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Movers:, Ford, 3M, Qualcomm, Ryland Group

Stocks in the news on Thursday

From Standard & Poor's Equity (AMZN) posts $0.37, vs. $0.19 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 41% sales rise. Sees third quarter sales of $4.2-$4.425 billion and operating income of $115-$160 million, or between 6% decline and 31% growth year-over-year. Sees 2008 sales of $19.35-$20.10 billion and operating income of $745-$920 million. S&P reiterates hold.

Ford Motor (F) posts $3.88 second quarter loss per share, vs. $0.31 EPS a year ago, on 6.1% revenue drop, pre-tax special charges of $8 billion, including impairments of $5.3 billion for Ford North America long-lived assets, $2.1 billion for Ford Motor Credit's operating lease portfolio. Says the second half will continue to be challenging. Accelerates transformation plan with addition of several new fuel-efficient small vehicles in North America, convert 3 existing North American truck, SUV plants for small car production.

Daimler AG (DAI) posts €1.40, vs. €1.74, second quarter EPS as the company's interest in Chrysler offset 6.5% revenue rise. Due to slowdown of global growth, rising raw-material prices, unfavorable forex effects cuts €7.7 billion 2008 from ongoing operations forecast to more than €7 billion, not including effects related to Chrysler.

3M (MMM) posts $1.39, vs. $1.23, second quarter EPS (excluding special items) on 9.7% sales rise. Reiterates its 2008 forecast for EPS to increase a minimum of 10% over 2007 EPS of $4.98, which excludes special items.

Qualcomm (QCOM) and Nokia (NOK) enter into a new agreement covering various standards including GSM, EDGE, CDMA, WCDMA, HSDPA, OFDM, WiMax, LTE and other technologies. The agreement will result in settlement of all litigation between the companies, including the withdrawal by NOK of its complaint to the European Commission. Separately, QCOM posts $0.45, vs. $0.47, third quarter GAAP EPS despite 19% revenue rise. S&P maintains hold.

Ryland Group (RYL ) posts $5.70 second quarter loss (including inventory valuation adjustments and write-offs, joint venture impairments and an income tax charge), vs. $1.25 loss, on 34% revenue decline. Housing gross profit margins averaged 12.5% prior to inventory and joint venture valuation adjustments and write-offs for second quarter '08 vs. 19% in year ago quarter.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) posts $0.74, vs. $0.60 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 7.1% higher same-store sales, 24% higher total sales. Earnings miss Street view by a penny. Management expects 2008 same-store sales to increase in the mid single digits. Jefferies downgrades to hold from buy.

In an agreement reached with the Federal Communications Commission late Wednesday that brings the merger of the two satellite radio companies closer to fruition, XM Satellite Radio Holdings (XMSR) will pay $17.5 million and Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) will pay $2.2 million to settle agency rules violations.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) posts $0.43, vs. $0.31, second quarter non-GAAP EPS from continuing operations on 16% sales rise. Reaffirms its $1.60-$1.70 2008 non-GAAP EPS from continuing operations forecast. Plans to cut an additional $1 billion in costs by 2012, which on top of $1.5 billion expected to be completed by 2010.

RadioShack (RSH) posts better-than-expected $0.32, vs. $0.34, second quarter EPS on 6.9% same-store sales rise, 6.4% total sales rise. Sets new $200 million stock buyback.

Xerox (XRX) posts $0.24, vs. $0.28, second quarter EPS as $0.05 in restructuring charges offset 8% revenue rise. Street was looking for $0.24. Sees $0.28-$0.30 third quarter EPS, $1.26-$1.30 2008. Adds an additional $1 billion to stock buyback plan.

AutoNation (AN) posts $0.29, vs. $0.38, second quarter EPS on 13% lower sales. Says in continuing response to ongoing macroeconomic and industry challenges, executes cost reduction plan with a targeted annualized run rate pre-tax savings of $100 million.

Vital Signs (VITL) shares surged after the maker of respiratory management products agreed to be acquired by GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric (GE), in deal valued at about $860 million under which Vital Signs shareholders will receive $74.50 in cash for esach share they own. (BIDU) posts $1.23 Q2 non-GAAP EPS on sharp revenue rise. Street was looking for $0.97. Says the number of active online marketing customers during the second quarter grew to over 181,000, an increase of 12.4% from the previous quarter. Sees Q3 revenue of $132-$136 million, reflecting the company's anticipation of temporarily altered user behavior during the Beijing Summer Olympic Games.

Gardner Denver (GDI) posts higher second quarter financial results, but warns that certain areas of its business have begun to show weakness and that its outlook for second halfH2 2008 remains cautious. Posts $0.93 vs. $0.83 Q2 GAAP EPS on 13% higher revenue. On non-GAAP basis, posts $0.98 EPS, which excludes a $0.05/share pre-tax charge for nonrecurring retirement expenses. Baird downgrades to underperform from neutral.

Aflac (AFL) shares dropped after the insurance company posted $1.00 a share in second-quarter profit, vs. 84 cents a year ago, on a 15% rise in revenue. Aflac said that knowing it needs a 12.5% sales increase in the second half of 2008 to meet the low end of its full-year target, it will clearly be difficult to achieve a minimum 8% increase in earnings for 2008. It said it can't rule out that U.S. economy is a contributing factor to slower sales growth. Aflac expects to report operating income of 98 cents to $1.01 a share in the third quarter and $3.86 to $3.98 for the full year. Standard & Poor's maintained its strong buy opinion.

MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) posts lower-than-expected $0.92, vs. $0.70, Q2 non-GAAP EPS on 12% sales rise. Street was looking for $1.00. Sees 2008 revenue of $2.25-$2.35 billion, $4.00-$4.30 non-GAAP EPS. Sets additional $500 million stock buyback. S&P downgrades to buy from strong buy.

Dow Chemical (DOW) posts $0.81, vs. $1.07, second quarter EPS as a sharp rise in feedstock and energy and raw material costs offset 23% revenue rise. Street was looking for $0.85.

Advanced Energy Industries (AEIS) posts better-than-expected $0.14, vs. $0.25, second quarter EPS on 15% sales decline. Street was looking for EPS of $0.10. Sees $0.07-$0.12 third quarter EPS on revenue $82-$88 million. S&P reiterates buy.

Varian Medical Systems (VAR) posts $0.58, vs. $0.39, third quarter EPS on 15% revenue rise, 15% order growth. Raises FY 2008 guidance to 17%-18% revenue growth, about 22% EPS growth. S&P maintains strong buy.

Strayer Education (STRA) posts $1.50, vs. $1.20, second quarter EPS on 24% revenue rise. Based on strong enrollment growth announced for the 2008 summer term, offset partly by the costs of investments in new campuses, sees $0.79-$0.81 third quarter EPS.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT) posts $2.82, vs. $0.88, second quarter EPS on 94% revenue rise. Sees $3.25-$3.75 third quarter EPS. Raises $9.50-$10.50 2008 EPS guidance to $12.00-$13.00.

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