Stocks in the news on Thursday
From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchResearch in Motion (RIMM) posts $0.72, vs. $0.33 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on sharply higher revenues. Sees first quarter fiscal year 2009 revenue of $2.23-$2.30 billion, $0.82-$0.86 EPS. S&P raises estimate, target; maintains hold. Morgan Keegan raises estimates, maintains market perform.
Constellation Brands (STZ) posts $3.90 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $0.29 EPS a year ago, on 23% net sales drop. Notes net sales decrease primarily reflects impact of reporting Crown Imports and Matthew Clark wholesale business joint ventures under equity method. Sees $1.46-$1.54 fiscal year 2009 EPS on reported basis, $1.68-$1.76 on comparable basis.
Micron Technology (MU) posts $1.01 second quarter loss per share, vs. $0.07 loss per share, on 4.8% sales drop. Due to the company's current market cap being below book value, it was required to record a non-cash charge of $463 million in the second quarter fiscal year 2008 to write off all carrying amount of goodwill previously recognized in its memory segment. S&P reiterates hold. Goldman upgrades to neutral from sell.
Schering-Plough (SGP) announces Productivity Transformation Program (PTP) to reduce and avoid costs and increase productivity to generate a total of $1.5 billion in targeted annual savings and synergies. WSJ reports that about 5,500 employees will lose their jobs, or 10% of SGP's 55,000 headcount.
Robbins & Myers (RBN) says certain contingency obligations relating to sale of two of its Romaco product lines in fiscal year 2006 expired on March 31, 2008. As a result, it expects to recognize additional pretax gain on sale of about $5.4 million at current exchange rates in the third quarter. It raises $0.42-$0.47 third quarter EPS guidance to $0.53-$0.58, $1.82-$1.92 fiscal year 2008 to $1.93-$2.03.
Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd. (SNDA) names Qunzhao Tan President, who will keep post of Chief Technology Officer. Also names Danian Chen COO. S&P reiterates strong buy.
Schnitzer Steel Industries (SCHN) posts $1.25, vs. $0.93 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 24% revenue rise.
X-Rite (XRIT) expects first quarter revenue to be down about 3% vs. year-ago, cites weaker economic conditions and market specific softness. Implements plan expected to result in total of $23 million in cost savings over the next 12 months. Says it is currently not in compliance with certain covenants under its secured credit facilities, but is in talks with lenders to amend certain terms of its credit arrangements to allow for greater operating flexibility.
LDK Solar (LDK) signs ten-year contract which is a blend of "Take or Pay" linked with market-based pricing to supply multicrystalline solar wafers to India-based Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Limited, a subsidiary of Moser Baer India Limited.
MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) says during first quarter, the company experienced accelerated buildup of chemical deposits inside new expansion unit at its Pasadena, Texas facility, which occurred multiple times, required downtime of several days for premature maintenance to clean and re-stabilize unit. Says this, other delays caused utilization of facility to be about 20% lower than fourth quarter; now sees first quarter revs of approximately $500 million.
HNI (HNI) sees first quarter revenue, operating profit in its office furniture segment down significantly vs. previous forecast. Estimates first quarter office furniture revenue declined 6% from year ago due to substantial weakness in the supplies-driven channel, which represents about 50% of HNI's total office furniture revenue and will have a significant impact on profitability.
KKR Financial Holdings (KFN) says a public offering of 30 million KFN common shares was priced at $11.85 per share and is expected to close April 8. All of the shares are being offered by KKR. Gross proceeds from the offering will be about $355.5 million.
Borders Group (BGP) says it will delay filing its annual report for fiscal year 2007 until after it has completed its evaluation of financing alternatives and can include finalized transactions in its 10-K filing. The filing is expected to occur on or before Apr. 17.