saying asset write-downs will spread into 2008; also cut its earnings estimates on investment bankers Merrill Lynch (MER), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Bear Stearns (BSC). Keefe Bruyette & Woods also lowered its earnings estimates for a number of these companies.
Intel (INTC) falls after Goldman Sachs removed the stock from its Conviction Buy List, citing the company's exposure to macro issues that are starting to impact enterprise demand for many tech companies.
Nvidia (NVDA) shares slump a day after the graphics chipmaker reported the first weakening of gross margin in 13 quarters and concerns mounted over competitive risks, according to Reuters. Although the company issued a better-than-expected revenue forecast, operating expenses were up more than expected.
Comcast (CMCSA) posts $0.20, vs. $0.15 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 14% rise in revenue. Initiates quarterly dividend of $0.0625.
Network Appliance (NTAP) posts $0.37, vs. $0.29 a year ago, third quarter non-GAAP EPS on 21% revenue rise. It sees fourth quarter revenue of $915-$945 million, $0.35-$0.37 non-GAAP EPS. S&P maintains hold. Citigroup reportedly downgrades to hold from buy.
Standard & Poor's Equity Research says unconfirmed media reports that Yahoo (YHOO) and News Corp. (NWS) are considering combining their Internet operations might require certain outsourcing that regulators would not allow. Despite some contention that a deal would value Yahoo above Microsoft's (MSFT) offer, S&P is skeptical.
UBS AG (UBS) posts CHF 12.451 billion fourth quarter net loss (including about $13.7 billion in subprime losses), vs. CHF 3.407 billion net profit. Says it expects 2008 "to be another difficult year."
ValueClick (VCLK) posts in-line $0.18, vs. $0.22 a yera ago, fourth quarter EPS despite 14% revenue rise. Revenue of $183.1 million and adjusted EBITDA of $45.6 million beat company guidance. It sees first quarter EPS of $0.15-$0.16 on revenue of $166-$170 million, $0.78-$0.81 2008 EPS on revenue of $730-$745 million. Settles with FTC on lead generation practices; to pay $2.9 million. Baird upgrades to outperform from neutral.
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (MDRX) posts $0.14, vs. $0.11 a year ago, fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS on 15% revenue rise. Revenue seen below some estimates. Deutsche Bank reportedly downgrades to hold from buy.
Nighthawk Radiology Holdings (NHWK) posts $0.26, vs. $0.15 a year ago, fourth quarter adjusted EPS on 77% revenue rise. GAAP EPS was $0.10, which is $0.08 below S&P's view. It sees 2008 EPS of $1.10-$1.20 on revenue of $195-$205 million. S&P reiterates sell, cuts target.
Capella Education (CPLA) posts $0.51, vs. $0.39 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 26% revenue rise. It sees first quarter revenue up 22%-23%, and 2008 up 20%-22%.
Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW) posts $0.48 (including $0.08 write-down), vs. $0.75 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS as higher expenses offset 3% revenue rise. Notes fourth quarter same-store sales in North America declined 13%. Says it will slow new store growth this year to about 20 stores, down from 39 new stores in 2008.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT) posts $0.27 fourth quarter EPS, vs. $1.74 loss per share from continuing operations, on 11% revenue rise.
Charles Schwab (SCHW) reports total client assets for the month of January were up 10% from a year ago, and were down 3% from December 2007.
Northwest Natural Gas (NWN) posts $1.11, vs. $1.09 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS as fewer shares outstanding helps to offset a 1.6% drop in revenue. It sees $2.48-$2.63 2008 EPS. NWN said average common shares outstanding decreased by 3% in 2007, due to the company's share repurchase program.
Granite Construction (GVA) posts $0.42, vs. $0.07 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS as lower costs of revenue offset a 12% revenue decline. fourth quarter EPS including one-time charge of $0.19 related to purchase of minority shares of Wilder Construction Co.
Spartan Motors (SPAR) posts $0.25, vs. $0.10 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on sharp sales rise.
Arbitron (ARB) posts better-than-expected $0.13, vs. $0.17 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS as higher costs and expenses offset 5.4% revenue rise. Sees $1.42-$1.56 2008 EPS, 8%-10% revenue growth.
Swift Energy (SFY) posts $1.71, vs. $1.13 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations on 36% revenue rise. Names Robert Banks chief operating officer, effectively immediately, to succeed Joe D'Amico, who will retire in May.
Strayer Education (STRA) posts $1.34, vs. $1.11 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 20% revenue rise. Based on the strong enrollment growth announced for the 2008 winter term and the planned investments in opening new campuses, sees first quarter EPS of $1.57-$1.59.
Baidu.com (BIDU) posts RMB6.32, vs. RMB3.54 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on sharp revenue rise. Expects first quarter total revenues of RMB533 million ($73.1 million) to RMB548 million ($75.1 million), representing a 93%-99% increase from year ago period.
Amkor Technology (AMKR) posts $0.46, vs. $0.30 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 9.4% sales rise. It sees first quarter EPS of $0.25-$0.29.
Ingram Micro (IM) posts $0.64, vs. $0.53 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 13% worldwide sales rise, including about 6% positive impact from forex. Sees $0.36-$0.40 first quarter EPS on revenue of $8.75-$9.00 billion.